Too many open issues to deal with, but I think he would have died anyway

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Posted by Wayne on June 03, 2002 at 23:12:21:

In Reply to: Yet, another Nitrox Question posted by Captain Tim on June 03, 2002 at 17:09:51:

Two divers wend down together and came up together. One bent, one not. It begs the conclusion that they had very similar profiles and yet one bent and the other did not. To me it suggests that the N2 saturation level was not the one and only (or predominant, for that matter)issue that selected this diver for bending.

Switching to EAN32 would have reduced the saturation, but that might not have been enough. For example he might have had preexisting predisposing condition(s) that caused him to have a bubble in a deadly place. He also could have caused the problem through a fast ascent rate causing problems in fast tissues such as the spinal fluids. Again, the reduction in saturation from EAN32 might not have had a significant affect on the injury.

My Questions (and answers):
1. Is it good to reduce nitrogen saturation? Yes.
2. Is that ALWAYS a prevention for DCS? NO!
3. Would Nitrox Training have saved the diver?
Hmmm. It all depends. It is assumed that a "nitrox diver" should better understand the desireability of dive planning, but even an newbie diver learned this and other important things like LISTEN TO THE BRIEFINGS. Some divers just ignore the basics. These divers did that when they descended next to the boat -- against the instructions contained in the briefing. Not all divers can be saved from themselves.

More training is not always the answer. Different gear configurations or breathing mixtures are not "the" answer either. Divers take their lives in their own hands every time they dive. Some of them are just less capable of making rational decisions than others. Choosing to ignore the situation (depth), choosing to ignore the briefing (where to dive),may have been the proximate cause fo this accident. But it also may have been just one of those things we cannot ever know because of the vagueries of the individual's human anatomy and the complex nature of gases in solution.


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