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DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS AMONG U. S. NAVY OPERATIONAL DIVERS: AN ESTIMATE OF INCIDENCE USING AIR DECOMPRESSION TABLES
NAVY EXPERIMENTAL DIVING UNIT PANAMA CITY FL
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A liberal estimate of the incidence of decompression sickness in U. S. Navy operational diving was computed for years 1958, 1960, and 1961. A comparison was made between the incidence using the old U. S. Navy air decompression tables 1958 and the revised U. S. Navy air decompression tables 1960, 1961. Incidences were also computed for dives equal to or greater than 100 feet and less than 100 feet. Findings revealed that for the three years a total of 7625 dives were made resulting in 62 reported cases of decompression sickness for an incidence of 0.81 percent. Incidence for the old tables was 1. 10 percent versus 0.69 percent for the revised tables. Comparatively few dives of less than 100 feet required decompression, however, a somewhat higher incidence was found for these dives using the revised tables. The author gives a possible explanation for this apparent paradox. As a by-product of this study an incidence of 0.83 percent was noted when the U. S. Navy helium decompression tables were required.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE