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DIVE THEORY MASTERY

95% of people who fail the PADI Instructor Examination (IE) failed the Dive
Theory exam. If you are good in Dive Theory, you are almost guaranteed to
pass the IE.

The Dive Theory exam consist of 5 papers of 12 questions each. You need
75% on each of the 5 papers to pass.

The 5 topics / papers are:

1. Physics,

2. Physiology,

3. RDP and Decompression Theory,

4. Skills and Environment.

5. Equipment.

“Little drops of water,

Little grains of sand,

Makes a mighty ocean,

And a beauteous land”

Julia Carney 1845.

Based on the above philosophy, One fool proof method of preparing for the
Dive Theory Exam is to study / read up one topic at a time, do all the exams
available repeatedly for only that topic until you get 95 - 100%. The go to
the next topic until you have mastered all the 5 topics.
The good news is that PADI has only so many questions. Factual questions
will be remembered after some time. You will get used to the method to
solve Calculation questions.

My “Dive Theory Mastery” Folder has all that you require to do this. You
need acrobat reader, and you need to open the bookmarks sections to find
your sub file when reading my pdf files. This folder consists of 4 files:

1. “Dive Theory Mastery Guidelines”. The file you are reading now

2. Dive Theory Outline 2009. All you need to know on Physics,


physiologhy, Equipment and Skills and Environment dated 2009.

3. Dive Theory 2010. PADI came up with new outlines for the 4 subjects –
Physics, Physiology, Equipement, Skills and Environment in 2010.
Almost the same as the equivalent 2009, but has new approaches.

4. Dive Theory Exams. On the 5 topics of:

a. Physics;

b. Physiology;

c. Equipment;

d. Skills / Environment;

e. RDP /Decompression Theory.

4 exams are included here – (The A and B exams of 2010 is ovr 10MB, and
are not iincluded here. Maybe in a later version of this Folder)

a. DM Exam A 2009

b. DM Exam B 2009

c. Instructor Dive Theory Exam 1.

d. Instructor Dive Theory Exam 2.


For those who liked the “Dummy Series” , (I do) here goes: TDive Theory
Mastery Guidelineshis Folder has

1. Go to “Dive Theory Knowledge 2009 ”. There are 4 sub files – one


each on Physics, Physiology, Decompression Theory, Equipment .

2. Read say Physics. (And in your DM workbook if available). Reread


to fully understand if need to/

3. Do the Physics exam of one of the exams in “Dive Theory Exams ”.

4. Mark the exam, understand the mistakes you made. To do this you
may need to refer back to the knowledge Development outline or
the DM Knowledge Workbook. In the case of Physics, there is a file
“ Worked Examples “ for each of the 4 Physics Exams in the file
“Dive Theory Exams ” where you can see how to get the right
answer. There is also a Worked Example” for the RDP and
Decompression Theory Exam in Instructor Dive Theory Exam 2 .

5. Redo the same exam until you get at least 95%

6. Now go to the next exam for Physics until you have done Physics for
ALL the 4 exams. ( 6 exams if you have for the DM 2010 A and B
exams).

7. Now go to the next selected topic, say Equipment or other. Do the


above again

Order of Doing the Exams. I suggest doing the 6 exams in this order:

a. Instructor Dive Theory Exam 1

b. Instructor Dive Theory Exam 2

c. DM Exam A old

d. DM exam B old.
e. Divemaster Exam A 2010. (From separate mailing or from your IDC
Crewpack)

f. Divemaster Exam B 2010. . (From separate mailing or from your IDC


Crewpack)

DM Dive Theory exams A and B 2010 are not separated into 5 parts.
Therefore, do this when you have mastered the 4 exams, and then test
yourself finally on the 2010 DM exams. The answers are in this File.
Topic 5 – The Physics of
Diving
Recommended Materials and Methods
for Covering This Topic
The recommended method for developing knowledge about dive physics
is to have candidates read the Physics of Diving section of The Encyclopedia
of Recreational Diving and complete the physics section in the Diving Knowl-
edge Workbook. Have them consult the related objectives in the Appendix of
the PADI Divemaster Manual to be sure they can meet all the performance
requirements.
After independent study, meet with candidates individually or in a
group. Begin by reviewing their work in the Diving Knowledge Workbook,
then answer candidate questions. Ask questions to assess mastery and
review the material, based on how they completed their workbooks. Use the
presentation outline as a guide for a complete review.
If The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving and the Diving Knowledge Work-
book don’t exist in a language candidates understand, you can develop
knowledge by giving the following presentation in detail. To aid learning,
use lots of problem examples and have candidates work through them for
you.

Presentation
Overview and Learning Objectives
I. Light, Heat and Sound in Water
  1. Why does water dissipate body heat faster than air
does, and at what rate does it do so?
  2. What effect does water’s ability to dissipate heat
have on a diver?
  3. What does light do when it passes from air into
Overview water, or vice-versa, and how does this affect a
■ Light,
Light, Heat
Heat and
and Sound
Sound in
in Water�
Water�
diver?

■ Buoyancy
■ Buoyancy and
and the
the Weight
Weight of
of Water�
Water�
■ Pressure
■ Pressure and
■ The

and Water�
Water�
The Relationship
Relationship of
of Pressure
Pressure and
and Gas
Gas
  4. What is refraction?
Volume
Volume,, Density
Density and
and Temperature
Temperature �
■ The
■ The Beha
Behavior
vior of
of Gases
Gases Underwater:
Underwater: Partial
Partial
  5. What is visual reversal, and how does it affect a
Pressure
Pressure �
■ The
diver?
■ The Beha
Behavior
vior of
of Gases
Gases Underwater:
Underwater: �
Gas
Gas Absorption
Absorption and
and Elimination
Elimination
DM
DM 55 -- 22   6. Why does sound travel faster in water than in air,
and how much faster is it in water?
  7. How does the speed of sound in water affect hear-
ing?
II. Buoyancy and the Weight of Water
8. Given the weight and displacement of an object,
calculate the buoyancy change by adding air or

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-61


adding weight required to either float, sink or
make neutral the object in both fresh and sea wa-
ter.
III. Pressure and Water
  9. What is meant by gauge, absolute, and ambient pres-
sure?
10. Calculate the absolute and gauge pressure at any
depth in fresh or sea water in atmospheres/bar,
and convert it to another pressure measurement. 
IV. The Relationship of Pressure and Gas Volume, Density and
Temperature
11. What is the relationship between changes in abso-
lute pressure and the volume of a gas?
12. Calculate the volume changes that occur to a gas
when raised or lowered in the water in a flexible
container.
13. What is the relationship between depth and the
density of the air a diver breathes?
14. Given a diver’s air consumption rate at one depth,
calculate how that consumption rate changes with
depth.
15. What is the relationship of pressure, volume and
temperature with a gas in a flexible container and
with a gas in an inflexible container?
V. The Behavior of Gases Underwater: Partial Pressures
16. What is partial pressure?
17. Given their percentages, calculate the partial pres-
sures of gases in a mixture at any depth.
18. How does the physiological effect of breathing
a given percentage of gas at depth compare to
breathing the same percentage of the gas at the
surface?
19. For a given percentage of a gas in mixture, and the
depth at which a diver breathes that gas, calculate
the percentage of the gas that would produce the
same physiological effects on a diver at the surface.
VI. The Behavior of Gases Underwater: Gas Absorption and
Elimination
20. What happens when you raise the pressure of a gas
in contact with a liquid?
21. What is supersaturation?
22. What happens when you quickly reduce the pres-
sure on a liquid that is saturated with dissolved gas
at a higher pressure?
3-62 Three: Knowledge Development
Outline

I. Light, Heat and Sound in Water
A. Why does water dissipate body heat faster
than air does, and at what rate does it do so?
1. Water absorbs tremendous amounts of heat (high
heat capacity). Water conducts heat more
efficiently than air because water molecules are
closer together. Air is, however, a good insulator
because it does not conduct heat efficiently.
B. What effect does water’s ability to dissipate
heat have on a diver?
1. Because of water’s high heat capacity, the human
body when submerged in water loses heat more
than 20 times faster than in still air.
2. This means a diver will become chilled in water at
temperatures that would be considered comfortable
in air.
What does light do when C. What does light do when it passes from air
it passes from one
medium to another? into water, or vice-versa, and how does this af-
■ Speed
■ Speed of
of light
light depends
depends on
on density
density fect a diver?
of
of medium
medium —
— denser
denser == slo
slo wer
wer
■ Changing
■ Changing speeds
speeds cause
cause light
light to
to 1. The speed of light depends on the density of the
bend
bend —
— refraction
refraction
■ To
■ To aa diver,
diver, refraction
refraction ma
ma gnifies
gnifies medium it is traveling through – the denser the
objects
objects at
at aa ratio
ratio of
of about
about 4:3
4:3
Light, Heat and Sound DM
DM 55 -- 44
medium, the slower the speed.
2. When light goes from one medium to another, it
changes speed. This causes the light ray to change
direction, or “bend.”
3. What is refraction? This bending of light is re-
ferred to as refraction.
4. Light coming to a diver’s eyes underwater moves
through three different media – water, glass and
air – refracting each time.
5. To the diver, refraction magnifies objects, making
them appear larger/closer. This magnification oc-
curs a ratio of about 4:3 according to their actual
and apparent distance. When viewed underwater,
objects tend to be magnified by a factor of about
33 percent.
D. What is visual reversal, and how does it affect
a diver?
1. Turbidity can partially obscure an object so that it
appears hazy, which in air the eye associates with

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-63


being distant. So, the diver may perceive objects as
farther away than they actually are. This phenom-
enon is referred to as visual reversal.
E. Why does sound travel faster in water than in
air, and how much faster is it in water? Why does sound travel
faster in water and how
1. Because sound travels in pressure waves, it travels does it affect hearing?
faster in more dense mediums such as water than in ■ Sound
■ Sound (pressure
(pressure waves)
denser,
denser, more
waves) travel
more elastic
travel faster
elastic mediums�
mediums�
faster in
in

less dense mediums like air. ■


◆ Four
◆ Four time
■ Brain
time faster
faster in
Brain determines
in water
determines sound
water than
than in
sound direction
in air
direction by
by
air �

delay
delay between
between waves
waves reaching
reaching the
the ears
ears �
2. Sound travels slightly more than four times faster in ◆ Speed
◆ Speed of
of sound
sound underwater
underwater makes
makes
direction
direction difficult
difficult to
to determine
determine
water than in air. Light, Heat and Sound DM
DM 55 -- 6
6

Note to instructor: Some candidates may observe that faster


sound speed in a medium is a function of superior elasticity,
not density. This is correct, but most (but not all) mediums that
are denser also have greater elasticity, so it is “loosely” correct
to say sound travels faster in denser materials.

