Dangers of Marine Life

Dive teams operate in the water environment, and because of this they must understand and respect it. Man can never conquer the ocean, anyone believing he can has no business on a dive rescue team. Only by working with the sea, can one strive to be one with the sea. By comprehending its flow and […]

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Basics of a Dive Accident

The two most serious dive related accidents are Air Embolism (arterial gas embolism), and Decompression Sickness (venous gas embolism). Heart attack, CVA, drowning, trauma, etc. are not diving accidents, though they may be aggravated by the act of diving. Consider all pressure related accidents as directly related to diving, and all other situations as whatever […]

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Recompression

There are two basic classes of diving emergency requiring recompression, air embolism (arterial gas embolism) and the Bends (decompression sickness). Air embolism is the most dangerous diving accident, and is an extreme medical emergency requiring immediate recompression. When a diving accident takes place, and recompression is required, the victim should be transported to a chamber. […]

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Decompression Sickness (The Bends)

Due to the gas laws that effect the diver he cannot go to any depth whenever he pleases. Almost everyone has heard of ”THE BENDS” from old movies and T.V. shows. The picture of the hard hat diver coming up in pain, in a storm, to have a cigarette before going back down to re-compress […]

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Air Embolism (Arterial Gas Embolism, AGE)

When a diver’s airway is shut on ascent the expanding air in the lungs can provoke a rupture of the alveoli, thereby causing air to move into the arteries. The expression arterial gas embolism (AGE) better describes the action than the general term air embolism, and is pulmonary barotrauma following voluntary breath holding, or a […]

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Nitrogen Narcosis

Air contains approximately 78% nitrogen, when it is compressed and breathed under pressure the elevated partial pressure (Dalton’s Law) of nitrogen can have a narcotic type effect. Physiologically inert under normal conditions nitrogen can induce an anesthesia effect at raised pressures. How this effect occurs, is comparable to the way anesthesia gases operate, which is […]

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Subcutaneous Emphysema

Subcutaneous emphysema denotes air under the skin. It is typically seen in divers around the neck. In mild cases it may not even be noticed. When suffering form it the diver may feel a fullness around the neck, and have difficulty swallowing. There may be a noticeable swelling in the affected area. When palpating the […]

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Mediastinal Emphysema

Mediastinal emphysema is the result of gas expanding into the tissues in the center of the chest. Symptoms include mild to moderate pain in the center of the chest. Often depicted as, a dull ache, or feeling of tightness. This discomfort becomes worse with deep inhalation and may radiate to the neck, back or shoulder. […]

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Oxygen Poisoning

Oxygen at an elevated partial pressure may have a toxic effect. Surplus oxygen affects the central nervous system (CNS) or the pulmonary system during extended exposure, as in medical therapy. Ordinary air is 21% oxygen at 1 ATM, or sea level with a pressure of 3.09 psi (Dalton’s Law 21% of 14.7 = 3.09). Oxygen […]

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Field Expedient First Aid

When operating without a first aid kit, or caught with more victims than your kit can provide for, you can use items you already have. The diving mask can be used as a small splint or sling. All divers should carry knives for cutting, but if needed the glass of a mask may be used. […]

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