Dive tourist dies from decompression sickness

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – A Brazilian tourist has died after suffering decompression sickness following a day of diving.

The woman of approximately 50 years of age began to suffer decompression symptoms from her dive after returning to the boat. Realizing her situation, diving personnel requested immediate medical help and headed for shore, however, the woman was without vital signs by the time the boat arrived.

Medical staff performed CPR on the beach and, according to witnesses, were successful at reviving a weak breath. The woman was rushed to the General Hospital of Playa del Carmen where doctors say she died along the way, arriving at the hospital without vital signs.

Hospital general director Mario Enrique Hernandez Murillo, said that at around 4:10 p.m. a woman of approximately 50 year of age arrived at the hospital without vital signs. Prior to her arrival, she was given five rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The ministerial authority was notified of her death.

Decompression sickness, also referred to as the bends or as diver’s disease, is a condition arising from dissolved gases that form into bubbles inside the body. These bubbles can migrate to any part of the body and produce symptoms that range from joint pain to paralysis and death.

Playa del Carmen has a fully equipped hyperbaric chamber located on Ave. 10 and Calle 28 norte. The center is fully equipped to handle divers with decompression sickness (DCS) and arterial gas embolism (AGE). The center also treats non-emergency ailments related to diving such as ear problems.

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