[abstract] WARM WATER DIVING: PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS AS A FUNCTION OF BODY TEMPERATURE.

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[abstract] WARM WATER DIVING: PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS AS A FUNCTION OF BODY TEMPERATURE.

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Title: [abstract] WARM WATER DIVING: PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS AS A FUNCTION OF BODY TEMPERATURE.
Author: Long, ET; Liberatore, TC
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Recent U.S. Navy diving operations in equatorial waters has raised concern about the safety of conducting combat diving operations in these warm waters. NEDU conducted a series of diving experiments to determine a divers maximum exposure time in waters at temperatures between 94 F and 101.5 F wearing various standard USN diver dress. MATERIALS and METHODS: This study used heat acclimated divers, who continuously pedaled an underwater cycle ergometer while wearing various diver dress. Dress ranged from swim-suited divers, to divers wearing dry suits. Additionally a series of dives were performed utilizing a commercially available "cooling suit" to determine if diver exposure time could be increased. Comparisons were made for each diver between various dress and water temperature combinations. Measurements were made of oxygen consumption, rectal temperature (core temperature), diver endurance (physical performance and cognitive testing both wet and dry), blood and urine chemistry, as well as general diver symptoms of heat stress. All divers were required to complete a "verification" dive of four hours at a non-thermally stressful temperature (completed wearing swim trunks and a cotton T-shirt). This demonstrated that the divers conditioning program was sufficient to allow the diver to sustain 4 hours of aerobic underwater work and was used as the baseline for comparison of all other dive conditions. RESULTS: The below figure shows a comparison of rectal temperature during dives made by one diver at 94 F and 96.5 F wearing a dry suit, and at 96.5 F wearing a dry suit and cooling suit combination against the verification dive. The use of a "cooling suit" may represent the best possibility for extending diver "stay-time" in warm waters. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these studies general guidelines were generated which seem to fit well with field studies and measurements made with operational military units. As a result diving operations planners now have a set of guidelines upon which to base actual diver exposure times.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/936
Date: 2001

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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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