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Scientific Diving and Safety Program Oversight. Language: Spanish Portuguese. Flying After Diving What would happen if the liveaboard or wreck divers flew home at an 8,foot cabin altitude immediately after diving? Per Boyle's Law, any bubbles would immediately expand by one-third, and additional bubble growth would occur as the dissolved nitrogen diffused into the bubbles from the surrounding tissue.

The risk of developing DCS in this situation is why divers are advised to wait at sea level after diving before they fly.

Altitude and Decompression Sickness

For recreational divers, the recommended minimum preflight surface intervals are 12 hours following a single no-decompression dive and 18 hours after multiple dives or multiple days of diving. More flexible guidelines are available in the U. Navy Diving Manual. Many dive computers predict and display when flying is deemed safe, although the methods used vary among computers.

Decompression and decompression sickness.

NASA has flying-after-diving procedures that use oxygen breathing during the preflight surface interval so astronauts can fly soon after underwater extravehicular activity EVA training in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at the Johnson Space Center Pollock and Fitzpatrick Diving at Altitude Diving at altitude is more complicated. Because of the lower atmospheric pressure, the relative difference between the atmospheric pressure and the pressure underwater is increased.

Thus, the impact of diving to any given depth is greater than it would be at sea level. For this reason altitude dives have shorter no-decompression times. While it is possible to compute separate tables for each altitude, testing such tables would be time consuming and expensive. A more common practice has been to apply empirical corrections to existing sea-level dive tables, such as the U. Navy tables. The most frequently used correction methods were described by E. Cross , To employ the "Cross corrections," multiply the planned depth of the altitude dive by the pressure at sea level divided by the pressure at altitude.

This "equivalent depth" will be deeper than the actual depth to compensate for the higher altitude. It can then be used in place of the actual depth with a normal dive table.


For example, in the U. Navy tables, if the actual depth is 60 feet and the altitude is 8, feet, the equivalent depth is The dive can then be planned with normal dive tables using an foot depth. If there are to be decompression stops, the stop depths must be corrected as well. To simplify this process, the U. Navy Diving Manual provides a correction table in which the equivalent depth in feet can be looked up for table depths in foot depth increments and 1,foot altitude increments.

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Below altitudes of feet, no adjustments to the standard sea-level tables are needed. The highest altitude in the U.

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Navy tables is 10, feet. Many dive computers have absolute pressure transducers and can be rezeroed for the surface pressure at altitude. Since depth gauges are really pressure gauges, there is no need to convert from feet of freshwater ffw in an altitude lake when using tables in feet of seawater fsw , but bear in mind that the actual depth below the surface in ffw will be greater than the depth in fsw displayed on the gauge. Most pneumatic depth gauges cannot be reset to zero at altitude and are not recommended for altitude diving.

If used, a correction of 1 foot per 1, feet of altitude should be added to pneumatic depth gauge readings. Decompression tables detail the time and pressures needed to do this safely.

Decompression Illness - Knowledge is your Best Protection –

The first decompression tables were developed by Haldane for the British Admiralty in Other tables have since been developed. Courtesy of the U. Many factors indicate that the OSHA decompression tables need updating. In the s, Dr. Eric Kindwall and Mr.

These new tables, known as the Edel-Kindwall Caisson Tables, underwent both lab and field testing. Section Navigation. On This Page.

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Third conference on U. Aviat Space Environ Med Kindwall EP. Undersea Hyper Med Kindwall E, Edel P []. Criteria for interim decompression tables for caisson and tunnel workers.