F. How does the speed of sound in water affect


hearing?
1. Your brain determines sound direction by the slight
delay between when a sound reaches one ear or the
other. In water, the faster speed of sound reduces the
delay so much that the brain interprets the sound
as reaching both ears at the same time. This makes
most sounds seem to come from directly overhead,
despite their actual source.

II. Buoyancy and the Weight of Water


A. The Greek mathematician Archimedes determined
that “An object wholly or partially immersed in a fluid
is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid Buoyancy
Archimedes determined that:
displaced by the object.” “An object wholly or par tially
immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by
1. An object that weighs less than the water it displac- a force equal to the weight of the
es floats and is positively buoyant. The buoyancy is fluid displaced by the object. ”
Positive Neutral Negative WATER
expressed as a positive number, such as being “two OBJECT

WATER
OBJECT WATER
OBJECT

kilograms positive.” DM
DM 55 -- 77

2. An object that weighs exactly the same as the water


it displaces neither floats nor sinks. It is called neu-
trally buoyant, and adding or removing weight will
make it sink or float.
3. An object that weighs more than the water it dis-
places will sink and is called negatively buoyant. Its
buoyancy is expressed as a negative number, such
as “two pounds negative.”
3-64 Three: Knowledge Development
B. To determine the buoyancy of an object in water, you
Det ermining Buoyancy need to know:
■ You
■ You must
must know:
◆ Weight

know:
Weight of
of the
the object
object
1. The object’s weight out of water.
◆ Volume
◆ Volume of
◆ Weight

of the
Weight of
the object
of the
object
the displaced
displaced fluid
fluid
2. How much water the object displaces (the object’s
■ Constants
■ Constants –– weight
weight of of water:
water: volume).
◆ Litre
◆ Litre of
of sea
sea water
water –– 1.03
1.03 kg
kg (1.03
(1.03 kg/l)
kg/l)
◆ Litre
◆ Litre of
◆ Cubic

of fresh
fresh water
Cubic foot
foot sea
water –– 1.0
sea water
1.0 kg
water –– 64
kg (1.0
64 lbs
(1.0 kg/l)
lbs (64
kg/l)
(64 lb/ft
lb/ft33))
3. The weight of the displaced water.
◆ Cubic
◆ Cubic foot
Buoyancy
foot fresh
fresh water
water –– 62.4
62.4 lbs
lbs (62.4
(62.4 lb/ft
DM
lb/ft33))
DM 55 -- 8
8
C. The weight of water:
1. 1 litre of sea water weighs 1.03 kg.
2. 1 litre of fresh water weighs 1 kg.
3. A cubic foot of sea water weighs 64 lbs.
4. A cubic foot of fresh water weighs 62.4 lbs.
Calculating Changes
D. To determine an object’s buoyancy, subtract the weight
in Buoyancy of the water the object displaces from its weight.
■ Object’s
■ Object’s volume
volume xx constant
constant
== weight
weight of
of water
water displaced
displaced 1. A positive number means the object is negatively
■ Object’s
■ Object’s weight
weight –– water
= up/down
up/down buoyancy
buoyancy
water weight
weight
buoyant, a negative number means it’s positively
◆ Positive
◆ Positive nnumber
umber == sinks
sinks (downward
(downward force)
force) buoyant, and zero means it is neutrally buoyant.
◆ Negative
◆ Negative nn umber
umber == floats
floats (buoyant
(buoyant force)
force)
◆ Zero
◆ Zero == neutral
neutral 2. To make a negatively buoyant object neutral, the
Buoyancy DM
DM 55 -- 99
buoyancy must increase by the amount it is nega-
tive (usually by adding air to a lifting device to
increase the volume displaced). To make it positive,
it must increase by more than that.
3. To make a positively buoyant object neutral, the
buoyancy must decrease by the amount it is posi-
tive (usually by adding weight to the object). To
make it negative, it must increase by more than
that.
4. Sample problems:

Given the weight and displace-


ment of an object, calculate the
buoyancy change by adding
air or adding weight required
to either float, sink or make
neutral the object in both fresh
Example #1
and sea water.
You plan to reco ver a 150
kilogram/300 pound outboard
motor in sea water that
displaces 60 litres/2 cubic
feet. How much air must you METRIC — Example #1
put in a lifting de vice to make
the motor neutrall y buoyant?
You plan to recover a 150 kg outboard motor in sea water
Buoyancy DM
DM 55 --10
10
that displaces 60 litres. How much air must you put in a
lifting device to make the motor neutrally buoyant?

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-65


METRIC — Answer: 85.6 litres of air.
Answer #1
A 150 kg motor that displaces 60 litres of sea water has a buoy-
Metric == 85.6 litres �
Metric
ancy the weight of the sea water it displaces less 150 kg. 60
60 ll xx 1.03
1.03 kg/l
kg/l == 61.8
61.8 kg
kg �
150
150 kg kg -- 61.8
61.8 kg
kg == 88.2
88.2 kg
kg �
60 litres of sea water weighs 61.8 kg (60 l x 1.03 kg/l = 61.8 kg) 88.2
88.2 kg kg ÷÷ 1.03
1.03 kg/l
kg/l == 85.6
85.6 ll �

Imperial == 2.68 cubic f eet�


Imperial eet�
The motor is 88.2 kg negatively buoyant in sea water 22 ft
ft33 xx 64
64 lb/ft
lb/ft 33 == 128
128 lb
lb�
300
300 lblb -- 128
128 lb
lb == 172 172 lb
lb �
(61.8 kg - 150 kg = -88.2 kg). 172
172 lblb ÷÷ 64
64 lb/ft
lb/ft == 2.68
33
2.68 ftft33
Buoyancy DM
DM 55 -- 11
11

The lift bag must displace an amount of water that weighs 88.2
kg to make the object neutral (disregard the weight of the air
and the lift bag). Divide the water weight desired by the weight
of water per litre to get the required litres of air to add.
You must add 85.6 litres of air to the lift bag.
(88.2 kg ÷ 1.03 kg/l = 85.6 l).

IMPERIAL — Example #1 You plan to recover a 300-


pound outboard motor that displaces two cubic feet from
the bottom in sea water. How much water must you displace
by adding air to a lift bag to make it neutrally buoyant?

IMPERIAL — Answer: 2.68 ft3


A 300 lb motor that displaces 2 ft3 of sea water has a buoyancy
that’s the weight of the sea water it displaces less 300 lbs.
2 ft3 of sea water weighs 128 lbs (64 lb/ft3 x 2 ft3 = 128 lb)
The motor is 172 lbs negatively buoyant in sea water
(128 lb - 300 lb = -172 lb).
The lift bag must displace an amount of water that weighs 172
lbs to make the object neutral (disregard the weight of the air
and the lift bag). Divide the water weight desired by the weight
of water per cubic foot to get the required cubic feet of air to add.
You must add 2.68 cubic feet of air to the lift bag.
(172 lbs ÷ 64 lb/ft3 = 2.68 ft3).

METRIC — Example #2 Example #2


You’re
You’re assisting
assisting aa resear
resear ch
ch study
study and
and
You’re assisting a research study and must sink into fresh must
must sink
sink into
into fresh
fresh water
water anan object
object that
that
weighs 50 kilograms //100 pounds
weighs
water an object that weighs 50 kg. and displaces 300 li- and displaces 300 litres //5 cubic f eet ..
and displaces
tres. Disregarding the minimal displacement of the lead, Disregar
Disregarding
of
of the
ding the
the lead,
lead, how
the minimal
minimal displacement
how much
much lead
displacement
lead weight
weight do
do
how much lead weight do you need to affix to the object to you
you need
need toto affix
affix to
to the
the object
object to
10 kilograms //20 pounds negative
to make
make it
negative on
it
on
make it 10 kg negative on the bottom? the
the bottom?
bottom?
Buoyancy DM
DM 55 -- 12
12

3-66 Three: Knowledge Development


Answer #2
METRIC — Answer: 260 kg
Metric = 260 kilograms � The weight of water displaced is 300 kg (300 l x 1 kg/l = 300 kg)
300
300 ll xx 1.0
1.0 kg/l
kg/l == 300
300 kg
kg �
50
50 kg
250
kg -- 300
250 kg
kg ++ 10
kg == ––250
300 kg
10 kg
kg == 260
250 kg
260 kg
kg �
(positively
kg (positively

buoyant)
buoyant) The object weighs 50 kg, so it is 250 kg positively buoyant
Imperial = 232 pounds � (300 kg - 50 kg = 250 kg)
55 ft
ft33 xx 62.4
62.4 lb/ft
lb/ft 33 == 312
312 lb
lb�
100
100 lblb -- 312
312 lblb == ––212 lb (positively
212 lb (positively

buoyant)
buoyant)
Add 250 kg to make it neutral, plus 10 kg to make it 10 kg
212
212 lblb ++ 20
20 lb
lb == 232
232 lblb
Buoyancy DM
DM 55 -- 13
13 negative for 260 kg total lead to add (250 kg + 10 kg = 260 kg)

IMPERIAL — Example #2
You’re assisting a research study and must sink into fresh
water an object that weighs 100 lbs. and displaces 5 cubic
feet. Disregarding the minimal displacement of the lead,
how much lead weight do you need to affix to the object to
make it 20 lbs negative on the bottom?

IMPERIAL — Answer: 232 lbs


The weight of water displaced is 312 lbs (5 ft3 x 62.4 lbs/ft3 = 312
lbs)
The object weighs 100 lbs, so it is 212 lbs positively buoyant
(312 lbs - 100 lbs = 212 lbs)
Add 212 lbs to make it neutral, plus 20 lbs to make it 20 lbs
negative for 232 lbs total lead to add (212 lbs + 20 lbs = 232 lbs)

Note to instructor: Work through additional problems as neces-


sary until candidates can easily determine the amount of water
to displace, or weight to add, to make an object negative, posi-
tive or neutral in fresh water or sea water.

