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Health Matters
movement is required when
nitrogen effects on a 50m dive
use of 100 per cent oxygen
comfortably seated in the as a medicament is the catch
chamber and you are more likely here as it comes with risks
to maintain a resting heart and and side-effects which do not
breathing rate, which reduces justify the questionable benefits
the nitrogen uptake significantly. of a ‘nitrogen washout’ as a
so, looking at this model, even preventative measure. such
the smallest of symptoms of side-effects of oxygen I explore in
nitrogen narcosis within chamber health Matters (BluE Issue one).
conditions would be much
more pronounced in the water. dive guides and instructors
What this tells us clearly is that with high residual nitrogen
a single successful deep dive in saturation are not suffering from
decompression chamber is not a decompression sickness nor are
free-ticket to perform this in open they hyperbaric patients. No diver
water. needs a washout unless they have
the symptoms indicating the need
Nitrogen washout
to undergo a chamber dive. Would
anyone take antibiotics in the
warning
absence of an infection?
dive professionals will often
undergo a ‘nitrogen washout’
in the chamber, also known as
The verdict
‘nitrogen clean-up’. divers will be
chamber dives with oxygen (hBoT
given hyperbaric oxygen sessions
– hyperbaric oxygen Therapy
or treatment to clear their bodies
Treatment) are an effective
of excess nitrogen. This usually
method to cure various diseases
involves a chamber dive with
including the decompression
one or several cycles of 100 per cent oxygen inhaled through a mask
sickness and air embolism in divers. Beside that, chamber dives are
– usually conducted between 6m and 15m.
performed for diver training (according to strict guidelines), testing of
dive equipment, dive medical diagnostics and investigations.
The Maximum operating depth (Mod) during a hyperbaric session
does not adhere strictly to the usual scuba diving recommendations,
If a diver wants to undertake a chamber dive: just for the experience;
as oxygen in this case is used as a ‘medicament’ and must only be
to overcome the fear of a decompression chamber; or even just for
applied under the strict supervision and attendance of a hyperbaric
the fun, it should be performed only to a shallow depth without
specialist.
oxygen.
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