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Decompression from Saturation Dives,
DUKE UNIV MEDICAL CENTER DURHAM N C F G HALL LAB FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
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During the early 1970s, about 20 helium-oxygen man-exposures were conducted at Duke University to depths of 720 to 1000 fsw for bottom times up to 4 hours. Decompression took place on a modified Buhlmann scheldule with an inspired oxygen partial pressure P102 of 0.8 ATM. Decompression sickness was rare, but pulmonary oxygen toxicity forced a reduction in P102 to 0.6 ATM. In subsequent dives at this lower P102 with the same schedule, there was an increase in the incidence of decompression sickness, and it was found necessary to use slower rates of ascent. Variations in the oxygen partial pressure were observed to have similar effects in England during the mid-1970s at the Royal Navy Physiological Laboratory Vorosmarti, Hanson, and Banard 1978. Decompression schedules for saturation dives to 180 meters and deeper were found to cause bends when the oxygen partial pressure was 0.22 ATM. The same or similar schedules were safe, however, when the oxygen partial pressure was raised to 0.4 ATM.
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