Prolonged oxygen exposures in immersed exercising divers at 25 fsw (1.76 ATA).
Twenty-four oxygen exposures lasting 80 to 271 min were performed by six immersed exercising subjects at 25 fsw (1.76 ATA) in both warm and cold water. Two types of exercise were performed, moderate work (50 watts) for long periods of time, and graded exercise (25-150 watts) lasting 85 min. In 21 degrees C water, moderate exercise lasted 228 +/- 39 min, with a mean VO2 of 1.72 +/- 0.11 liter/min. In 4 degree C water, the duration was 163 +/- 22 min, with a mean VO2 of 1.83 +/- 0.16 liter/min. The differences in duration of oxygen exposure in warm and cold water reflect termination at an inspired PCO2 of 7.6 mmHg, a level reached earlier in cold water because of CO2 absorbent exhaustion. In 21 degrees C water, the VO2 for graded exercise ranged from 1.51 to 3.00 liter/min and in 4 degrees C water, from 2.00 to 3.16 liter/min. Central nervous system oxygen toxicity was not observed during these exposures, although two divers had clinical and spirometric evidence of early pulmonary oxygen toxicity. The absence of CNS oxygen toxicity is attributed to low resistance and minimization of dead space, which caused a low inspired PCO2, although the divers' experience with oxygen diving and their excellent physical condition may have contributed as well.
Piantadosi, CA; Clinton, RL; Thalmann, ED
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