Decompression induced nitrogen elimination.
A method for measuring nitrogen elimination after air diving has been developed in which a subject breathes air instead of oxygen or helium-oxygen. Accuracy is improved with this method because only nitrogen absorbed during the dive is eliminated. Nitrogen stored in the lungs and tissues at sea level is unaffected. Measurements were made with a closed-circuit breathing apparatus using a spirometer as a counterlung. The oxygen partial pressure in the apparatus was controlled at 0.209 +/- 0.003 atm. The spirometer volume was recorded periodically with the subject holding his breath at functional residual capacity. Increases in spirometer volume were used to define a nitrogen elimination curve. Elimination measurements were made after resting and exercising dives to 60, 100, and 130 fsw (2.8, 4.0, and 4.9 atm) at the U.S. Navy no-decompression exposure limits. Exercise during a dive increased the volume of nitrogen eliminated after the dive, but results for both resting and exercising divers were variable. Possible causes of this variability include bubble formation and changes in blood flow.
Dick, AP; Vann, RD; Mebane, GY; Feezor, MD
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)