Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A disorder caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood and tissues following a sudden drop in the surrounding pressure and characterized by joint pain, skin irritation, cramps, numbness, and, in severe cases, paralysis. It occurs especially in deep-sea divers when ascending rapidly from a dive. Decompression sickness is often called "the bends."
(Pathology) a disorder characterized by severe pain in muscles and joints, cramp, and difficulty in breathing, caused by a sudden and sustained decrease in air pressure, resulting in the deposition of nitrogen bubbles in the tissues. Also called: caisson disease or aeroembolism Nontechnical name: the bends
an acute disorder involving the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the body fluids, caused by a sudden drop in external pressure, as during a too-rapid ascent from diving, and resulting in pain in the lungs and joints and faintness.
A syndrome, including bends, chokes, neurological disturbances, and collapse, resulting from exposure to reduced ambient pressure and caused by gas bubbles in the tissues, fluids, and blood vessels.