NARD Diving MedicineDiving MD

Subcutaneous Emphysema

Subcutaneous emphysema denotes air under the skin. It is typically seen in divers around the neck. In mild cases it may not even be noticed. When suffering form it the diver may feel a fullness around the neck, and have difficulty swallowing. There may be a noticeable swelling in the affected area. When palpating the area it may feel like air filled packing material. A cracking sound called crepitus may be heard. When administering to a victim give 100% oxygen by demand valve and transport to an Emergency Room for evaluation. Recompression is not indicated unless recommended by a diving physician.

Signs and Symptoms of Subcutaneous Emphysema

Feeling of Fullness Around Neck
Swelling of Neck (Bullfrog Effect)
Change in Voice
Difficulty Swallowing
Crepitus

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