III. Pressure and Water


Pressure and W ater A. Pressure is equal to the force over a unit of area, and
■ Pressure
■ Pressure is
to
to force
is equal
force per
equal �
per unit
unit area
area �
may be expressed as kilograms per square centimeter
kg/cm
kg/cm 22 or
or lb/in
lb/in 22
P RESSURE =
F ORCE or pounds per square inch.
A REA
■ Atmospheric
■ Atmospheric pressure
is
pressure � 1. In diving, the easiest pressure unit to use is the at-
is the
the air
air pressure
pressure at
at sea
sea level
level �
11 atm/bar
atm/bar ,, 760
760 mmHG,
mmHG, mosphere or bar. One atmosphere or bar is the pres-
1.03
1.03 kg/cm
kg/cm 22 or
or 14.7
14.7 psi
psi

DM
sure equal to the air pressure at sea level. There’s a
DM 55 -- 1414

slight difference between bar and atmospheres, but


in diving they’re treated as equal.
2. 10 metres/33 feet of sea water exerts 1 atmosphere/
bar of pressure.
3. 10.3 metres/34 feet of fresh water exerts 1 atmo-
sphere/bar of pressure.
Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-67
B. What is meant by gauge, absolute, and ambient
pressure?
Pressure Terminolog y
1. Gauge pressure is a measurement that ignores the
■ Gauge – measured pressure minus

atmospheric pressure. At sea level with no added atmospheric pressure �
(atm
(atm gaug
gaug ee or
or psig)
psig)
pressure, gauge pressure is zero. Your submersible ■ Absolute –
■ total pressure exerted,
gauge plus atmospheric�
atmospheric�
pressure gauge is an example. (ata)
(ata)
■ Ambient –
■ surrounding pressure,
2. Absolute pressure uses a vacuum as its zero point, so same as absolute pressure

that it is gauge pressure plus atmospheric pressure. Pressure and Water DM


DM 55 -- 15
15

You generally add an “a” or the word “absolute” to


pressure units: “psia” for pounds per square inch
absolute, “ata” for atmospheres absolute, and “bar
absolute.”
3. Ambient pressure means “surrounding pressure,” and
may be expressed as absolute or gauge pressure. Calculating Pressure Underwater
C. Calculating pressures underwater SEA WATER =�
1 atm every 10 m/33 ft�
FRESH WATER =�
1 atm every 10.3 m/34 ft�
OR .100 ATM per metre � OR .097 ATM per metre �
1. To determine the pressure in ata/bar at any depth: OR .445 psi per f oot
Gauge Pressure
OR .432 psi per f oot

a. Divide the depth by 10 metres/33 feet for salt


sea le vel
0 0
1 ft .445 psi
.100 ATM 1m
10 ft 4.45 psi

water, or 10.3 metres/34 feet for fresh water. This 20 ft 8.9 psi
.500 ATM 5m

gives you atmospheres gauge at that depth. 33 ft


14.7 psi 1 ATM
10 m
Pressure and Water DM
DM 55 --16
16

b. Add 1 to account for the atmosphere of air and


convert to absolute pressure.

Calculate the absolute and


gauge pressure at any depth
in fresh or sea water in atmo-
spheres/bar, and convert it to
another pressure measurement. 

Example: How many ata of pressure are there at 18 me-


tres/60 feet of seawater?

Answer: 2.8 ata


METRIC – 18m ÷ 10m/atm = 1.8 atm; 1.8 atm + 1 atm = 2.8 ata
IMPERIAL – 60ft ÷ 33ft/atm = 1.8 atm; 1.8 atm + 1 atm = 2.8 ata

2. To convert to another pressure measure, multiply


ata by:
a. 10 for msw (metres of sea water)
b. 10.3 for mfw (metres of fresh water)
c. 1.03 for kg/cm2 (kilograms per centimetre squared)
d. 14.7 for psi (pounds per square inch)
e. 33 for fsw (feet of sea water)
f. 34 for ffw (feet of fresh water)

3-68 Three: Knowledge Development


Example #1
Example #1 What are the gauge and absolute pressures in at a depth of
What
What are
are the
pressures
the gaug
pressures (in
gaug ee and
and absolute
absolute
(in atmospheres)
atmospheres) atat aa depth
depth �
22.5 metres/74 feet in fresh water?
of 22.5 metres//74 feet in
of in fresh
fresh water
water ?�
?� What is the pressure in kg/cm2 / psi?
Metric and Imperial �
Metric and
== 2.18
2.18 atm
atm gaug
gaug ee and
and 3.18
3.18 ata
ata �
22.5
22.5 m
m ÷÷ 10.3
10.3 m/atm
m/atm == 2.18
2.18 atm
atm gauge
gauge �
74
74 ft
ft ÷÷ 34
34 ft/atm
ft/atm == 2.18
addd 11 atm
ad
2.18 atm
atm == 3.18
atm gauge
3.18 ata�
ata�
gauge � Answer: 2.18 atm gauge/3.18 ata
Can you find the pressures �
in kg/cm22 or psi?
METRIC — 22.5 m ÷ 10.3 m/atm = 2.18 atmospheres gauge
Pressure and Water DM
DM 55 -- 17
17 2.18 atm + 1 atmosphere = 3.18 ata
IMPERIAL — 74 ft ÷ 34 ft/atm = 2.18 atmospheres gauge

2.18 atm + 1 atmosphere = 3.18 ata

METRIC — Answer: 2.24 kg/cm2 gauge/3.28 kg/cm2 absolute


2.18 atm x 1.03 kg/cm2 = 2.24 kg/cm2 gauge
3.18 ata x 1.03 kg/cm2 = 3.28 kg/cm2 absolute
IMPERIAL — Answer: 32 psi gauge/46.7 psia
2.18 atm x 14.7 psi/atm = 32 psi gauge
3.18 ata x 14.7 psi/atm = 46.7 psia

Example #2 Example #2
The
The pressure
pressure atat 18 metres //60 feet in
in
sea
sea water
water equals
equals the
the same
same pressure
pressure The pressure at 18 metres/60 feet in sea water equals the
at
at what
what depth
depth in
in fresh
fresh water?�
water?�
Metric
Metric == 18.5
18.5 metres�
metres� same pressure at what depth in fresh water?
18
18 m
1.8
m ÷÷ 10
1.8 atm
10 m/atm
atm gaug
m/atm == 1.8
1.8 atm
gaug ee xx 10.3
atm gaug
10.3 m/atm
gaug e�e�
m/atm == 18.5
18.5 mm� (Depth = 0 at the surface, so this is a gauge pressure problem.)
Imperial
Imperial == 61.2
61.2 feet�
feet�
60
60 ft
ft ÷÷ 33
33 ft/atm
ft/atm == 1.8
1.8 atm
atm gaug
gaug e�
e�
1.8
1.8 atm
atm xx 34
Pressure and Water
34 ft/atm
ft/atm == 61.2
61.2 ft
ft
DM
DM 55 --18
18
METRIC — Answer: 18.5 m
18 m ÷ 10 m/atm = 1.8 atm gauge
1.8 atm x 10.3 m/atm = 18.5 m

IMPERIAL — Answer: 61.2 ft


60 ft ÷ 33 ft/atm = 1.8 atm gauge
1.8 atm x 34 ft/atm = 61.2 ft

Note to instructor: Work through additional problems as neces-


sary until candidates can easily determine the atmospheres abso-
lute and gauge pressures at various fresh and saltwater depths,
and convert them into other pressure measures.

Pressure, Volume and


DEPTH
DEPTH
Density Relationship
ABSOLUTE
ABSOLUTE GA
GA UGE
UGE AIR
AIR SURF
SURF ACE
ACE VOLUME
VOLUME EXAMPLE
EXAMPLE
IV. The Relationship of Pressure and Gas Volume,
Density and Temperature
� PRESSURE
PRESSURE PRESSURE
PRESSURE VOLUME
VOLUME EQ
EQ UIVALENT
UIVALENT��
metres f eet �
0� 1 ATM� 0� 1 1� 60 litres

A. What is the relationship between changes in



10 33� 2 ATM� 1 ATM� 1/2 2� 30


20 66� 3 ATM� 2 ATM� 1/3 3� 20
absolute pressure and the volume of a gas?



15
30 99 4 ATM� 3 ATM� 1/4 4�


40 132� 5 ATM� 4 ATM� 1/5 5
12 1. As absolute pressure increases on a gas, the volume
DM 55 --19
DM 19
of the gas will decrease proportionately.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-69


For example, at 2 ata (10 m/33 ft in sea water) the
volume is 1/2 the surface volume; at 3 ata (20 m/66
ft in sea water), 1/3 the surface volume, etc.
Formula: pressure (atm) x volume = new pressure x new volume
P1 x V1 = P2 x V2
2. As absolute pressure decreases on a gas, the volume
will increase proportionately. For example, bring
a gas volume to the surface from 2 ata the volume
will be twice volume it was at depth; from 3 ata,
three times the volume at depth, etc.
3. By determining ata/
bar at depths, you can
Calculate the vol-
use this relationship to
ume changes that
determine how much a
occur to a gas when
gas volume changes in
raised or lowered in
a flexible container (lift
the water in a flex-
bag, BCD, balloon, etc.)
ible container.
when taken from one
depth to another.
Formula: new volume = original ata ÷ new ata x original volume
V2 = P1 ÷ P2 x V1

Example #1: You take a gas volume of 14 litres/3 cubic


Example #1
feet at the surface to 30 metres/99 feet in sea water. What If
If you
you take
take aa gas
gas vv olume
olume ofof �
14 litres//3 cubic feet at
will the new volume be? to 30 metres//99 feet sea
to
at the
the surface
sea water,
surface
water,
what
what will
will the
the ne
ne w
w volume
volume be?be? �
Metric 14 ll ÷÷ 44 = 3.5 litres�
Metric == 14 litres�
METRIC — Answer: 3.5 litres (30
(30 metres
metres is
is 44 ata)
ata) �

Original pressure = 1 ata (normal surface pressure) Imperial


(99
ft 33 ÷÷ 44 == .75 ft33�
Imperial == 33 ft
(99 feet
feet is
is 44 ata)
ata)
New pressure = 4 ata (30 m ÷ 10 m/atm = 3 atm; 3 atm + 1 atm = 4 Pressure and Volume DM
DM 55 --20
20

ata)
New volume = (1 ata ÷ 4 ata) x 14 l
New volume = 3.5 l

IMPERIAL — Answer: .75 cubic feet


Original pressure = 1 ata (normal surface pressure)
New pressure = 4 ata (99 ft ÷ 33 ft/atm = 3 atm; 3 atm + 1 atm = 4
ata)
New volume = (1 ata ÷ 4 ata) x 3 ft3
New volume = .75 cubic feet Example #2
If you take a gas v olume of �
METRIC — Example #2 : You take a gas volume of 27 27 litres fr om 32 metres to 17
metres in fresh water, what will the
litres from 32 metres to 17 metres in fresh water. What will new volume be? �

the new volume be? If you take a gas v olume of �


17 cubic f eet from 122 f eet to 58
feet in fresh water, what will the
new volume be?
METRIC — Answer: 41.8 litres Pressure and Volume DM
DM 55 -- 21
21

