DEPTH Blog

The most useful snippets from our authors, all in one place. DEPTH discusses topics of diving, equipment and environment, physics and physiology, technique and technology, and hyperbarics.

The Physiology of the "Bends"

If you're a diver, you've most likely heard of the "bends" or "divers disease."

The "bends," formally called decompression sickness (DCS), was first seen as an industrial phenomenon that struck caisson workers (caisson disease) as they labored to set the bridge footings on a river bottom. The heavy work was done deep inside a pressurized tube. The photo below shows the construction of the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River, 1873.

In Dr. Monte Anderson’s book, The Choice: A Story of Survival, his friend, David Scalia, suffered a devastating diving accident that included an arterial gas embolism to the brain during an uncontrolled ascent from 10 meters.

A scuba equipment failure caused a devastating accident. He suffered incalculable damage to his body for more than 12 grueling hours. Days later, he was given a profound choice — to live or to die. Almost unbelievable, this is his true story.

In the appendix of the book, Dr. Anderson discusses the physiology involved in these events.

Learn more about DCS through this engaging story, The Choice. Every reader/diver will come away from the book with knowledge that can be directly applied to enhance your diving practice.

Eads Bridge construction 1870s

 

 

The Choice 3D FRont ORDER HERE

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Monte Anderson was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and moved to Denver, Colorado, with hisMonte retouched author photo family when he was ten years old. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the US Army, where he was first assigned to the infantry, then automotive repair, and finally, the medical corps. After an unimpressive freshman year at the University of Colorado, where he spent most of his time on extracurricular activities like skiing, he entered the University of the Americas in Mexico City, where one of his professors sensed in him a talent for writing. 
Later, he worked for several years in pharmaceutical sales. From there, a desire to enter medical school was rekindled. During one of the most exciting times of his life, he completed required courses at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, then was admitted to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He completed a medical residency at Creighton University and continued his studies with subspecialty training in gastroenterology and hepatology as an army officer at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. 
After his discharge from the military, most of his career was happily devoted to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Feeling that true tales tend to be more compelling than fiction, he has always preferred reading nonfiction, especially since something is always learned in the process. The Choice: A Story of Survival, his first effort outside of scientific writing, is nonfiction. Anderson lives in Prescott, Arizona, with his wife, Pat. They have three children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

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