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Paranoid of getting the Bends

Discussion in 'Near Misses & Lessons Learned' started by banjoman1948, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. mkutyna

    mkutyna NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: FL
  2. PCBCaptChris

    PCBCaptChris Captain

  3. banjoman1948

    banjoman1948 Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: The Villages, FL
    I had a cardiac catheterization done in 2005 to check the arteries going to the heart since heart disease runs in my family. It also showed blood flow within the atrium. The report never mentioned anything about a PFO.

    I think the stress of the long drive to Jupiter and pushing the limits of my no-deco dives on air contributed a lot to the symptoms. It may not have been DCS but it sure scared the beegeemers outa me. Maybe I should look into Nitrox.
  4. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    One reason around 25% of all divers have PFO's, is that they are very hard to discover medically, without a VERY SPECIFIC test...a test which is also quite expensive and uncomfortable. And of course, dive shops and training agencies would not be particularly thrilled to suddenly loose 1/4 of their business if PFO testing became mandatory, and people with PFO's were not allowed to scuba dive....and actually, this would destroy much more than just the 1/4 of present dive population, since the cost of the testing would be so high( not to mention the uncomfortable testing), that they might actually loose another 25% to 50% of new divers --this would put most dive shops out of business, along with most of the dive industry, so figure the "dirty little secret" of the PFO will stay with diving for many years to come.
    Meanwhile, it would be crazy NOT to assume you have a PFO, given your present history.
  5. banjoman1948

    banjoman1948 Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: The Villages, FL
    Is the test you're referring to called a Transesophageal echocardiography? From the info I got from the above web site, this test involves swallowing a flexible tube with a recording device that captures ultrasound images. This is the best test for detecting a patent foramen ovale.

    This doesn't sound too uncomfortable.
  6. james223

    james223 New

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dutchess County, New York
    Hello, I have had similar experinces over the last few years. If you had DCS symptoms then you must accept the fact that you got bent. The only way to diagnos the bends for sure is if the symptoms are relieved when you get treated in a chamber. On sept 30 of 2007 I took a hit and went to the chamber for the second time in 2 years. The dives I got Bent on were perfect dives without any problems.
    I went to a cardiologist and was tested for a PFO and I had one. ON March 11 this year it was repaired . The procedure was simple only medically invasive.
    The repair consist of a cathether in your femoral vein that goes up threw your inferior venacava in to your right atria. They place a seal threw the PFO that opens up on the left side of your septum in your left atria. When they pull the cath back out the seal also opens on the right side causing a sandwich keeping the PFO flap closed.after 6 weeks the the heart tissue grows over the mesh seal closing the PFO permanently. You spend 1 day in the hosp and take plavix for 90 days and asprin for 6 months. You can be back in the water in 3 months.
  7. nereas

    nereas Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Expat Floridian travelling in the Land of Eternal
    This is another example of why diving deeper than 50 ft should be with nitrox.

    And if the boat does not offer nitrox, you should be on a different boat.

    And also if you are not certified for nitrox you should get the training, or else stay shallower than 50 ft. Particularly if you plan to dive repetitively while deeper than 50 ft.
  8. jpesq1

    jpesq1 Guest

    Please do yourself a favor and get checked for PFO. If you look at some of the posts on the e diver list there is a pretty good discussion of this problem. It affects one out of four people and many unexplained diver deaths are probably attributable to it.
  9. Noboundaries

    Noboundaries Contributor

    Marked for future reference.
  10. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    Even without a PFO, some dive tables are a bit aggressive for the average diver.

    US Navy tables were originally developed on a test population of male navy divers with an average age of 23. Even at that the acceptable hit rate was around 1% on deco dives and rose to 4% on repetetive dives. Navy tables were the rule when I started diving, but no one dove them aggressively. Out of recognition that they were not intended to be 100% safe when pushed to the limits and when used for repetitive divind, you added some safety margin by not diving square profiles and using the next greatest depth and/or next greatest time. In the mid eighties recreational versions of the tables got updated with reduced NDL's based on doppler ultrasound testing.

    Dive computers for the most part use even shorter NDL's as ever dive is in effect a square profile with a dive computer.

    I noted that when I had a heavy dive weekend with a computer - perhpas 6-8 dives total over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, that I would have flu like symptoms and body aches on Monday morning and often a headache on Monday or during the weekend. Diving my computer more conservatively and even better adding a AL 30 od 50% for a deep stop, slow ascent and safety stop along with drinking a lot more water during the weekend left me feeling normal on Monday morning.

    The problem I find at 43 is separating normal aches and pains from a very active and physical weekend from sub clinical DCS. I find it helps to take inventory of what aches and what does not before and after a dive and to also keep new aches in perspective with a comparison to the aches and pains I'd get climbing, hiking or cross country skiiing on a non diving weekend.

    In my experience headaches are more likely to be caused by dehydration and/or from CO2 retention. Keep yourself well hydrated and don't attempt to stretch your gas by pushing longer than you should between inhaling and exhaling. Being dehydrated also increases your risk of DCS so staying hydrated has a double benefit.

    So hydrate well, dive conservatively with a deep stop at 1/2 max depth for a minute or two, a slow ascent and a nice long relaxed end to the dive at 15-20 ft. Using nitrox while diving air tables will also build in some conservatism. During a week long dive trip, it is not a bad idea to take Wednesday off to just off gas and see the sights.

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