Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 01-17-2009, 09:02 AM   #1
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Default Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

In a previous post, I mentioned my buddy John (NO, the OTHER one!) had gotten bent, even though we both had the same profiles and the same computers (Captain by Cochran).

We are different in physical makeup as night and day. John stands over 6 ft tall and weighs over 250 lbs. I am 5' 7", and about 185 lbs. He smokes, I don't. He has a mostly desk job, I am outdoors working as a Rigger (currently looking for work - hint, hint).

On the day he got bent, the only major variance was his holding of a 6 lb lead weight he found on the bottom, which he toted in his left hand (wouldn't fit in BC pocket). We made the one dive to 80 ft for 30 mins, but when we came up, he complained about his left arm being numb. Thinking it was just from holding the weight too tight, he wasn't worried. I, however, was.

As we took our surface interval, his left arm didn't hurt so much as not "cooperate" with his lighting of his cigarrete. Suspecting DCS, I suggested he get on board a nearby "cattle boat" of divers, knowing they had O2, and could get him to medical attention faster (his boat would only go about 10 knots). He dismissed my suggestion saying he was just waiting for the blood flow to return to his "tired" left arm.

We decided to not dive anymore that day, pulled anchor, and headed home. While John was steering the boat home(with his right hand), I started to put up our gear. When I glanced at John's computer, I could see all the Data was flashing, indicating too fast an ascent. When weget close to the surface, we usually make a 15 ft deco stop for a few minutes for safety. Apparently, John couldn't maintain his because of the extra lead he picked up, and just went on up (I was watching my gauges and a few Cudaswimming under me).

After we docked, John said he was feeling a bit better, though his left arm hung loosely by his side. He insisted he wasn't hurting and just needed to rest at home, blowing off my suggestion to go by Baptist Hospital for a look-see.

About 4 am, I get a call from his wife that he is in a chamber at NAS, and the hyperbaric surgeon wants to see me - PRONTO! I haul ass to NAS, find the building, and wait to be lead back to the chamber. When I get there, John is under a plastic hood getting O2, while the guy next to him (apparently two divers got bent that day), was just hanging out. The surgeon asks me about our profile. I produce my computer and show him the log. He looks at the time and says"I" should be in the chamber withJohn. I point out the time on the log represents total time underwater, including ascent and stop times. I tell him about the lead weight John had toted throughout the dive in his left hand, and the surgeon gets a better pictureof the dive. He states that with John's extrabody weight, beinga smoker, a blown safety stop, and the lead weight causing increased blood flow to his left arm, the cause of his DCS becomes clear.

After two more treatments in the chamber at NAS, John regained full use of his left arm. He was told to not dive for a couple months, and to dive more conservatively in the future, and to always make a safety stop for at least 5 mins.

On another note, in this monthsAlert Diver, two profiles were mentioned which cause one diver to get DCS, and the other diver, not.

One diver was overweight andbreathing froma 120 cu ft tank, his buddy an 80 cu ft. The larger buddy was an air hog and needed the extra air to dive the same profile as his smaller buddy. The large divergot bent, but recovered after one treatment.

On another profile, three cave divers, using trimix, losta buddy to CNS O2 toxicity, after crossing the 1.4 ata O2. They had routinely stayed at 1.2 before that. The diverwho died was a woman, much smaller in body mass than her two buddies.

I realize that all dive algorithims andprofiles are generic in nature and can't reflect every different physiology, so I guess what I'm asking is how do you prepare or what lifestyle changes do you make, if any, to stay within the "safe" dive parameters.

Personally, I stay hydrated, don't drink thenight before a dive, don't eat any greasy food ordrinkcaffeninated beveragesthe day of the dive, and of course- don't smoke.

If any other divers out there have a predive regimen they follow to reduce the risk of DCS, or have had similar instances where someone else got bent, but not you, while on the same profile - please post.

-Ric
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:29 AM   #2
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

Thanks

That was a great post as a reminder to be cautious. I was wondering, are you on active duty or does NAS accept civilian divers in the area. Also, wouldn't your friends smoking and ascentbe the difference to cause DCS? Smoking reduces the amount of O2, so he might have already been at a disadvantage prior to getting in the water.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

Quote:
garnetgoldfan (1/17/2009)Thanks

That was a great post as a reminder to be cautious. I was wondering, are you on active duty or does NAS accept civilian divers in the area. Also, wouldn't your friends smoking and ascentbe the difference to cause DCS? Smoking reduces the amount of O2, so he might have already been at a disadvantage prior to getting in the water.
John didn't experience the onset of pain till after midnight. His wife took him to Baptist Hospital for evaluation. The ER team diagnosed DCS, called NAS to see if they could take him because their hyperbaric team was not available. NAS was at the time treating another diver (Navy or civilian - not known), and said to transport John ASAP, they would "piggyback" him on the current recompressing diver. - Ric
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

DCS effects everyone differently. Some people are more susceptible to getting DCS then others. You friend was already more likely because he smokes which affects the on/off gassing of N2. Blowing through the safety stop probably didn't help either, because on the safety stop is where you can offload a good deal of that N2. Also people who exert themselves more then others run a higher risk of taking a DCS hit then the person with is just swimming around. You friend was lucky that he didn't drop the weight and then have 6 pounds of positive bouyancy and shoot to the surface. I'd invest in a lift bag.



The same thing applies with the P02. Some people will start seeing signs at a 1.4 or 1.5 that's why in the Nitrox class they tell you to dive very conservatively until you see what happens to your body. That just varies on person to person and how long you spent at that exposure level.



Glad your friend made it out ok.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

Tb you got some bad mojo on your dives dude lol. Glad to hear your bud made it out. Its also not a bad idea to stop twice on the way up. I'm only advanced cert so I don't dive very deep, but I usually stop at 30 somethingft for a bit then work my way up slowly to theregular 10-15ft safety stop for 3 min. Just an idea--

Hey pierce, does that freediver onyour post sporting a wood...lol
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:49 AM   #6
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

It has a million factors that figure in including physiology,well hydrated, well rested, alcohol consumption, physical shape, proper nutrition and tons of other stuff. It isn't a good thing to blow thru a safety stop I don't care who you are. You have to be safe at all times, or it could cost you your life.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

I was told that DAN recommended doing a safety stop at half the total depth for 1 minute, and then continue with the normal 15ft, 3-5. I have done this for a few years now, and I've never had DCS.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

I have always tried to do a half depth safety stop, then the regular 3 minute 15-20 foot safety. Also, I don't come up at 33 feet per minute. I usualy have tons of gas left, so I take it about half that fast.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:24 PM   #9
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Default RE: Two divers, Same profile, One bent - What gives?

Thanks for a good post, glad your bud is ok. Perhaps your friend should get his heart checked to see if he has a pfo? A previous injury to a body part makes that body part more susceptible too.



I have a friend who took a bad hit diving the same profile as 2 other divers and they never really found out why.
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