Pronunciation: (âr"ō-em'bu-liz"um), [key]
1. an obstruction of the circulatory system caused by air, as may arise during surgery.
2. Also called the bends, caisson disease, decompression sickness. an acute condition caused by a rapid substantial decrease in atmospheric pressure, as in high-altitude flying and coming up from deep-sea diving, characterized by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood, severe pain in the lungs and joints, and neurological impairment.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.