[abstract] TANK BLACKOUT

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Title: [abstract] TANK BLACKOUT
Author: Strauss, MB; Aksenov, IV; Lewis, AJ
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In researching material for the differential diagnosis of blackout associated with diving in preparation to writing the textbook Diving Science, the first two authors came upon an unusual cause, namely tank blackout. This presentation is generated to help complete the spectrum of causes of blackout conditionMATERIALS AND METHODS: A Medline search and review of major textbooks and papers and clinical experience reveal that there is sound chemical and physiological bases for the occurrence of tank blackout. RESULTS: If moisture is allowed to remain in a scuba tank, the oxygen in the air in the tank will be lowered as this gas is utilized in the oxidation reaction of the metal. If enough oxygen is utilized, the gas in the tank can become a hypoxic mixture and lead to loss of consciousness while SCUBA diving. Since retention of carbon dioxide with open circuit scuba is unlikely, consciousness can be lost without "air hunger" warning symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Although tank blackout is a rare occurrence, it should be considered and remains a strong motivating factor for not completely depleting the air supply in the SCUBA tank (which may make it possible for moisture to enter). Additionally, it is advisable to have yearly visual inspections of the tank and maintain adequate pressures in the tank (to minimize condensation) when storing a tank for extended periods of time.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/3729
Date: 2006

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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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