The travel accident team at Penningtons Manches is currently pursuing a personal injury claim against a dive centre for a client, a novice diver, who took part in two dives while on holiday in Indonesia. Following the first dive, she became disorientated and lost consciousness, requiring assistance to get back into the boat where she had to be treated with oxygen. Over the next day or so, she suffered headaches and associated symptoms.

Despite this episode, the dive centre discounted any serious problem and allowed our client to take part in a further dive a couple of days later. Just as on the initial dive, our client experienced problems on surfacing. Her right arm had become rigid and paralysed and she was seeing flashing lights. Our client was again administered oxygen and she then realised she was losing sensation in her legs.

On arrival back at the diving centre, it became apparent that she was becoming paralysed from the waist down. The diving centre doctor was called and, although attributing her symptoms to over-exertion, he suggested that she should go to hospital.

After an examination at the hospital, the client was diagnosed as having suffered from spinal decompression sickness and was taken to a hyperbaric chamber for the commencement of treatment. Following her return to the UK and admission to hospital, she underwent further hyperbaric treatment.

Despite lengthy rehabilitation treatment, our client has been left with ongoing symptoms and physical limitations.