[abstract] IMPROVED PULMONARY FUNCTION IN WORKING DIVERS BREATHING NITROX AT SHALLOW DEPTHS

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[abstract] IMPROVED PULMONARY FUNCTION IN WORKING DIVERS BREATHING NITROX AT SHALLOW DEPTHS

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Title: [abstract] IMPROVED PULMONARY FUNCTION IN WORKING DIVERS BREATHING NITROX AT SHALLOW DEPTHS
Author: Fitzpatrick, DT; Conkin, J
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: There is limited data about the long-term pulmonary effects of nitrox use in divers at shallow depths. This study examined changes in pulmonary function in a cohort of working divers breathing a 46 percent oxygen enriched mixture while diving at depths less than 12 meters. METHODS: A total of 43 working divers from the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), NASA/Johnson Space Center completed a questionnaire providing information on diving history prior to NBL employment, diving history outside the NBL since employment, and smoking history. Cumulative dive hours were obtained from the NBL dive-time database. Medical records were reviewed to obtain the diver's height, weight and pulmonary function measurements from initial pre-dive, first year and third year annual medical examinations. RESULTS: The initial forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) were greater than predicted, 104percent and 102percent respectively. After three years of diving at the NBL, both the FVC and FEV1 showed a significant (p less than 0.01) increase of 6.3percent and 5.5percent respectively. There were no significant changes in peak expiratory flow (PEF), forced mid-expiratory flow rate (FEF25-75percent), and forced expiratory flow rates at 25percent, 50percent, and 75percent of FVC expired (FEF25percent, FEF50percent, FEF75percent). Cumulative NBL dive hours was the only contributing variable found to be significantly associated with both FVC and FEV1 at one and three years. CONCLUSIONS: NBL divers initially belong to a select group with larger than predicted lung volumes. Regular diving with nitrox at shallow depths over a three-year period did not impair pulmonary function. Improvements in FVC and FEV1 were primarily due to a training effect.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/1273
Date: 2003

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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