THE RELATIONSHIP OF SCUBA DIVING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AVIATORS' DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS.
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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The additional decrease in ambient pressure which occurs when a compressed air diver flies in an aircraft within a short time after diving may be sufficient to precipitate decompression sickness, even though the dive itself was in accordance with the U. S. Navy decompression tables. The current practice by both military and civilian divers of using air transportation after compressed air diving suggests the need for specific instructions regarding the decompression required before flying after diving. In order to quantitate the importance of this problem, an experiment was designed in which large dogs were exposed to compressed air for 7 hours at their no-bends pressure threshold as determined after the method of Reeves and Beckman. After pressurization, the animals were decompressed within 2-3 minutes to sea level. A sea level decompression interval of 1, 3, 6, or 12 hours was given prior to further decompression to a simulated altitude of 10,000 feet. The incidence of decompression sickness at altitude was 92.9 for the 1 hour surface decompression interval, 30 for the 3 hour interval, 27.8 for the 6 hour interval and 0 for the 12 hour interval. From these large animal studies it may be postulated that a surface decompression interval of at least 12 hours should be allowed before flying after compressed air diving of a depth and duration to require the use of diving tables.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology
- Life Support Systems