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SCUBA-L  September 1999, Week 4

SCUBA-L September 1999, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Question: Oxygen Toxicity

From:

"Reef Fish (Large Nassau Grouper)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Sep 1999 09:33:28 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (105 lines)

At 09:49 PM 9/22/99 +1000, Strike wrote:
>On 22 September 1999 21:05, Huw Porter wrote:
>
>> A question (actually two) related to long thread on enriched air and
>depth.
>>
>> a)  If a diver in an emergency at depth switched to a too-high-PPO2 mix,
>> would the effects of oxygen toxicity kick in immediately or is there a
>> brief period of 'grace' - and if the latter, what factors influence this?
>
>Hi, Huw!  That's a 'Six-Million Dollar' question!  And the answer is:
>Yes/No - and more factors than wot you can poke a stick at! :-)  (As far as
>I'm aware there's still no formula for predicting when, where or why a 'hit'
>will happen!  It's been suggested that CO2 build-up; diet; fitness;
>emotional state; water temperature; work-load, etc. all play a role.)
 
Excellent reply!   PERFECT SCORE!!   :-)
 
>The easiest answer is to say that even in the same individual, it varies
>from day to day and situation to situation!  In terms of trialing it until
>your luck runs out, it's probably on a par with Russian Roulette - with
>three chambers loaded!  :-)
 
Very good answer, but not perfect.  :-)
 
That's where those who DID it can contribute to SOME KNOWLEDGE as
opposed to armchair theorizing assuming (the false PREMISE <G>) that
when the luck runs out (and O2 tox hit) that the person croaks from
the Russian Roulette bulletin of which there is no known survive to
tell what happened.
 
So, I'll amend a few words to the PERFECT point below:
 
>even in the same individual, it varies
>from day to day and situation to situation!
 
Here are a few examples of FACTS:
 
1.   Sheck Exley (prior to his ultimate dive which took his life)
     survived many O2-tox hits during his various ultra-deep dives.
 
2.   Dan Manion, the current world depth record holder of open-circuit
     air scuba (525 ffw), has had O2-tox hits during his practice
     dives, including temporary loss of vision (which he said scared
     the sh*t out of him), but otherwise had no DCI hits of any kind
     (when he surfaced) on any of his hundreds of dives below 300 fsw.
 
As for the danger of drowing from losing the reg from the mouth when
O2-tox hit (which is the most often cited danger), that is very easy
to prevent, even if the diver becomes unconcious.  Dan Manion, on
his ultra deep dives, always has his reg (tied to surgical tubes)
securely fastened to his mouth so that sh*t can hit the fan and
kill him OTHER WAYS, but he always had the reg in his mouth!  :-)
 
So, while Strike has properly answered all the substance behind
Huw Porter's question(s), I've added my reply pertinent to the
question of 'grace', by citing examples from those who have "been
there; done that" -- that while the ONSET of an O2-tox can be
sudden and without warning, it not NOT quite the case that you
DIE if you're O2-tox hit, and "drowning from reg falling from
mouth" is perhaps the most-easily-preventable of the consequences.
 
 
All of the above is NOT by any means to say or imply an minimization
of trivialization of the EXTREME DANGER of RISKING an O2-tox hit.
 
I never make moral or risk judgments about what OTHERS do or don't
do, so long as they put ONLY THEIR OWN lives on the line.
 
But to me, it IS important to present the FACTS, however little
those facts are, when such facts are known, from those who HAD
such experiences and lived to tell about them!   :-)
 
So, this is definitely NOT meant to initiate any flamewars on the
deep-air subject (which I DEEPLY <pun intended :-)> loathe),
consistent with my other sermons of "self responsibility".
 
 
>> b)  Does oxygen narcosis relieve immediately on ascent to an appropriate
>> depth in the same way that nitrogen narcosis does?
>
>In the case of oxygen toxicity, (in the case of O2, it's toxicity - not
>narcosis!), it usually requires longer convalescence (Sp?) time - if you're
>fortunate enough to survive!
 
Again, a slight amendment to the above statement -- in Exley's and
Manion's cases, there does seem to have the SIMILAR effect of relief on
ascent.  In Dan Manion's cases, I learned first-hand from him that
his convulsion (and temporary loss of vision) dissipated when he
reached shallower depths (PPO2 1.6? <G>).   HOWEVER, in his cases,
one must keep in mind that he BOUNCES were as rapid as POSSIBLE to
the ultra depths so that there is very little O2 to "offgas" so to
speak.  AFAIK, he had no residual symptom of a "hit" as soon as
he got back to the boat.
 
Exley's O2-tox were obviously of a different type, because he had
37 stage bottles <G> on his famous 1998 record dive at Naciemiento
del Rio Mante cave in Tamaulipus, Mexico;  and his other ultra
deep (mixed air) dives.
 
Kids, if you wanna try any of these in your backyard, do it within
0.05 PPO2!   :-)
 
-- Bob.

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