3-70 Three: Knowledge Development


Answer #2 Original pressure = 4.1 ata (32 m ÷ 10.3 m/atm = 3.1 atm;
Metric
Metric == 41.8
Initial
41.8 litres
litres �
Initial pressure
pressure –– 32
32 mm ÷÷ 10.3
10.3 m/atm
m/atm �
3.1 atm + 1 atm = 4.1 ata)
== 3.1
3.1 atm
atm gaug
gaug e; addd 11 atm
e; ad atm == 4.1
4.1 ata
ata �
New
New pressure
== 1.65
pressure –– 17
1.65 atm
atm gaug
17 m
gaug e;
m ÷÷ 10.3
10.3 m/atm
addd 11 atm
e; ad
m/atm �
atm == 2.65
2.65 ata
ata �
New pressure= 2.65 ata (17 m ÷ 10.3 m/atm = 1.65 atm;
(4.1
(4.1 ata
Imperial
ata ÷÷ 2.65
Imperial == 29
2.65 ata)
29 ft
ata) xx 27
ft 33�
27 ll == 41.8
41.8 ll � 1.65 atm + 1 atm = 2.65 ata)
Initial
Initial pressure
== 3.6
pressure –– 122
3.6 atm
atm gaug
gaug e;
122 ft ft ÷÷ 34
addd 11 atm
e; ad
34 ft/atm
ft/atm �
atm == 4.64.6 ata
ata � New volume = (4.1 ata ÷ 2.65 ata) x 27 l
New
New pressure
pressure –– 58
58 ftft ÷÷ 34
34 ft/atm
ft/atm �
== 1.7
1.7 atm
(4.6
atm gaug
(4.6 ata
gaug e;
ata ÷÷ 2.7
addd 11 atm
e; ad
2.7 ata)
ata) xx 17
17 ft
atm == 2.7
ft 33 == 29
2.7 ata
29 ft
ft33
ata � New volume = 41.8 litres
Pressure and Volume DM
DM 55 --22
22

IMPERIAL — Example #2: You take a gas volume of 17


cubic feet from 122 feet to 58 feet in fresh water. What will
the new volume be?
IMPERIAL — Answer: 29 cubic feet
Original pressure = 4.6 ata (122 ft ÷ 34 ft/atm = 3.6 atm;
3.6 atm + 1 atm = 4.6 ata)
New pressure = 2.7 ata (58 ft ÷ 34 ft/atm = 1.7 atm;
1.7 atm + 1 atm = 2.7 ata)
New volume = (4.6 ata ÷ 2.7 ata) x 17 ft3
New volume = 29 cubic feet

Note to instructor: Work through additional problems as neces-


sary until candidates can easily determine new volumes.

B. What is the relationship between depth and


the density of the air a diver breathes?
1. As volume decreases with pressure increase, air mol-
ecules squeeze closer together taking up less space,
increasing the density of air within the space. For
example, at 2 ata, air is 2 times denser than at the
surface; at 3 ata it is 3 times denser, etc.
2. This increase in density
affects the diver’s rate of air
Given a diver’s air
consumption because as depth
consumption rate at
and pressure increase, within
one depth, calculate
each breath the diver inhales
how that consump-
more molecules of air to fill
tion rate changes
the same lung volume. This is
with depth.
why the deeper the dive, the
faster the diver uses air.
3. You can calculate density changes based on chang-
es in absolute pressure (ata), and use the changes to
determine changes in a diver’s air consumption.
4. Simplify depth-to-depth density/air consumption
problems by converting to surface density first:

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-71


Example #1: A diver’s air consumption rate is 2 bar per Example #1
minute (200 kPa/min)/25 psi per minute at the surface. AA diver’s
diver’s air
air consumption
consumption rate rate is
is �
22 bar
bar//25
25 psi
psi per
per min
minuteute at
at the
the surface
surface ..
What will the air density be at 30 metres/99 feet compared What
What isis the
the diver’
diver’ ss air
air consumption
consumption rate
rate
at 30
30 metres
metres//9999 feet
to the surface, and what will the diver’s air consumption be? likely
likely to
to be
be at feet?�
?�
Metric bar/min xx 44 == 8
Metric == 22 bar/min 8 bar/min�
bar/min�
(30
(30 metres
metres is
is 44 ata)�
ata)�

METRIC — Answer: 4 times as dense; 8 bar/min (800 kPa/min) Imperial


Imperial == 25 psi/min xx 44 == 100
25 psi/min
(99
(99 feet
feet is
is 44 ata)
ata)
100 psi/min�
psi/min�

30 m ÷ 10 m/atm = 3 atm Pressure and Density DM


DM 55 --24
24

3 atm + 1 atm = 4 ata (therefore 4 times as dense).


4 x 2 bar per min (200 kPa per min) = 8 bar per min (800 kPa per min)

IMPERIAL — Answer: 4 times as dense; 100 psi/min


99 feet ÷ 33 ft/atm = 3 atm
3 atm + 1 atm = 4 ata (therefore 4 times as dense)
4 x 25 psi/min = 100 psi/min.

Example #2: If a diver’s air consumption rate is 8 bar per


minute (800 kPa/min)/100 psi per minute at 10 metres/33
feet, what will it be at 40 metres/132 feet?

METRIC — Answer: 20 bar/min (2000 kPa/min)


Find surface consumption rate:
10 m ÷ 10 m/atm = 1 atm
1 atm +1 atm = 2 ata Answer #2
8 bar/min (800 kPa/min) ÷ 2 ata = 4 bar/min surface rate (400 kPa/min) Metric = 20 bar/min �
Find
Find surface
surface rate
rate –– 88 bar/min
bar/min at
at 22 ata
ata �
Determine rate at new depth: == 44 bar/min
bar/min at
at 11 ata�
ata�
44 bar/min
bar/min x 5 (40 m is 5 ata) = 20 bar/min�
x 5 (40 m is 5 ata) = 20 bar/min�
40 m ÷ 10 m/atm = 4 atm
Imperial = 250 psi/min �
4 atm + 1 atm = 5 ata Find
Find surface
surface rate
rate –– 100
100 psi/min
psi/min atat 22 ata
ata �
== 50
50 psi/min
psi/min atat 11 ata�
ata�
5 x 4 bar/min (400 kPa/min) = 20 bar/min (2000 kPa/min) 50
50 psi/min
psi/min xx 55 (132
(132 ftft is
is 55 ata)
ata) == 250
250 psi/min
psi/min

Pressure and Density DM


DM 55 --26
26

IMPERIAL — Answer: 250 psi/min


Find surface consumption rate:
33 feet ÷ 33 ft/atm = 1 atm
1 atm + 1 atm = 2 ata
100 psi/min ÷ 2 ata = 50 psi/min surface rate
Determine rate at new depth:
132 feet ÷ 33 ft/atm = 4 atm
4 atm+ 1 atm = 5 ata
5 x 50 psi/min = 250 psi/min

Note to instructor: Work through additional problems as


necessary until candidates can easily determine gas consump-
tion rates.

3-72 Three: Knowledge Development


What is the relationship
C. What is the relationship of pressure, volume
of pressure, volume and and temperature with a gas in a flexible con-
temperature with gas in both
flexible and inflexible containers?
tainer and with a gas in an inflexible contain-
BEFORE er?
Heat is the
energy of 1. Heat is the energy of molecular motion, therefore,
molecule
motion AFTER HEAT if you heat gases in a nonflexible container and the
ADDED
DM
DM 55 --27
27 volume remains unchanged (as in a scuba tank),
the molecules move more rapidly.
2. This causes molecules to impact the interior of the
container with more force – thereby increasing the
pressure.
3. Cooling means the molecules lose heat and slow
down, reducing their impact and decreasing the
pressure.
Pressure and Temperature
■ As
■ As general
general rule
rule of
of thumb,
thumb, the
the
4. Pressure changes are calculated using absolute
pressure
pressure change
1°C/5
1°C/5 psi
change is
psi per
per 1°F�
1°F�
is 0.6
0.6 bar
bar per
per temperature, but for diving purposes, as a rule of
■ Example:
■ Example: thumb with scuba cylinders, the pressure change is
If
If aa scuba
scuba tank
tank is
is filled to 200
filled to
bar //3000 psi at at 20°C //70°F then
then 0.6 bar per 1° C/5 psi per 1° F.
placed
placed in in aa freezer
freezer at at 0°C //32°F,,
what
what is is the
the likely
likely new
new pressure?
pressure?
DM
DM 55 --28
28 Example: A scuba tank is filled to 200 bar/3000 psi at 20°
C/70° F. What would happen to the pressure in that tank if
it were put into a freezer at 0° C/32° F?

METRIC — Answer: The pressure would drop to 188 bar.


Answer
Metric = 188 bar �
20° C - 0° C = 20° C change
20°C
20°C -- 0°C
0°C == 20°
20° cc hange�
hange� 20° C x .6 bar = 12 bar
20
20 xx 0.6
0.6 bar
bar == 12
12 bar
bar �
200
200 bar
bar -- 12
12 bar
bar == 188
188 bar
bar � 200 bar - 12 bar = 188 bar
Imperial = 2810 psi �
70°F
70°F -- 32°F
38
32°F == 38°
38 xx 55 psi
38° cc hange�
psi == 190
190 psi
hange�
psi �
IMPERIAL — Answer: 2810 psi
3000
3000 psipsi -- 190
190 psi
psi == 2810
2810 psi
psi 70° F - 32° F = 38° F change
Pressure and Temperature
38° F x 5 psi = 190 psi
DM
DM 55 --29
29

3000 psi - 190 psi = 2810 psi

D. Gas pressure, volume and temperature are interre-


lated. For a given quantity of gas, if you change one,
either or both of the others must change proportion-
ately.
1. You can predict diving-related changes to gas pres-
sure, volume and temperature.
2. If you increase pressure by adding gas to a fixed
volume, the temperature will rise (such as a scuba
tank being filled).
3. If you decrease pressure by releasing gas from a
fixed volume, the temperature will fall. This ex-
plains why a tank cools when you let the air out

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-73


rapidly, and why manufacturers recommend special
modifications so that regulators won’t freeze when
ice diving.
V. The Behavior of Gases Underwater: Partial Pressures
Behavior of Gases Underwater
A. What is partial pressure? ■ What
■ What is
is par
par tial
tial pressure
pressure ?�
?�
1. In a mixture of gases, such as air, each gas exerts ◆ In
◆ In aa gas
gas mixture
individual
mixture ,, each
individual pressure
each gas
gas eexerts
pressure independent
xerts its
independent �
its

of
of other
other gases
gases in
in the
the mixture
its individual pressure independent of other gases in O NNN N
mixture
NON N
O N NNNN
the mixture (Dalton’s Law). The independent pres- O
N N
N
N N
N N NN N
NONO

sure of a gas is its partial pressure – that is, the part of PARTIAL
PARTIAL
PRESSURE
PRESSURE �
OF
OF O
OXYGEN
XYGEN
+ PARTIAL
PARTIAL
PRESSURE
PRESSURE �
OF
OF NITR
NITR OGEN
OGEN��
=
TOTAL
TOTAL
PRESSURE
PRESSURE
OF
OF AIR
AIR��

the pressure exerted by the gas. (21%)


(21%) (79%) (100%)
(100%)
DM
DM 55 --30
30

B. If you take a gas mixture underwater (the air you


breathe, for example), the pressure increases with
depth. The partial pressure of each gas in the mix also
increases proportionately to its fraction in the mix.
1. You can easily deter-
mine partial pressure
Given their percent- by multiplying the gas
ages, calculate the percentage in the mix-
partial pressures of ture by the total abso-
gases in a mixture at lute pressure.
any depth.

