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aeroembolism nitrogen or air bubbles in the bloodstream, caused by severe decompression, surgery, or injury, and resulting in severe pain and sometimes convulsions; bends; decompression sickness; caisson disease.
the bends (used with a sing. or pl. verb) a serious, sometimes fatal condition of divers who ascend too rapidly, resulting from the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream; decompression sickness.