Recreational sport diving is becoming an increasingly popular sport for women. Women now comprise approximately 25% of the diving community according to Divers Alert Network statistics. In the diving literature it has been stated that women are at a greater risk for decompression sickness than men. Most of these statements were derived from high-altitude (hypobaric environment) studies rather than from a scuba diving (hyperbaric) environment. Data from the naval diving and salvage training center were analyzed, and it was found that women are not more susceptible to decompression sickness than men during dives between 4 and 10 atmospheres. More specific studies on sport diving should be completed on factors contributing to underwater decompression sickness in both men and women.
Jacalyn J. Robert
Kay Tetzlaff, Holger Schöppenthau and Jochen D. Schipke
It has been widely believed that tissue nitrogen uptake from the lungs during breath-hold diving would be insufficient to cause decompression stress in humans. With competitive free diving, however, diving depths have been ever increasing over the past decades.
A case is presented of a competitive free-diving athlete who suffered stroke-like symptoms after surfacing from his last dive of a series of 3 deep breath-hold dives. A literature and Web search was performed to screen for similar cases of subjects with serious neurological symptoms after deep breath-hold dives.
A previously healthy 31-y-old athlete experienced right-sided motor weakness and difficulty speaking immediately after surfacing from a breathhold dive to a depth of 100 m. He had performed 2 preceding breath-hold dives to that depth with surface intervals of only 15 min. The presentation of symptoms and neuroimaging findings supported a clinical diagnosis of stroke. Three more cases of neurological insults were retrieved by literature and Web search; in all cases the athletes presented with stroke-like symptoms after single breath-hold dives of depths exceeding 100 m. Two of these cases only had a short delay to recompression treatment and completely recovered from the insult.
This report highlights the possibility of neurological insult, eg, stroke, due to cerebral arterial gas embolism as a consequence of decompression stress after deep breath-hold dives. Thus, stroke as a clinical presentation of cerebral arterial gas embolism should be considered another risk of extreme breath-hold diving.
Frédéric Lemaître, Daniel Carturan, Claire Tourny-Chollet and Bernard Gardette
Doppler ultrasonic detection of circulating venous bubbles after a scuba dive is a useful index of decompression safety in adults, since a relationship between bubbles and the risk of decompression sickness has been documented. No study, however, has investigated circulating venous bubbles in young recreational divers after their usual dives. The aim of this study was to determine whether these bubbles would be detected in children who performed a single dive without any modification in their diving habits. Ten young recreational divers (13.1 ± 2.3 years) performed their usual air dive. They were Doppler-monitored 20 min before the dive (12 ± 3 m for 26 ± 7 min) and for 60 min after surfacing, at 20-min intervals. No circulating venous bubbles were detected after the children surfaced. The results showed that during a usual shallow diving session, venous bubbles were not detected in children.
Eric D.B. Goulet, Adrien De La Flore, Félix A. Savoie and Jonathan Gosselin
al., 2009 ), decrease the risk of decompression sickness in divers ( Gempp et al., 2009 ), and when used on a day-to-day basis, slow or neutralize bone density loss in hypokinetic subjects ( Zorbas et al., 1991 ). An optimal hyperhydration solution should be rapidly integrated into the body fluid pool