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Diving after a bend incident?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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NH Diver

New Member
Oct 18, 2002
I recently suffered a bend incident during my trip to the Cayman Islands in September 02. They classified it as "undeserved" because my dive profiles were within all limits. I was taking my Advanced with an instructor.

An hour after my dive, I experienced numbing, itching, tingling and pain in the joints of my hands. By the time I got to the hospital, extreme vertigo set in and I could not walk without assistance. Not long after that, the blotchy skin appeared. I had to get 3 chamber treatments, 6 hours, 5 hours, 4 hours. I was much better after the 4th and cleared to go home 3 days later.

I got a CAT scan and have a bubble study schedule to rule out PFO. The CAT scan was normal. Have not had the bubble study done yet (NOV 6).

My questions is, who has been bent out there and do you still dive? I want to continue to dive but the doctor in the Caymans said to consider giving it up since it was an unnderserved bend?

Just to add to this, I was sick the week before this trip (flu). It was extremely hot there and I did not drink as much as I should. I also did not eat the day of the dive. I know, bad planning. So I feel that this was the reason I got bent and that if I use caution in the future(Dive when completely well) that I should be fine. I had 20 dives in, all types, prior to this minor dive with no complications.

Thanks for any input. I am new here and this place is awesome.
Originally posted by NH Diver
It was extremely hot there and I did not drink as much as I should.

Dehydration is one of the greatest enemy of us diver, it thickens the blood and thus make us slower to decompress making us more prone to DCS. Here's a good link at DAN about diving after DCS:

You can also start freediving, much less risk of DCS and much more freedom, that's my advice as a PADI Divemaster reconverted!

Frank, a proud member of the sect!
NH Diver,

You should see an specialized dive medicine doctor. Someone need to examine you and get all the facts on your incident to be able to advice you on continued diving or not.

Try to contact Dan- Divers Alert Network for advice on how to proceed. http://www.diversalertnetwork.org

I also agree with crazyfrenchmen that dehydration is one of the greatest enemies to divers. This is something the staff at OW and AOW courses in tropical areas should teach you very seriously. I always bring a bottle of water when diving.

In your case my belief is that your incident was caused by you being dehydrated and weak since your flu. However do not take this as advice since a professional medical must examine you before you do any more diving.

Some people might be more prone to DCS so even if the dive physician says yes to more diving do it in a safe area. Close to a pressure chamber and at a very serious dive center.

In some cases the DCS incidents can prevent further dive activities. In other cases you might get a depth limit for the coming months. In some case you will need a long rest and in some cases a shorter rest is enough.

You really need to find a local diving doctor to check you out. There could by many things that have happened. IF it were an undeserved hit you might want to have a test done to see if you have a PFO- small hole in the heart. I know of a few tec divers that have had the test done because it can be an indicator for a future problem.

I have never been bent, but I know more than one person who has. Each person had a different story in regards to their diving. One person was told to plan all of their dives as if they were a "B" diver to start with on the dive tables. Another person I know cuts all of their bottom times to 15 minutes. I also know another guy who does whatever he wants and has been to the chamber at least 4 times-that I know of.

Switching to freediving would be my first choice.:D Visiting a diving doctor really should be your first step in deciding what you should do next. He, or she, are really the only ones qualified to answer this question for you. They can then give you the guide lines as to what you should. or shouldn't. do while diving.

All good advice.

As an instructor both in the UK and in Thailand I've seen a good few "bends" and the vast majority have been :
Instructors ( "hey we know what we are doing !!" attitude)
Due to dehydration. (on holiday, drink until you piss like a race horse, then drink some more - As an instructor in Thailand I'd drink atleast 5 lts a day)

The one thing I tell my students is that YOU will get bent if you go too deep for too long and come up too quickly. This is inevitable. You are not immune. The trouble is that everyone is different and circumstances like dehydration, medication, CV fittness etc etc play a great part. You now know that one factor ( maybe two factors) in your own particular make up are currently on the edge.

Yuo need to find out what these factors are, and then if you can manage them. Only when you can do this should you consider diving again.

Also be carful over your choice of Doctor. Only go to a specific Diving Doctor. Yuor GP may well not know enough about the subject.

All this sounds a bit gloomy - it isn't and with proper medical investigation you can be back in the water.

good luck and please don't fuck with your health - a hobby even one as good as diving just ain't worth it !

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