Example: What is the partial pressure of oxygen in air at


a depth of 40 m/132 ft? Partial Pressure
■ What
■ What is
is the
the partial
partial pressure
pressure of
of
oxygen
oxygen (in
(in atmospheres)
atmospheres) at
at 40
40
Answer: Oxygen partial pressure (abbreviated “PO2”) = metres/132
metres/132 feet?�
feet?�
◆ PO
◆ PO2 == 55 ata
ata xx .21
.21 == 1.05
1.05 ata
ata �
1.05 ata ■ The

2

The bod
bodyy responds
responds to
to aa gas
gas �
The absolute pressure is 5 ata based
based on
the
on its
the higher
its par
higher the
par tial
the par
tial pressure
par tial
pressure —
tial pressure
pressure ,,
— �

40 m ÷ 10 atm/m = 4 atm / 132 ft ÷ 33 ft/atm = 4 atm the


the greater
ph
greater the
physiological
the potential
potential
ysiological eff
eff ect
ect
4 atm + 1 atm = 5 ata
DM
DM 55 -- 31
31

Air consists of 21% oxygen.


5 ata x .21 = 1.05 ata.

Example: What is the partial pressure of oxygen when


breathing 100% oxygen at the surface?

Answer: PO2 = 1.0 ata. The absolute pressure is 1 ata. The gas is
100% oxygen. 1 ata x 1.00 = 1 ata. (This illustrates that with a
pure gas, the absolute pressure and the partial pressure are the
same.)

3-74 Three: Knowledge Development


C. How does the physiological effect of breathing
a given percentage of gas at depth compare to
breathing the same percentage of the gas at
the surface?
1. The body responds to a gas you breathe based on its
partial pressure – not on the percentage of the gas in
the mix. This means that as pressure increases, the
physiological effect increases.
2. The increased partial pressure of nitrogen (also
called “PN2”) causes nitrogen narcosis.
3. The increased partial pressure of oxygen can cause
oxygen toxicity (more of a concern when diving
with enriched air nitrox than with air within recre-
ational limits).
4. The body’s response to partial pressure is important
regarding contaminated air because contamination
levels that are harmless at the surface may become
toxic under elevated partial pressures at depth.
5. In the previous examples, the physiological effect
of oxygen from breathing air (21% oxygen) at 40
m/132 feet (PO2 = 1.05 ata) is approximately the
same as breathing 100% oxygen at the surface (PO2
= 1.0 ata)
D. Surface equivalency is the fraction of a gas you would
have to breathe at the surface to produce the same ef-
fect at a particular depth. To find surface equivalency,
use the gas partial
For a given percentage of pressure at depth as
a gas in mixture, and the the fraction of the gas
depth at which a diver at the surface.
breathes that gas, calcu- 1. Note that if the
late the percentage of the partial pressure at
gas that would produce the depth exceeds 1.0
same physiological effects ata, there can be no
on a diver at the surface. surface equivalency
because the partial
pressure would exceed the total pressure available
at the surface (1.0 ata).
Example
An
An air
air mixture
mixture has
has 0.5%
0.5% carbon
carbon
monoxide.
monoxide. Breathing
Breathing this
this air
air at
at 40
40
metres/132
metres/132 feet
feet would
would be
be the
the
equivalent
equivalent ofof breathing
breathing what
what percent
percent Example: An air mixture has .5% carbon monoxide (CO).
at
at the
the surface?�
surface?�
Answer
Answer == 2.5%�
2.5%�
Breathing it at 40 metres/132 feet would be the equivalent
55 ata
ata xx .005
.005 == .025;
.025; 2.5%
2.5% surface
surface equivalency�
equivalency� of breathing what percent at the surface?
NO
NOTE:
TE: This
This le
le vel
vel of
of CO
CO is
is considered
considered to
to xic
xic

Partial Pressure DM
DM 55 --32
32

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-75


Answer: 2.5%. (this level of CO would be considered toxic).
Absolute pressure = 5 ata
40m ÷ 10 m/atm = 4 atm / 132 ft ÷ 33 ft/atm = 4 atm
4 atm + 1 atm = 5 ata
5 ata x .005 = .025 partial pressure
.025 = 2.5% surface equivalency

Example: Central nervous system (CNS) oxygen toxicity is


only expected with oxygen partial pressures above 1.4 ata.
Would CNS toxicity ever be likely breathing any gas mix-
ture with oxygen at the surface?

Answer: No. The highest fraction of oxygen you can have


is 100%. Breathing 100% oxygen at the surface is a PO2 of 1.0
ata. – the highest partial pressure you can have at the surface.
Therefore, you cannot reach the 1.4 ata required for CNS toxicity.

VI. The Behavior of Gases Underwater: Gas Absorption


and Elimination
Absorption and Elimination
A. What happens when you raise the pressure of a
■ What
■ What happens
happens when
when yy ou
ou raise
raise �
gas in contact with a liquid? the
the pressure
with
pressure of of gas
gas in
in contact
contact �
with aa liquid?
liquid? �
1. Gases in contact with a liquid dissolve into the liq- ◆ More
◆ More gas
gas dissolves
dissolves into
◆ Equilibrium
◆ Equilibrium or
into the
the liquid
saturation is
or saturation
liquid �
is �
uid proportionately to the pressure. reached
reached eventuall
■ What
eventually�
y�
■ What is
is super saturation ?�
super saturation ?�
2. If the pressure increases, more gas dissolves into the ◆ Gas
◆ Gas pressure
pressure within
greater
greater than
within aa liquid
than the
liquid is
the pressure
pressure of
is
of gas
gas in
in
liquid. contact
contact with
with the
the liquid
liquid
DM
DM 55 --33
33

3. If the pressure decreases, the gas dissolves out of the


liquid (Henry’s Law). Carbonated beverages are a
good example of this.
4. Because the human body is comprised mainly of
water, this is the principle underlying decompres-
sion sickness and the basis for dive tables/comput-
ers.
B. Gases dissolved in a liquid still exert pressure, which is
referred to as gas tension.
C. Gas does not dissolve instantly into or out of a liquid
when the pressure changes.
1. It does so gradually over a period that depends on
the liquid, the gas, and the contact area between
the gas and the liquid.
2. Eventually, however, the pressure of the gas dis-
solved within the liquid will become equal to the
pressure of the gas in contact with it and no more

3-76 Three: Knowledge Development


gas will dissolve in or out. This equilibrium is re-
ferred to as saturation.
3. If the gas pressure in contact increases (such as
when a diver descends), then the liquid will now be
capable of holding even more gas than before. Gas
exchange will continue as before until the new level
of equilibrium is achieved.
D. What is supersaturation?
1. If the pressure in contact with the liquid is reduced
What happens when (as when a diver ascends), gas tension within the liq-
you quickly reduce the uid will be greater than the pressure in contact with
pressure on a liquid the liquid.
that is saturated?
2. The liquid is then referred to as supersaturated. It will
Absorption and Elimina tion DM
DM 55 --34
34
gradually be less supersaturated as the gas dissolves
out of the liquid and equilibrium returns.
E. What happens when you quickly reduce the
pressure on a liquid that is saturated with dis-
solved gas at a higher pressure?
1. A liquid can have a moderate degree of supersatu-
ration and still hold gas in solution. If a pressure
reduction takes place gradually, then the gas will
dissolve out of the liquid without forming bubbles.
2. If the pressure reduction is too great causing an
excessive supersaturation, the gas within the liquid
cannot remain in solution and bubbles form.
3. This phenomenon explains the basic mechanism of
decompression sickness and why the condition can-
not occur until the diver leaves depth, or reduces the
pressure in contact with the blood.
4. Dive tables/computers help the diver control the
supersaturation to avoid bubble formation. [Explain
that candidates will learn more about this in Topic
6, the Physiology of Diving.]

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-77


Topic 6 -
The Physiology of Diving
Recommended Materials and Methods
for Covering this Topic
The recommended method for developing knowledge about diving physi-
ology is to have candidates read the Physiology of Diving section of The
Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving and complete the physiology section in
the Diving Knowledge Workbook. Have them consult the related objectives in
the Appendix of the PADI Divemaster Manual to be sure they can meet all the
performance requirements.
After independent study, meet with candidates individually or in a group.
Begin by reviewing their work in the Diving Knowledge Workbook, then an-
swer candidate questions. Ask questions to assess mastery and review the
material, based on how they complete their workbooks. Use the presentation
outline as a guide for a complete review.
If The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving and the Diving Knowledge Workbook
don’t exist in a language candidates understand, you can develop knowl-
edge by giving the following presentation in detail.

Presentation
Overview and Learning Objectives
I. Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
1. What are the primary purposes of the respiratory
and circulatory systems?
2. What are the organs, structure and functions of the
circulatory and respiratory systems?
3. What is dead air space, and how do you avoid prob- Overview
lems caused by it? ■ Circulatory
■ Circulatory and
and Respiratory
Respiratory Systems�
Systems�
◆ Diving
◆ Diving Problems
Problems with
with These
These Systems�
Systems�
4. How does the body respond when breath-hold div- ■ Physiological
■ Physiological Responses�
Responses�
ing, and how can you extend breath-hold time? ◆ Nitrogen�
◆ Nitrogen�
◆ Thermal
◆ Changes�
Thermal Changes�
II. Diving Problems with Circulatory and Respiratory Systems ◆ Pressure
◆ Pressure Changes
Changes on
on Body
Body Air
Air Spaces�
Spaces�
■ Problems
■ Problems in
in Body
Body Air
Air Spaces
Spaces
5. What is carotid-sinus reflex, and how do you avoid DM
DM 6
6 -- 22

it?
6. What is hypercapnia, and how do you avoid it?
7. What are hypocapnia and shallow water blackout,
and how do you avoid them?
8. What are the physiological effects of carbon mon-
oxide while diving, and how do you avoid them?
9. What are the two types of oxygen toxicity, and how
do you avoid them?

3-78 Three: Knowledge Development


III. Physiological Responses to Nitrogen
10. What are the physiological mechanisms by which
the body absorbs and releases nitrogen (or other
inert gases) while diving?
11. What are silent bubbles, and how do they relate to
decompression?
12. What causes decompression sickness (DCS), and
what are the two types?
13. What is meant by decompression illness (DCI) ver-
sus decompression sickness?
14. What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?
15. What are the recommendations and physiological
rationales for DCS first aid and treatment?
16. What causes nitrogen narcosis, at approximately
what depth is it likely, and what are common signs
and symptoms of it?
IV. Physiological Responses to Thermal Changes
17. How does the body respond to excess heat?
18. What causes heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and
how do they differ physiologically?
19. How does the body respond to insufficient heat?
20. What causes hypothermia, and what happens
physiologically when it occurs?
V. Physiological Responses to Pressure Changes on
Body Air Spaces
21. What are the basic functions, organs and structure
of the ears and sinuses?
22. How do the ears and sinuses respond to changing
pressure?
23. How do the lungs respond to changing pressure?
VI. Problems in Body Air Spaces
24. What are barotrauma and squeeze?
25. What are the causes and physiologies of eardrum
rupture, middle ear squeeze, reverse squeeze, ear
plug problems, round window rupture and sinus
squeeze?
26. What is vertigo, and what may cause it while diving?
27. What is the cause and physiology of lung squeeze?
28. What are the causes and physiologies of the lung
overexpansion injuries: air embolism, pneumotho-
rax, mediastinal emphysema and subcutaneous
emphysema?

