Predicting performance in competitive apnea diving. Part III: deep diving.

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Predicting performance in competitive apnea diving. Part III: deep diving.

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Title: Predicting performance in competitive apnea diving. Part III: deep diving.
Author: Schagatay, E
Abstract: The first of these reviews described the physiological factors defining the limits of static apnea, while the second examined performance in apneic distance swimming. This paper reviews the factors determining performance in depth disciplines, where hydrostatic pressure is added to the stressors associated with apnea duration and physical work. Apneic duration is essential for performance in all disciplines, and is prolonged by any means that increases gas storage or tolerance to asphyxia or reduces metabolic rate. For underwater distance swimming, the main challenge is to restrict metabolism despite the work of swimming, and to redirect blood flow to allow the most vital functions. Here, work economy, local tissue energy and oxygen stores, anaerobic capacity of the muscles, and possibly technical improvements will be essential for further development. In the depth disciplines, direct pressure effects causing barotrauma, the narcotic effects of gases, decompression sickness (DCS) and possibly air embolism during ascent need to be taken into account, as does the risk of hypoxia when the dive cannot be rapidly interrupted before the surface is reached again. While in most deep divers apneic duration is not the main limitation thus far, greater depths may call for exceptionally long apneas and slower ascents to avoid DCS. Narcotic effects may also affect the ultimate depth limit, which the divers currently performing 'constant weight with fins' dives predict to be around 156 metres' sea water. To reach these depths, serious physiological challenges have to be met, technical developments needed and safety procedures developed concomitantly.
Description: The Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (Incorporated in Victoria) A0020660B and the European Underwater and Baromedical Society
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10371
Date: 2011

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