decompression(redirected from decompression of pericardium)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Any procedure for the relief of pressure or compression.
The reduction of atmospheric pressure. Particularly, various techniques for preventing decompression sickness (also called caisson disease by gradual decompression. Decompression sickness is caused by the evolution of nitrogen bubbles in the body as a result of the effects of reduced atmospheric pressure. Normal symptoms of decompression sickness are the bends, chokes, and creeps; unconsciousness; and neurological symptoms. It can be potentially fatal if the original higher pressure is not restored. Fighter crews use pressure suits and pressure breathing to avoid the effects of decompression sickness. A sudden decrease in cabin pressure, which may be the result of either some component of the aircraft—such as doors, windows, or the cockpit canopy—giving way or a rupture taking place in the structure, is called explosive decompression. See also chokes and creeps.