Decompression Sickness and Deep Air Diving
NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT
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The overall incidence rate of decompression sickness among U.S. Navy divers is consistently well below one- tenth of one percent, a figure which is among the lowest in any diving organization in the world. This very low incidence rate at tests not only to the safety of the Navys decompression schedules but also to the manner in which diving operations are conducted in the Fleet. However, decompression sickness casualties do occur, and we have the responsibility for examining such accidents in order to determine the possible explanations for them and to devise methods to prevent similar accidents in the future. The vast majority of Navy dives over 97 percent utilize air as the breathing medium and are conducted at relatively shallow depths. Approximately 97 percent of all air dives are to depths shallower than 150 feet of sea water, gauge fswg. By contrast, the majority of decompression sickness casualties occur in deeper dives. If air dives to 150 fswg and deeper are compared to air dives shallower than 150 fswg, the incidence of decompression sickness in the deeper dives is more than ten times that seen in the shallower dives.
- Stress Physiology
- Submarine Engineering