Pulmonary fitness to dive.

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Title: Pulmonary fitness to dive.
Author: Francis, TJR
Abstract: Determining pulmonary fitness to dive is not a scientific process. While it may be possible to make an informed judgment on the likely effect of diving on pre-existing disease, predicting the risk of diving diseases caused by pre-existing disease is not yet possible with confidence. This is because our understanding of the pathogenesis of the major diving diseases, decompression illness (DCI) and pulmonary barotrauma (PBT), is incomplete. The situation is made more difficult because even measurement of the principle function of the lung and circulation, aerobic capacity, is poorly standardised outside physiology laboratories and there is no agreed aerobic standard for diving. The determination of pulmonary fitness to dive therefore relies upon the physician being able to make a reasonable assessment of the physical fitness of the candidate and be aware of what is known about the causes of PBT and DCI. From this baseline a judgment can be made. The conditions that should preclude diving include: those with intrinsic or poorly controlled asthma or asthmatics with a reduced peak flow; recent spontaneous pneumothorax; bullous disease detected on chest X-ray and significant lung parenchymal or pleural scarring.
Description: Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/7747
Date: 2001

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