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Can I get decompression sickness (the bends) from the SCORKL?Updated 2 years ago

Decompression sickness ("the bends") is only a remote risk for SCORKL users since time underwater and depth, the key factors contributing to decompression sickness, are severely limited due to the relatively small volume of air available in the SCORKL.

To minimise the risk of decompression illness:

  • DO NOT use the SCORKL below the 6m (20ft) recommended depth 
  • DO NOT use more than ten times in one day and be sure to rest at least five minutes in between dives
  • DO NOT exceed an ascent rate of 6 metres (20 ft) per forty seconds 

Also known as “the bends” decompression sickness is a physical condition caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in a diver’s blood and tissues. These nitrogen bubbles can block blood flow to various parts of the body and may irreversibly damage tissues. During every dive, a diver’s body absorbs nitrogen from their breathing gas. As they ascend, the nitrogen expands. Normally, the nitrogen travels in the diver’s bloodstream until it reaches their lungs, where it is exhaled. However, if a diver stays underwater too long, or ascends too quickly, their body cannot eliminate the nitrogen effectively, and the excess nitrogen trapped in their body forms bubbles.

The symptoms of decompression sickness may include confusion and impaired thinking, but also may include pain, loss of feeling in an isolated area of the body, tingling, visual disturbances, vertigo, and paralysis (among many other symptoms). A bubble may even block blood flow to the point that body tissues and organs are permanently damaged. Divers typically experience decompression sickness a few hours to one day after a dive.                               

To treat decompression sickness, a diver must eliminate the nitrogen bubbles by undergoing re-compression therapy in a hyperbaric chamber. The longer the bubbles remain in a diver’s body, the more damage they will cause. Decompression illness is dangerous and sometimes life-threatening.


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