Researchers at the Hyperbaric Medicine Department, San Diego, have developed a three-point scale to diagnose decompression sickness.

There are currently no universally accepted diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis of decompression sickness. The new SANDHOG (SAN Diego Diving and Hyperbaric Organizations) criteria uses a point scale and entrance level for the diagnosis of decompression sickness. Once the entrance criterion has been met, points are awarded based upon the diver’s symptoms and their time of onset.

The point system and time limits were determined based upon US Navy and Royal Canadian diving reports.

On validating the SANDHOG criteria against a database of diving related injuries, the researchers found that the specificity of the SANDHOG criteria to be good, and concluded that the SANDHOG criteria are a useful tool for the diagnosis of decompression sicknes.

Journal Reference: Undersea Hyperb Med. 2007 May-Jun;34(3):199-210.

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