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-79


29. What are the recommendations and physiological
rationales for lung overexpansion injury first aid
and treatment?
30. What are the cause and physiology of mask and
dry suit squeezes?

Circulation and
Respiration �
Outline �
What are the purposes,
structure and functions of
the respiratory and
I. Circulatory and Respiratory Systems circulatory syst ems?
A. What are the primary purposes of the respira- DM
DM 6
6 -- 33

tory and circulatory systems?


1. The primary, most urgent purpose of these systems Purposes
■ Supply
Supply tissues
tissues with
with oxygen
oxygen �
is to supply body tissues oxygen and to remove and

and
and remove
remove and
and eliminate
eliminate �
eliminate waste carbon dioxide. carbon
carbon dioxide�
dioxide�

■ What
■ What is
is oxidative
oxidative metabolism?
metabolism? �
2. The process of using oxygen is oxidative metabolism. —
— the
the process
process of
of turning
turning chemical
chemical
energy
energy into
into usable
usable energy
energy
3. Oxidative metabolism turns chemical energy into
usable energy to support life. Circulation and Respir ation DM 6 -- 44
DM 6

B. What are the organs, structure and functions of


the circulatory and respiratory systems? Structure and F unction�
unction�
— Circulatory
1. Circulatory System Oxygen
carried
a. Blood: red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the plasma to
Plasma� Carbon
tissues dioxide
(liquid portion of blood) carry oxygen to the tis- Red Bloo d CellsCells��carried
Hemoglo bin away
sues via hemoglobin, a protein that easily bonds from
and unbonds with oxygen. Plasma carries carbon Circulation and Respir ation
tissues
DM 6 -- 55
DM 6

dioxide away from tissues.


b. Cardiovascular system - heart, arteries, capillaries Cardiovascular Syst em
and veins ■ Heart
■ – a four chamber pump �
that circulates blood�
blood�
1. The heart is a four chamber organic pump that ■ Arteries
■ carry blood away �
from the heart�
heart�
circulates blood. carry blood toward heart�
■ Veins
■ heart�
2. Arteries carry blood away from heart. ■ Capillaries
■ – microscopic vessels
between arteries and veins where
3. Veins carry blood toward heart. gas exchange occurs
Circulation and Respir ation DM 6 -- 6
DM 6 6

4. Capillaries are microscopic vessels between


arteries and veins; gas exchange occurs in the
capillaries.
2. Respiratory system structure and functions
Respiratory Syst em
a. What triggers the breathing cycle?
■ What
■ What triggers
triggers the
the breathing
breathing cycle?�
cycle?�
1. Reflex respiratory centers in the brain monitor ◆ Reflex
◆ Reflex respiratory
respiratory centers
centers in
in the
the
carbon dioxide levels in body. brain
brain monitor
monitor the
dioxide
dioxide level�
level�
the body
body ’s
’s carbon
carbon

2. When carbon dioxide rises, they signal the dia- ◆ When


◆ When CO
CO 2 2
rises,
rises, diaphragm
diaphragm is
is
signalled
signalled to
to ff lex
lex downw
downward
ard
phragm, a large muscle below the lungs, to flex
downward, causing lower internal pressure. Circulation and Respir ation DM
DM 6
6 -- 77

3-80 Three: Knowledge Development


3. Air enters through sinuses and mouth past the
epiglottis into the trachea (windpipe), which
branches into the bronchi leading into lungs.
4. Bronchi divide into smaller and smaller bron-
chi until reaching tiny alveoli, which are air
sacs surrounded by the pulmonary capillaries. It
is here that the blood releases carbon dioxide
and picks up oxygen.
B. Path of blood flow through circulatory and respiratory
systems.
1. Oxygen-rich blood from lungs enters left heart;
heart pumps the blood into the aorta, the body’s
largest artery.
2. The aorta branches into smaller arteries, including
the carotid arteries that supply the brain. Arteries
branch to smaller arteries throughout the body un-
til reaching the capillaries.
3. Blood gives up oxygen and picks up carbon diox-
ide in capillaries and flows into the venous system
(veins).
4. Veins branch into larger and larger veins until a
single vein returns oxygen-poor blood to the right
heart.
5. The heart pumps oxygen poor blood to lungs via
the pulmonary arteries.
6. Pulmonary arteries branch into pulmonary capillaries
that surround lung alveoli. The blood releases car-
bon dioxide into alveoli to be exhaled and picks up
oxygen.
7. Oxygen-rich blood returns to the left heart via pul-
monary veins to begin another cycle.
What is dead air space,
and how do you avoid
C. What is dead air space, and how do you avoid
problems caused by it? problems caused by it?
■ Tidal
Tidal volume –– does
does not
not pla
pla yy �
1. The portion of tidal volume (volume breathed in and
■ volume
part in
aa part in gas
gas exchange�
exchange�
■ Shallow
■ Shallow br
br eathing
increases,
eathing –– CO
CO level
22 level out on each breath) that plays no part in gas ex-
increases, breathing
breathing rate
rate increases�
increases�
■ Avoid
■ Avoid problem
problem by
by deep,
deep, � change - volume in bronchi, trachea, mouth/sinuses.
normal
normal br
breathing
eathing
Circulation and Respir ation DM
DM 6
6 -- 10
10 2. Dead air space is rebreathed - increases carbon di-
oxide.
3. Equipment increases dead air space (snorkel/regula-
tor) and therefore further increases carbon dioxide
rebreathed.
4. In shallow breathing, dead air space is propor-
tionately high in tidal volume and carbon dioxide
levels rise, stimulating a higher breathing rate.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-81


a. If breathing remains shallow, breathing rate will
continue to increase.
b. Rapid breathing requires more effort to overcome
air resistance and this raises carbon dioxide levels
further.
c. May lead to hypercapnia (discussed shortly).
5. In deep, normal breathing, dead air space is propor-
tionately lower in tidal volume and carbon dioxide
levels fall.
a. Breathing rate remains normal.
b. Avoid dead air space problems by breathing slowly
with deep, normal breaths.
D. How does the body respond when breath-hold What happens during a
diving, and how can you extend breath-hold breath hold dive?
time? ■ During
■ During apnea
oxygen
apnea
oxygen stored
,, the
stored in
the body
body uses
in the
the lungs,
uses
lungs,
1. During apnea (breath holding) the circulatory system muscles and blood�
muscles and blood
■ Accumulating

■ Accumulating CO CO22 creates
creates the
the
uses oxygen stored in the lungs, muscles and blood to urge
urge to
to breathe�
breathe�
■ Hyperventilation
Hyperventilation can can increase
increase
supply tissues.

breath
breath hold
hold time
time

a. In cool water, bradycardia (slowing of the heart) Circulation and Respir ation DM 6 -- 11
DM 6 11

reduces circulation speed, though doesn’t appear to


reduce oxygen consumption in humans (it does in
marine mammals).
2. Accumulating carbon dioxide creates urges to breathe
and eventually it is too great to ignore, forcing the
diver to surface and breathe.
3. You can increase breath hold time by first hyperven-
tilating (breathing deeply and rapidly) three or four
times. Doing so reduces circulatory carbon dioxide
so it takes longer to accumulate enough to stimulate
breathing. Excessive hyperventilation may lead to
shallow water blackout, as discussed shortly.
II. Diving Problems with Circulatory and
Respiratory Systems Diving Problems �
A. What is carotid-sinus reflex, and how do you �
What is carotid �
avoid it? reflex?�
sinus reflex?�
1. Carotid sinus receptors monitor pressure of arterial �
Do not wear an excessively
blood reaching brain through carotid arteries. tight hood, wet suit or �
dry suit neck seal
2. Low blood pressure triggers a higher heart rate, and Circulation and Respir ation DM 6 -- 12
DM 6 12

high blood pressure triggers a lower heart rate.


3. Receptors interpret pressure from an excessively tight
hood or wet suit constricting neck as high blood pres-
sure.
4. The heart rate slows, reducing blood flow to the brain,
but pressure remains, causing yet slower heart rate.

3-82 Three: Knowledge Development


5. The diver feels uncomfortable and light-headed, but
may lose consciousness if constriction continues un-
relieved.
6. Avoid by not wearing excessively tight hoods, wet
suits or dry suit neck seals.
B. What is hypercapnia, and how do you avoid it?
Carbon Dio xide
■ What
1. Hypercapnia is excessive carbon dioxide.
■ What is hypercapnia ?�?�
is hypercapnia
◆ Excessive


Excessive CO
◆ Caused
Caused by
CO22�
by skip
skip breathing,
breathing, rapid
rapid �
2. It’s caused by dead air space, skip breathing (hold-
shallow
shallow breathing,
◆ May

breathing, overexertion,
May cause
cause to
overexertion, etc.�
to headache,
headache, confusion,
etc.�
confusion, � ing the breath periodically), shallow rapid breath-
loss
loss of
of consciousness�
consciousness�
■ What
■ What is hypocapnia ?�?�
is hypocapnia ing, overexertion or a combination of these. In very
◆ Insufficient
Insufficient CO
rare cases, air supply may be high in carbon diox-
◆ CO22�
◆ Caused by
◆ Caused by hyperventilation�
hyperventilation�
◆ May
◆ May cause
cause shallow
shallow water
water blackout
blackout
Circulation and Respir ation DM 6 -- 13
DM 6 13 ide.
3. Causes headache and increased breathing. In severe
cases, confusion and loss of consciousness.
4. If involving overexertion, increased work of breath-
ing can increase carbon dioxide, leading to even
greater breathing demand - cycle stops when diver
stops all activity and rests.
5. Avoid by breathing deeply and normally, not skip
breathing, and by avoiding overexertion.
C. What are hypocapnia and shallow water black-
out, and how do you avoid them?
1. Hypocapnia is insufficient carbon dioxide.
2. Too little carbon dioxide may interrupt normal
breathing cycle because carbon dioxide stimulates
breathing.
3. May be caused by hyperventilation due to stress or
fright while scuba diving - causes light-headedness.
4. Primarily a concern with breath-hold diving and
excessive hyperventilation (more than three or four
breaths)- causes shallow water blackout.
a. Diver excessively depletes carbon dioxide by hy-
perventilating excessively.
b. At depth, diver’s body consumes oxygen faster
than carbon dioxide accumulates to stimulate
breathing.
c. Depleted oxygen causes no problem at depth be-
cause high partial pressure allows hemoglobin to
bond with remaining supply.
d. Diver ascends, the partial pressure drops and he-
moglobin can no longer bond with oxygen; diver
blacks out without warning due to hypoxia - insuf-
ficient oxygen.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-83


