Observed decompression sickness and venous bubbles following 18-msw dive profiles using RN Table 11
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionUndersea & Hyperbaric Medicine. 2017, 44 (3), 211-219. 10.22462/5.6.2017.2
The venous bubble load in the body after diving may be used to infer risk of decompression sickness (DCS). Retrospective analysis of post-dive bubbling and DCS was made on seven studies. Each of these investigated interventions, using an 18 meters of sea water (msw) air dive profile from Royal Navy Table 11 (Mod Air Table), equivalent to the Norwegian Air tables. A recent neurological DCS case suggested this table was not safe as thought. Two-hundred and twenty (220) man-dives were completed on this profile. Bubble measurements were made following 219 man-dives, using Doppler or 2D ultrasound measurements made on the Kisman-Masurel and Eftedal-Brubakk scales, respectively. The overall median grade was KM/EB 0.5 and the overall median maximum grade was KM/EB 2. Two cases of transient shoulder discomfort (“niggles”) were observed (0.9% (95% CL 0.1% – 3.3%)) and were treated with surface oxygen. One dive, for which no bubble measurements were made, resulted in a neurological DCS treated with hyperbaric oxygen. The DCS risk of this profile is below that predicted by models, and comparison of the cumulative incidence of DCS of these data to the large dataset compiled by DCIEM [1, 2], show that the incidence is lower than might be expected.