[abstract] FATIGUE AND PERFORMANCE MAINTENANCE IN U.S. NAVY SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVERS

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[abstract] FATIGUE AND PERFORMANCE MAINTENANCE IN U.S. NAVY SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVERS

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Title: [abstract] FATIGUE AND PERFORMANCE MAINTENANCE IN U.S. NAVY SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVERS
Author: Littlejohn, LF; Muller, MS
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Both physical and cognitive fatigue have been shown to be causal factors in numerous mishaps involving loss of life or permanent disability. This scenario has spanned multiple operational fields, including diving. All U.S. Military branches utilize a formal fatigue countermeasures/performance maintenance program in their aviation communities. As operational tempo continues to increase on a 24/7 global battlefield for Navy Special Operations divers, an assessment of their exposure to fatigue, its impact on performance, and a program to maintain performance under high stress conditions, is crucial to the safety and success of this group's missioMATERIALS AND METHODS: One Hundred surveys of US Navy EOD technicians and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Divers deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and engaged in either Antiterrorism/Force Protection Diving or IED defeat, were distributed and collated for various markers of fatiguRESULTS: Nearly all Techs and Divers had experienced continuous operations of greater than 18 hours during a workday. The average number of missions of this length per individual over a 6 month deployment was 7.4. Significant sleep difficulty, defined as an average of less than 6 hours per night, was experienced in over half of all survey respondents, leading to accumulation of sleep debt. Additionally, all survey respondents experienced significant circadian shift problems during the first 10 days of the deploymenCONCLUSIONS: Fatigue is a major factor in the performance of any individual. Navy Special Operations Divers are exposed to significant fatigue without the benefit of a formal performance maintenance program. A "mission requirements"-driven program should be developed that addresses this problem. Further research on the additive effects of fatigue and increased partial pressure of nitrogen needs to be performed to assess the performance decrements that are likely experienced by Navy Divers engaged in repetitive Force Protection dives.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/3764
Date: 2006

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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