D. What are the physiological effects of carbon
monoxide while diving, and how do you avoid What are the physiolog ical
effects of carbon mono xide
them? while diving?
1. It’s caused by contaminated air from using wrong ■ CO bonds with hemoglobin more

readily than oxygen�
oxygen�
lubricants or improper compressor system mainte- ■ May cause hypoxia
■ = black out�
out�
nance (fortunately now very rare) Smoking is an- ■ Use only air from reputable �

fill stations
other source of carbon monoxide.
Circulation and Respir ation DM 6 -- 14
DM 6 14

a. Carbon monoxide bonds with hemoglobin more


readily than oxygen, but doesn’t release as easily.
b. Breathing air contaminated with carbon mon-
oxide at depth, hemoglobin carries less and less
oxygen as carbon monoxide bonds with it.
c. However, at depth blood still carries sufficient
oxygen dissolved in plasma by high partial pres-
sures to meet tissue demands.
d. When diver surfaces, plasma no longer can carry
enough dissolved oxygen - diver blacks out from
hypoxia.
2. Symptoms and signs (when they do occur) include
headache, confusion, narrow vision, bright red lips/
nails (not easily observed underwater).
a. Symptoms of mild cases subside after several
hours of fresh air.
b. Severe cases - give the diver pure oxygen and con-
tact emergency medical care.
3. Avoid by getting air only from reputable air fill sta-
tions.
What are the two types
E. What are the two types of oxygen toxicity, and of oxygen toxicity?
how do you avoid them? ■ Central
■ Central nervous
nervous system
system (CNS)
(CNS) �
◆ Exposur
◆ Exposuree to
to PPO
PPO g
g reater
reater �
1. It’s nearly impossible to suffer oxygen toxicity using than
than 1.4
1.4 aa ta�
ta�

air within recreational diving limits (40 m/130 ft or ■ Pulmonary


■ Pulmonary toxicity
toxicity �
◆ Contin
◆ Continuous
uous eexposure
xposure to
to
less, no stop diving). elevated
elevated PPO
PPO

2. Using enriched air nitrox (EANx), you can have oxy- Circulation and Respir ation DM 6 -- 15
DM 6 15

gen toxicity.
3. Two types of oxygen toxicity
a. Central nervous system (CNS) toxicity
1. Caused by exposure to oxygen partial pres-
sures greater than approximately 1.4 ata
(using EANx32 below 33 metres/110 feet, or
EANx36 below 29 metres/95 feet, or pure oxy-
gen below 4 metres/13 feet) to 1.6 ata.
2. Symptoms and signs include visual distur-
bances, ear ringing, nausea, twitching muscles,
irritability and dizziness.
3-84 Three: Knowledge Development
3. Most serious symptom/sign is a convulsion
- usually without warning. Convulsions are not
harmful themselves, but may cause diver to
lose mouthpiece and drown.
4. Avoid by not exceeding a partial pressure of
1.4 ata. [Remind candidates that enriched air
diving requires special training, much of which
covers CNS concerns in more detail.]
b. Pulmonary toxicity
1. Caused by continuous exposure to elevated
oxygen partial pressure.
2. Most likely in recreational diving only follow-
ing multiple dives using enriched air.
3. Symptoms and signs include burning in the
chest and irritated cough.
4. Usually resolves itself by ceasing diving for sev-
eral days.
5. Not considered immediately life threatening or
hazardous.
6. Avoid by following oxygen exposure limits of
NOAA and DSAT Oxygen Exposure Table. [Tell
candidates that enriched air training covers
pulmonary toxicity and using tables to avoid it
in more detail.]

III. Physiological Responses to Nitrogen


Nitrogen Absorption A. What are the physiological mechanisms by
and Elimination � which the body absorbs and releases nitrogen
� (or other inert gases) while diving?
What are the physiolog ical 1. Gases dissolve into liquids proportionately to the
mechanisms by which �
the body absorbs and
pressure. This is the basis for decompression.
releases nitrogen? 2. The human body is primarily water, so when ex-
posed to pressure (as in diving), more nitrogen from
DM 6 -- 16
DM 6 16

the air we breathe goes into solution in body tissues.


a. Oxygen is consumed metabolically, but nitrogen
Physiolog ical Responses
■ Gases
■ Gases dissolve
dissolve into
into liquids
liquids
gas is physiologically inert and is therefore a con-
proportionately
proportionately to
to the
the pressure�
pressure� cern.
■ While
■ While diving,
diving, nitrogen
solution
solution in
nitrogen goes
in body
goes into
body tissues�
tissues�
into
b. Other inert gases, such as helium, will dissolve
■ Different
■ Different tissues
tissues absorb
absorb and
and into body tissues when breathing special mixes in
release
release nitrogen
nitrogen at
at different
different rates
rates nonrecreational diving.
Nitrogen
continued...
continued...
DM
DM 6
6 -- 17
17 c. Nitrogen pressure is higher in alveolar air than in
the blood, so nitrogen dissolves into blood, then
from the blood to the tissues.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-85


d. Dissolved gas still exerts pressure. The pressure of
gas dissolved in the body is called tissue pressure.
3. Different tissues absorb (and release) nitrogen at dif-
ferent rates. Given enough time at depth, the body
saturates by reaching equilibrium, meaning it has
absorbed all the nitrogen possible at that pressure.
a. Calculating different tissue absorption and re-
lease is the foundation of decompression models.
4. Most dives are too short to reach saturation. The
amount of nitrogen absorbed relates directly to the Physiological Responses...
depth (pressure) and time of the dive. ■ Most dives are too short �

to reach saturation�
saturation�
5. Upon ascent after a dive, nitrogen pressure in tissues ■ Upon ascent, higher nitrogen

is higher than surrounding pressure. This is called pressure in tissues results in


nitrogen dissolving out of the body�
body�
supersaturation. ■ If
■ pressure gradient is within limits,
elimination is harmless
6. With higher tissue pressures, nitrogen pressure in
Nitrogen DM
DM 6
6 -- 18
blood exceeds pressure in alveolar air; nitrogen dis-
18

solves from blood and is exhaled. This lowers blood


tissue pressure, so nitrogen dissolves from body tis-
sues into blood.
7. If difference between surrounding pressure and tis-
sue pressure (the pressure gradient) is within limits,
the nitrogen dissolves harmlessly out of the body.
a. Most nitrogen remains within solution and dis-
solves out slowly.
8. What are silent bubbles, and how do they re-
late to decompression?
a. According to theory, some nitrogen dissolves into What are silent bubbles ?
microscopic gas pockets in the body and form ■ Some
■ Some excess
into
excess nitrogen
nitrogen dissolves
into microscopic
microscopic gas
dissolves
gas pockets
pockets
tiny bubbles that are trapped by the pulmonary forming
forming tiny
tiny bubbles�
bubbles�
■ Tiny
Tiny bubbles
bubbles may
may �
capillaries in the lungs; these then diffuse harm-

lead
lead toto larger,
larger, but
but �
lessly into alveolar air. still
still harmless
harmless silent
silent bubbles
bubbles �
■ Silent
■ Silent bubbles
bubbles are
are detectable
detectable by
by
b. Doppler ultrasound flow meters detect silent Doppler
Doppler ultrasound
ultrasound flow
flow meters
meters
Nitrogen DM 6 -- 19
DM 6 19

bubbles after some dives, especially those close to


table/computer limits - these are larger bubbles
than the tiny bubbles theorized to form after most
dives, but are still harmless.
B. What causes decompression sickness (DCS)?
1. If tissue pressure exceeds surrounding pressure ex- What causes �
decompression sickness? �
cessively, nitrogen comes out of solution faster than �
the body can eliminate it harmlessly - bubbles form �
in the tissues. Symptoms de pend on
amount and loca tion of
a. Small bubbles accumulate to form larger bubbles. bubble formation
Nitrogen DM 6 --20
DM 6 20

3-86 Three: Knowledge Development


b. Larger bubbles cause decompression sickness
(DCS), a.k.a. “the bends.”
c. DCS types and symptoms depend on amount of
bubble formation and where the bubbles end up
in the body.

Decompression Illness (DCI) What is meant by decompression illness (DCI) ver-


vs. �
Decompression Sickness (DC S) sus decompression sickness?
■ DCI
■ DCI —
— rrefers
sickness
efers to
to both
both decompr
decompr ession
ession Decompression illness (DCI) is a blanket term for DCS and
sickness and and lung
lung o
o verexpansion
verexpansion
injuries
injuries (emergency
same
(emergency first
first aid
aid is
is the
the lung overexpansion injuries used in describing first aid and
same for
for both)
both) �
■ DCS
■ DCS —
— rrefers
efers specif
specif ically
ically to
to treatment, which is identical for both conditions. However,
conditions
conditions caused
caused bb yy nitrogen
nitrogen
coming
coming out
out of
of solution
solution in
in the
the body
body it’s improper to interchange “DCI” with “DCS” when talk-
Nitrogen
ing about the specific condition caused by dissolved nitro-
DM 6 -- 21
DM 6 21

gen coming out of solution.

C. What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?


What factors predispose
a diver to DC S? 1. Fat tissue: fat releases nitrogen slowly. A diver with
■ Body fat�
■ fat� a disproportionate amount of body fat may have
■ Excess CO

more nitrogen in solution after a dive.

