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2 definitions found
 for caisson disease
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Caisson disease \Cais"son dis*ease"\ (Med.)
     A disease frequently induced by remaining for some time in an
     atmosphere of high pressure, as in caissons, diving bells,
     etc. It is characterized by neuralgic pains and paralytic
     symptoms. It is caused by the release of bubbles of gas,
     usually nitrogen, from bodily fluids into the blood and
     tissues, when a person, having been in an environment with
     high air pressure, moves to a lower pressure environment too
     rapidly for the excess dissolved gases to be released through
     normal breathing. It may be fatal, but can be reversed or
     alleviated by returning the affected person to a high air
     pressure, and then gradually decreasing the pressure to allow
     the gases to be released from the body fluids. It is a danger
     well known to divers. It is also called the bends and
     decompression sickness. It can be prevented in divers by a
     slow return to normal pressure, or by using a breathing
     mixture of oxygen combined with a gas having low solubility
     in water, such as helium.
     [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  caisson disease
      n 1: pain resulting from rapid change in pressure [syn:
           decompression sickness, aeroembolism, air embolism,
           gas embolism, caisson disease, bends]

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