Undersea medicine (also known as diving medicine) is a branch of sports and occupational medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that are caused by an exposure to undersea environments. This subspecialty is also associated with the prevention of injury and/or illness due to a person being exposed to environments wherein ambient pressure is increased (like in diving or exposure to a hyperbaric chamber); to treat disease by delivering oxygen under high pressure; and the use of high environmental pressure for therapeutic purposes.
Undersea Medicine is a corollary field related to diving because recompression in a hyperbaric chamber is used to treat 2 of the most common diving illnesses — arterial gas embolism and decompression sickness (commonly called diver’s disease).
Treatment of diving illnesses largely depends on the type of disorder, or the combination of disorders. However, there are two types of treatment related to definitive and first-aid treatments used for diving related disorders.
Oxygen therapy, usually the default treatment for diving conditions, is the administration of oxygen at high concentration. Such treatment is used as first aid, and as a long-term term treatment.
Recompression and hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the definitive treatment for decompression sickness. It is a specialized treatment method that’s highly effective in treating various conditions where the use of oxygen under pressure is effective.