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Can I get Pulmonary Barotrauma from the SCORKL?Updated 2 years ago

The three main causes of pulmonary barotrauma are holding one's breath, rapid ascents and pre-existing lung conditions. 

To minimise the risk of a pulmonary barotrauma always breathe continuously especially during ascent, never ascend rapidly, not exceeding an ascent rate of 6 metres (20 feet) per forty seconds and undergo a full medical exam by a doctor knowledgeable in diving medicine before using the SCORKL if you have a history of lung problems. 

A diver who holds their breath underwater during an ascent risks a pulmonary barotrauma (also called “lung over-expansion”, “burst lungs”, or “exploded lungs”). This happens because at depth, air is caught in the tiny air sacs (called alveoli) where gas exchange takes place in a diver’s lungs. These air sacs are made of extremely thin and fragile tissue. If air is trapped in the sacs as a diver ascends, it will expand from the change in pressure and burst the sacs like many tiny balloons. This air escapes from the lungs and causes various types of damage depending upon where it travels.

Very small changes in pressure, even that which occurs within a metre (3 feet), can cause a pulmonary barotrauma. Divers should remember that the greatest pressure change underwater is near the surface, All divers, regardless of depth, are at risk of pulmonary barotraumas. They have even been documented in swimming pools. 

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