What causes nitrogen bubbles to develop in joints?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    At high pressure gases dissolve into liquids more readily, we breath air (which is 78% nitrogen) and at normal pressure no bubbles are able to form, however when we dive our bodies are subject to higher pressure from the surrounding water and the liquids in our body are able to dissolve more nitrogen than normal, as you then rise to the surface the body is unable to sustain the amount of nitrogen dissolved in the tissue's so bubbles will form (this causes extreme pain).

    Think of it like a coke bottle, a coke bottle is a pressurized container (it should say on the side somewhere) it contains another dissolved gas (carbon dioxide), as you open the bottle you are depressurizing it and the liquid loses its ability to keep the gases dissolved, and as you will have seen bubbles will form as the gas escapes.

    Divers usually breath pure oxygen to prevent nitrogen dissolving in the blood, problems can arise for people attempting to escape a submarine for example, where the air is not pure oxygen and there is little time to decompress slowly (which will allow the nitrogen to escape).

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Nitrogen Bubbles

  • Niner
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Quick change in pressure from high pressure to low. It's called "the bends," and it results from the tendency for nitrogen to dissolve in the bloodstream and body tissues at high pressures - like if you are diving. When the pressure returns to normal, the nitrogen dissolves. This isn't a problem if you decompress slowly, but if you decompress too quickly, bubbles will form and cause serious health issues. They can form anywhere - skin, central nervous system, joints - and it can kill you if it is severe.

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