Screening for oxygen sensitivity in U.S. Navy combat swimmers

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Screening for oxygen sensitivity in U.S. Navy combat swimmers

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Title: Screening for oxygen sensitivity in U.S. Navy combat swimmers
Author: Walters, KC; Gould, MT; Bachrach, EA; Butler Jr, FK
Abstract: The United States Naval Special Warfare Community uses oxygen tolerance testing to screen Navy combat swimmer candidates for sensitivity to the toxic effects of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2). Between 1976 and 1997, 6,250 oxygen-tolerance tests were performed at the Naval Special Warfare Center and Naval Special Warfare Group One. Our review of these data found only six episodes of O2 toxicity for an incidence of 0.096%, an incidence considerably lower than the rate of 1.9% reported in an earlier review using data from the Naval Safety Center. Additionally, we reviewed data from the Naval Safety Center from 1986 to 1997 and found only one episode of O2 toxicity among 157,930 LAR V dives. Many factors other than individual sensitivity to HBO2 may contribute to the occurrence of O2 toxicity episodes during combat swimmer operations. The authors conclude that O2 tolerance testing of U. S. Navy SEAL candidates is not a useful screening test and recommend discontinuation of this test.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: PMID: 10813436
http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/2358
Date: 2000

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