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By Edmonds, Carl

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Extra info for Diving and Subaquatic Medicine, Fourth edition

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This happens when divers operate from a pressurized compartment or underwater house. These conditions introduce complexities that require understanding of the physics involved. A diver operating in a high mountain lake is returning to a lower surface pressure than a diver at sea level. This decreases the pressure at which he is at while releasing inert gas after a dive, and so increases the tendency to form bubbles. Hence, he may need to modify his decompression plan. Another minor correction will be required if it is a fresh water lake.

The T waves often become tall and peaked. The question remains as to whether the diving response has any protective effect conserving oxygen in humans. htm) . . My heart, under direct control of the central nervous system begins a rapid slowdown. This diminution of my cardiac output is a result of the body's decreasing needs for oxygen and energy consumption. This efficiency in energy conservation is of vital importance for survival in the undersea environment while in a state of apnea. As an example, when I begin my preimmersion preparations my resting heart rate is 75 bpm, 10 minutes after entering a state of deep relaxation it drops, to 55 bpm.

Between underwater excursions the breath-hold diver is either: floating vertically in the water breathing atmospheric air against the pressure of the surrounding column of water; or swimming horizontally and breathing through a snorkel tube. Both of these circumstances have physiological consequences. Snorkel breathing is discussed in Chapter 4. Head-out immersion Depth limits Because a swimmer breaths air at 1 ATA, the pressure in the lungs must be also 1 ATA. However, the surrounding water pressure increases with depth so the chest is subject to a pressure greater than 1 ATA and this pressure is greater in the lower parts of the vertical lung.

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