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Astma attack under water

Discussion in 'Ask Dr. Decompression' started by Pam and Stella, Dec 11, 2000.

  1. Pam and Stella

    Pam and Stella Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Newport Beach
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    It's interesting when I dive to see all of the unfit people
    killing themselves to get in their wetsuits,men as well as women,huffing and puffing like an asthmatic. The cigarette smokers taking the last long toke,the partiers talking of their killer hangovers, the eggmcmuffin munchers, whom look like they are ready to give birth to flipper, or perhaps Orca.Not to forget our fuzzy lovable potheads,or our surly
    cokefiend diving buddys we jump with. Many people one stroke
    away from a stroke! In a nation as unfit as ours,asthma is just one condition to be seriously addressed. It's frightning to dive with any stranger because you don't know their fitness level, mental as well as physical.
     
  2. Dr Deco

    Dr Deco Medical Moderator Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Issaquah [20 miles east of Seattle], Washington.
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    Dear Readers:

    [sp]As an addition to the comments by Pam, I am always surprised when this above-described population of divers desires to know what type of dive computer they should purchase so they can increase their bottom time. :nono:
    [sp]Again, just another time bomb - - - with a short fuse! :boom:
     
  3. AllenP

    AllenP Guest

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    Pam

    I guess I am a little late reading this thread. Hopefully, you already know what a peak flow meter is and are using one.

    If not, a peak flow meter (about $25) measures your ability to exhale. You should use one to monitor your condition. First you determine your 100 percent level while taking a course of steroids. If you are not taking a course of prednisone or some other cortisone-type steroid, your 100% level will not be valid. Then, you test yourself (at least daily) by exhaling forcefully into the device's mouthpiece.

    Based on your 100% level, you determine your "green zone", "yellow zone", and "red zone". Then working with your Doctor, a plan of action is established for times when you fall out of your "green zone".

    If you monitor your readings often trouble with asthma can be predicted ahead of time. Most people only record readings when they drop out of the "green zone". And, in the case of a diver, you would be LESS LIKELY to be surprised by an attack.

    Of course there are still no guarantees, but at least you are aware of your day-to-day status.

    I do not have asthma. I really don't know if I would dive if I did. As the doctors have already warned you, there is a risk of areas of trapped gas in your lungs that could lead to lung barotrauma, including air emboli. Asthma is an inflammation of the lungs, and increased mucus from this inflammation can be present in the airways even when your breathing seems fine.

    One thing I am certain of is that if I did dive with asthma I would use a peak flow meter, I would know my "personal best" reading (100% reading), and would NEVER dive if I was not close to 100% on the peak flow meter.

    I would also not dive unless I could be controlled without the use of albuterol. I expect some people will disagree with this last statement, but I keep thinking about those air emboli...

    PS:
    1) I am not a doctor
    2) I cast one more vote for spell check

     
  4. AllenP

    AllenP Guest

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  5. raffles

    raffles Angel Fish

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    Hi Pam came on a little late but would like to remind you that telling your DM would definitely be a good idea. I live in Belize if you need any help just e-mail me. Same for anyone else out there.

    Raffles
     

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