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Female diver airlifted to hospital after experiencing decompression sickness near Oban

Female diver was airlifted to hospital today after experiencing the bends.
Female diver was airlifted to hospital today after experiencing the bends.

A diver has been airlifted to hospital after experiencing the bends on Lismore.

The Coastguard received a phone call at 2.40pm from a vessel to the northeast of the Isle of Lismore to call for help for the female who was with a team of divers diving in the area.

She was experiencing decompression sickness, also known as the bends.

The serious condition is caused by gas being released inside the body as bubbles are released.

It commonly affects divers after they resurface from being underwater.

The RNLI base at Oban launched, and took the woman aboard its lifeboat at 3.20pm.

Oban RNLI were called to the incident.

The Coastguard helicopter from Inverness also arrived to airlift the casualty from the raft, it then took her to Oban Airport.

Also traveling with her was her male diving partner. It is common for divers to have a buddy to help each other for safety.

Once the helicopter landed at 3.50pm, it was met by the Ambulance Service who transported the woman over the Connel Bridge to Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban.

Hyperbaric chamber possibly needed

While at the hospital, a judgment was made on if it would be able to manage the case, or if the woman would have to be transported to a special specialist hyperbaric chamber in Aberdeen.

A divers decompression chamber view from the outside. Photo from Shutterstock.

The chamber uses recompression and decompression therapy to help fight the effects of the condition.

Oban also has a hyperbaric medicine unit but for some reason, the Coastguard was considering the Aberdeen unit during the operation.

The helicopter remained on standby to see if it was required to transport the woman to Aberdeen.

At around 6.30pm the helicopter was discharged from the operation, and it now looks like the hospital will take control of the woman’s care.

Her condition is currently unknown.

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