Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat
Have you READ that article? It certainly seems that one would be extremely unlikely to survive an explosive decompression to ZERO pressure without some kind of pressure suit.
Actually, I see that I read
Explosive Decompression and Vacuum Exposure
and then posted the URL for a different web page on the same site. That was an error on my part.
Czarnik's paper raises a lot of good issues. I like that he quantifies the overpressure needed to cause lung damage. Since he cites two cases of survivors of explosive decompression, it is apparent that the lung damage is not necessarily always as severe as he describes. That seems to indicate that not all cases of explosive decompression will cause the worst-case condition.
Actually, this effect
Though these are the most life-threatening changes seen in ebullism, subcutaneous swelling is also seen, due to creation of water vapor under the skin (19). This can rapidly distend the body to twice its normal volume (20). Our patient will look no better than he feels, though this means little in terms of survival."
is pretty dramatic, though he fails to quantify "rapid" and I have not been able to find any other online sources that can give a time. I found a few descriptions of decompression accidents that did not mention the effect, so maybe it takes a minute or more before you start to see the swelling. Would that be "rapid"?