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Efficacy of the U.S. Navy Treatment Tables in treating DCS in 103 recreational scuba divers

Despite the fact that current decompression schedules reduce the risk of decompression sickness (DCS), recreational scuba divers continue to experience DCS. Therapy outcomes in these divers are difficult to track. Our study aims to understand the efficacy of the United States Navy (USN) Treatment Tables (5, 6, 6A, 9) in providing symptomatic relief among recreational scuba divers. We conducted a single-center retrospective review of recreational divers treated from 2003 to 2013. A total of 187 divers were identified: 84 divers were excluded, and the charts of the remaining 103 divers were independently reviewed by three clinicians. For these 103 divers, the response variable, therapy outcome, was categorized as no relief, partial relief, or complete relief of symptoms. In a population of 76 males and 27 females with an average of three dives and three treatments, 53 patients achieved complete symptomatic relief, 45 patients had partial relief, and five patients reported no relief at the end of all recompression treatments. Among the patients who achieved complete symptomatic relief, 28 (53%) needed only one recompression treatment. The depth of the diver’s first dive and the change in symptoms within the first 20 minutes of the first recompression treatment were found to be explanatory variables of the treatment outcome.

DOI: 10.22462/9.10.2017.5