Date: 1/2/2003

Scuba divers could suffer from the potentially fatal condition know as “the bends” even if they religiously followed diving tables, a specialists has warned.

Dr Gregory Emerson, a consultant in diving and hyperbaric medicine at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, said international studies had shown that about a third of people who suffered decompression illness were within the guidelines.

Dr Emerson said it was important for divers not just to rely on the guidelines but to seek help as soon as they experienced symptoms. Decompression illness war poorly understood, even by the medical profession. We kind of know why it occurs but we still don’t really understand why some people get it and other people don’t, he said.

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