Re: What do you think?

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on May 27, 2002 at 08:53:10:

In Reply to: Newbie's dive # 5 went to 86 fsw. Feet went numb. What do you think? posted by Wayne on May 26, 2002 at 20:50:26:

Hmmmm. Interesting, to say the least.

Hindsight being 202/20 (and advice being so easy to give now that the event's over) . . .

1. She definitely should have been evaluated. There's a chamber in Cozumel so it certainly would have been easy enough to do. I think there's a good chance they would have treated her. However . . .

2. (And I preface this by saying I am NOT a chamber tech nor so this is purely an educated layman's guess) I wonder if this really was DCS. Numbness in the foot? Maybe. Numbness in BOTH feet and only the feet? May be something as simple as tight booties &/or tight fins. The fact that the symptoms dind't spread or worsen, went away in an hour, and didn't return after a second dive would make me question whether this really was DCS. But . . . ya never know, and it's better to be treated when it's not needed than not to be treated at all.

3. The lack of knowledge of DCS is troubling but I also think in SoCal and specifically on this board we're much more attuned to that than the "real" world. And given the relative ease of chamber access here in LA, we're also more likely to have a mindset of "let's go get treated."

4. Lack of knowledge of the safety stops is a bit more troubling. That's been SOP since around 1985. Don't know if they had bad instruction or were "bad" students.

5. As far as the depth, and that they're newbies, I don't have a huge problem with that. From what you described (and from my own experiences in Cozumel) it sounds like you have a relatively small group led/supervised by a DM. That's exactly the set-up we advise newbies to seek when they're doing new stuff. I'm not sure I see a problem here.

6. As far as the ascent rate goes, again, while it would be nice if the DM could have done something, it also sounds like she didn't blow the whole ascent, she only blew through the safety stop. So it's not like she rocketed up from 90' while the DM just watched. Sounds to me (from what you described) that she ascended more or less with the group and as everyone stopped at 15', she kept going.

7. And continuing with the DM taking some responsbility for this woman's ascent rate, I think it was Jim Hoffman a while back who started an excellent thread about "Follow Me" divers who simply go with the DM and expect the DM to handle everyhting for them. Jim suggested that was a dangerous pratice and I agree. Seems the same thing sort of applies here. At some point, you've got to take care of yourself. It's too easy to second-guess and play woulda-shoulda-coulda.

Anyhow, just some stuff off the top of my head.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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