Re: for what it's worth

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Posted by Kendall Raine on October 02, 2002 at 08:13:36:

In Reply to: Re: for what it's worth posted by Melvin on October 02, 2002 at 06:35:03:

If you can explain physiologically how O2 "masks" anything, I'll retract what I said. I'm sure you've quoted DAN correctly. I just don't agree with what they say on this. Here's why:

Masking is hiding the symptoms despite the existence of the cause. Asperin, for example, can mask the pain caused by DCS. O2 slows down the process of bubble growth by creating a gradient. It therefore treats the cause, as well as its effects. O2 may not prevent the cause from producing the symptom, but that's different from masking.

It may sound like heresy, but Peter Bennett has a long track record of saying silly things in his editorials. Other examples include the idea that Haldane was a proponent of deep stops and that breathing Nitrox can complicate subsequent hyperbaric treatment. Both notions are nonsense. When challenged, he has uniformally failed to defend either one. The masking issue may sound like semantics, but the differences, I think, are important.

Tell you what, don't take my word for it. Speak with one of the physicians at DAN and see if they can explain how O2 masks symptoms rather than delaying the cause. My bet is it'll come down to a debate over what "mask" means. Please let me know what you find.

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