Diver swelled to double his normal size after getting the bends
The bends is one of the most feared illnesses in the world of diving, and it's easy to see why. The freaky illness, which is also known as decompression sickness, happens when a diver comes up to the surface too quickly, causing the nitrogen in the blood to form enormous and often grotesque bubbles. These bubbles can leave the body looking deformed and cause immense pain, potentially being fatal.
One unfortunate fisherman in Peru has contracted a severe case of the bends, and doctors are saying that his case is completely unique due to the sheer size of the swelling that has appeared across his entire body.
Alejandro Ramos Martinez has gained nearly five stone in weight due to his arms and chest ballooning after he went diving to collect creatures from the sea floor.
The fisherman has quickly revealed the extent of the deformities as doctors attempt to treat his body. Martinez's body shows the physical symptoms of the bends, but other symptoms include; swollen joints, mottled, itching skin, brain damage, paralysis, headaches, coughs, dizziness and nausea.
Decompression sickness can be fatal at times and is feared by divers across the world because of the impact in can have on their lives. However, doctors are saying that this case is particularly unique as the nitrogen has stuck in balloon-like pods around his muscles, which isn't something they have ever seen before. The fisherman is now being given specialist oxygen treatments in a pressurised chamber in the hopes that it will reduce the swelling and take away the pain the Alejandro is currently experiencing.
Miguel Alarcon, a doctor who works at the San Juan de Dios hospital in Pisco, Peru, where Alejandro is being treated, said that he and his colleagues have managed to drain about 30 per cent of the nitrogen in his body so far. Doctors have also said that they are researching his condition in great detail due to its unprecedented nature, and they are looking to find some form of cure for the illness.
Alarcon also said that the doctors had considered surgery to remove the nitrogen for Alejandro's body, but they feared that it would be difficult and dangerous to perform and could potentially put the fisherman's life at risk.
While the investigation into his condition continues, Alejandro is having to endure immense pain and walking difficulties on the daily, due to the severity of his condition. He is also suffering from serious hypertension.
Fortunately, the bends is becoming an increasingly rare condition thanks to new technologies, such as wearable diving computers or dive tables that calculate the speed in which a diver can ascend to the surface without risking the possibility of getting the bends.
It's not clear why Alejandro decide to ascend so fast that he ended up contracting the bends, and unfortunately for him, he will no longer be able to make a living as a diving fisherman, as he is no longer able to dive.
It's a horrible experience for Alejandro to have to endure and hopefully the doctors can find at least a partial solution to his condition.