Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Diver Colic

It is a barotraumatic accident that occurs when air or gases contained in the digestive tract (stomach or intestines) increase in volume with the decrease in ambient pressure (ascent) and are not expelled by natural pathways, causing the dilation of these organs, with pain of varying intensity.


Generally speaking, even in dives considered normal, in nervous individuals and poorly controlling breathing, this accident can occur. The cause is the swallowing of air or saliva due to poor breath control. The air swallowed at the bottom, at high pressure, will increase in volume on the return to the surface and, if it does not come out, causes the accident.


To prevent this accident the diver should breathe calmly, not to swallow air, and avoid swallowing saliva caused by the presence of the regulator in the mouth, in which air is emulsified. This saliva must be expelled through the regulator.

Also the production of excess gases from the abundant intake of farinaceous or proteins, leads to the possibility of this accident. It is advisable that the diver avoid abundant foods, especially products that are easy to ferment, on the eve or day of diving.

If during the ascent painful symptoms are started to show, the diver should stop and descend a few meters until the colic disappears after which it will restart the climb very slowly trying to expel air or gases through the natural pathways. In some cases a dilation of the womb may arise, which requires medical attention or even recompression.