22
■ Age�
■ Age�
■ Cold water�
■ water�
■ Dehydration�
Dehydration�
2. Age: as we age, our circulatory systems become less

■ Heavy exercise�
■ exercise�
■ Injuries/Illness�
■ Injuries/Illness�
■ Alcohol

■ Altitude/Flying
■ efficient, reducing speed of gas exchange.
Nitrogen DM 6 --22
DM 6 22 3. Dehydration: reduces blood in circulation, slowing
nitrogen elimination.
4. Injuries/illness: may alter or restrict circulation lead-
ing to localized areas where nitrogen isn’t eliminat-
ed quickly.
5. Alcohol before or after diving: alters circulation
patterns, dilates capillaries and promotes dehydra-
tion, all of which can alter nitrogen elimination and
bubble formation.
6. Carbon dioxide excess: skip breathing may raise
carbon dioxide levels altering circulation and gas
exchange.
7. Cold water: diver starts warm with normal circula-
tion, but circulation to extremities reduces as diver
cools, slowing nitrogen elimination from those ar-
eas.
8. Heavy exercise: during dive accelerates circulation
so more nitrogen than normal dissolves into body.
After a dive, exercise accelerates circulation altering
nitrogen elimination.
9. Altitude/flying: dive tables/computers are based on
surfacing at sea level, thus exposure to lower pres-
sure increases the tissue pressure gradient and may

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-87


cause large bubbles to form - returning to sea level
doesn’t usually alleviate the bubbles once formed.
D. What are the two types of decompression sick- What are the two
types of DC S?
ness? ■ Type
■ Type 1
1 –– “Pain
“Pain Only”�
Only”�
1. Type I - identified as “pain only” DCS. ◆ Limb
◆ Limb and
and joint
◆ Cutaneous

joint pain
Cutaneous -- sk
pain �
sk in
in rash�
rash�
■ Type
Type 2
2 –– Neurological�
Neurological�
a. Limb pain most common - may be midlimb or

◆ Numbness
◆ Numbness and/or
and/or ting
ting ling�
ling�
joints; first or second symptom noted in 60 per- ◆ Paralysis�
◆ Paralysis�
◆ Weakness/f
◆ Weakness/f atigue�
atigue�
cent of cases. ◆ Unconsciousness
◆ Unconsciousness
Nitrogen DM 6 --23
DM 6 23

b. Cutaneous DCS (“skin bends”) - red rashes/patch-


es usually on shoulders/upper chest.
2. Type II - identified as having life threatening or
immediately injurious symptoms; involves brain,
nervous system, lungs.
a. numbness and/or tingling
b. paralysis
c. weakness/fatigue
d. unconsciousness and death
E. What are the recommendations and physiologi-
cal rationales for DCS first aid and treatment?
1. Treat all DCS as serious, even pain only.
2. Give patient oxygen (preferably 100 percent).
a. Lowers alveolar nitrogen to accelerate elimina-
tion from tissues.
b. Raises blood oxygen levels to assist tissues with
blood flow reduced by bubble blockage.
3. Keep a breathing patient lying level on left side,
head supported (recovery position).
a. Helps keep airway clear if patient vomits.
b. Lying level helps ensure blood flow to brain.
c. Advise patient not to sit up, even during trans-
port or if feeling better.
4. Lay nonbreathing patient on back for rescue breath-
ing/CPR.
5. Monitor airway, breathing, circulation, and contact
emergency medical care.
6. Elevating the patient’s feet (modified Trendelenburg
position) is no longer recommended. What is the treatment
F. DCS treatment for DCS?
■ Recompression in a chamber�
■ chamber�
1. Except isolated cutaneous DCS, treatment usually ◆ Long
◆ Long slow
slow decompr
decompr ession
ession with
with
requires putting patient under pressure in a recom- oxygen
oxygen and
and dr
drug
ug therapy�
therapy�
■ The sooner recompression begins,
pression chamber.

the more likely patient will recover
without permanent injury
2. Recompression reduces bubbles in body to small size
Nitrogen DM 6 --25
DM 6 25

3-88 Three: Knowledge Development


and forces them back into solution - often alleviates
symptoms immediately.
3. Treatment involves a long slow decompression with
oxygen and drug therapy.
a. Duration and need for drugs/oxygen makes at-
tempting recompression in water inadvisable in
vast majority of circumstances.
4. The sooner recompression begins, the more likely
the patient will recover without permanent injury
- don’t delay obtaining medical care. Patients some-
times don’t want to believe they’re suffering from
DCI and object to seeing a doctor - as appropriate,
strongly urge patients to allow medical examination
by emergency medical care.
G. What causes nitrogen narcosis, at approximate-
ly what depth is it likely, and what are common
signs and symptoms of it?
1. Almost any gas can cause an anesthetic (narcotic)
effect under pressure. Exact mechanism unknown,
but appears related to nerve impulse blockage due
to gas dissolved in nerve cells.
a. Effect of a gas depends upon gas solubility in
nerve cells.
b. Narcosis varies with individual physiology and is
not entirely predictable.
c. Nitrogen/oxygen have about same solubility - are
somewhat narcotic at the deeper range of recre-
ational diving. Using air or enriched air, narcosis
is expected to be noticeable at about 30 me-
tres/100 feet.
d. Helium is not narcotic under even very high pres-
sures - this is why it is used by technical and com-
mercial divers making very deep dives.
2. Ascent relieves narcotic symptoms - usually no after
effects.
3. Not directly hazardous - hazard comes from im-
paired judgment that may delay reactions or lead to
poor decisions.
Physiological
Responses to IV. Physiological Responses to Thermal Changes
Thermal and A. How does the body respond to excess heat?
Pressure Changes 1. Heat is mainly a problem before or after dive wear-
ing full wet suits or dry suits in hot weather.
DM 6 -- 27
DM 6 27
2. Body responds to excess heat, progressively by:

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-89


a. Dilating skin capillaries to promote cooling.
b. Perspiring to cool skin through evaporation.
c. Accelerating pulse to circulate blood faster for
cooling. How does the body
respond to excess heat?
d. Continuing until diver cools (seeks shade, stops
■ Skin
■ Skin capillaries
capillaries dilate�
dilate�
exercising, etc.) or exhausts physiological ability
■ Perspiration�
■ Perspiration�
to cool
■ Accelerated
■ Accelerated pulse
pulse
B. What causes heat exhaustion and heat stroke,
No Relief = Heat Exhaustion �
and how do they differ physiologically? Heat Stroke
DM
DM 6
6 --28
28

1. Exposure suits interfere with body’s ability to cool


self - perspiration is ineffective in a wet or dry suit.
This is compounded if diver exercises in hot climate, Heat Heat
Exhaustion Stroke
such as long walk across a hot beach. weak
weak rapid
rapid breathing�
breathing� strong
strong rapid
rapid pulse
pulse �
2. Heat exhaustion - condition in which body works at weak
weak rapid
rapid pulse
pulse � no
no perspiration�
perspiration�

full capacity to cool. cool


cool clammy
clammy sk
skin�
in� hot
hot flushed
flushed sk
skin�
in�
profuse
profuse per
perspiration�
spiration� convulsions
convulsions
a. weak, rapid breathing nausea
nausea
DM 6 --29
DM 6 29
b. weak rapid pulse
c. cool clammy skin
d. profuse sweating
e. dehydration
f. nausea
3. Diver with heat exhaustion should remove exposure
suit, seek shade, drink nonalcoholic fluid and rest
until cool.
4. Heatstroke - condition in which cooling has failed
- an emergency medical condition.
a. pulse strong and rapid
b. no perspiration
c. skin flushed, hot to the touch
d. brain damage, system damage or death possible
5. Diver with heat stroke - remove exposure suit and
put diver in cool environment; contact emergency
medical aid.
C. How does the body respond to insufficient heat?
1. Water conducts heat 20 times faster than air - diver
in 4oC/40oF water will be dangerously cold in half an
hour.
2. Temperatures that are warm in air can lead to ex-
cessive heat loss in water.
3. Under many circumstances, an exposure suit greatly
slows heat loss, but does not stop it.
4. Body responds to heat loss progressively by:
a. Vasoconstriction - reduced blood flow to extremities
3-90 Three: Knowledge Development
(except head) to reduce heat loss - causes finger/
toe numbness.
b. Shivering to generate heat through muscle activ-
ity - signals a losing battle against the cold.
D. What causes hypothermia, and what happens
physiologically when it occurs?
1. Occurs when diver ignores uncontrollable shivering,
numbness and continues to cool.
Hypothermia
2. Body temperature regulation mechanisms fail, body
numbness�
numbness� 37°C 98.6°F
core temperature drops.
blueness�
blueness�
loss of coordination�
coordination� a. Shivering stops
confusion�
confusion� b. Vasoconstriction stops - diver may feel warm as
unconsciousness blood rushes to skin - a dangerous condition be-
DM
DM 6
6 -- 31
31
cause diver doesn’t feel cold, but heat loss in now
unchecked.
c. As core temperature drops, mental processes slow
- diver becomes drowsy, uncoordinated, forgetful.
d. Unchecked, hypothermia leads to unconscious-
ness, coma and death.
e. Advanced hypothermia is a medical emergency
requiring emergency care.

V. Physiological Responses to Pressure Changes on


Body Air Spaces
A. What are the basic functions, organs and struc-
ture of the ears and sinuses?
1. Ears — divided into outer, middle, and inner ear
a. Outer ear consists of external ear, ear canal
- open to air/water pressure - channels sound to
ear drum.
b. Middle ear separated from outer ear by ear drum
- sealed against air/water; - ear drum vibrates and
passes sound to ossicles, small bones that conduct
sound to inner ear.
c. Inner ear consists of vestibular canals (control
balance) and cochlea - turns vibrations from os-
sicles into nerve impulses sent by auditory nerve to
brain.
1. Ossicles connect to cochlea at oval window,
which flexes in and out with vibrations.
2. Round window on cochlea flexes out when oval
window flexes in to compensate.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-91


B. How do the ears and sinuses respond to chang-
ing pressure?
1. Middle ear connected by eustachian tube to throat to
maintain equilibrium with outside pressure.
a. Descending, increasing pressure pushes in on ear
drum - diver feels as discomfort.
b. By equalizing, diver forces air up eustachian tube
to equalize pressure in middle ear, alleviating the
discomfort.
c. Expanding air normally exits eustachian tube
easily - seldom need to do anything during ascent.
2. Sinuses
a. Sinuses are spaces in head connected to the nose
that filter and moisturize air before it reaches
lungs.
b. Healthy sinuses have free air flow and normally
equalize naturally during middle ear equaliza-
tion.
C. How do the lungs respond to changing pres-
sure?
1. When scuba diving, normal breathing keeps lungs How do the sinuses
equalized to surrounding pressure. and lungs respond to
2. When breath-hold diving, increasing pressure com- changing pressure?
presses lungs and reduces their volume - not nor-
mally a problem because they’re intended to change DM
DM 6
6 --33
33

volume.
D. Mask
1. Not a natural air space, but affects the body.
2. Exhale into mask through nose to keep mask equal-
ized.
3. This is why divers cannot use goggles for diving - no
way to equalize the air space. Body Air Space
Problems�
Problems�

VI. Problems in Body Air Spaces What are barotrauma �
A. What are barotrauma and squeeze? and squeeze?

1. Barotrauma means “pressure injury,” and results DM 6 --34


DM 6 34

when a body air space isn’t equalized and pressure


continues or increases.
2. An unequalized air space is also called a squeeze .
B. What are the causes and physiologies of ear-
drum rupture, middle ear squeeze, reverse
squeeze, ear plug problems, round window rup-
ture and sinus squeeze?

3-92 Three: Knowledge Development


1. Middle ear squeeze - caused by failure to equalize or
inability to equalize due to congestion (diving with a
cold).
a. Eardrum flexes inward from pressure.
b. Hydrostatic pressure forces blood and fluid into
middle ear until equilibrium is restored.
c. Ears feel “full” and hearing is reduced (fluid damp-
ens vibrations).
d. Should be checked by an otolaryngologist (ears,
nose and throat doctor).
e. Prevented by equalizing, and stopping descent if
unable to equalize.
2. Eardrum rupture - also caused by failure to equalize,
but pressure increases faster than fluids can fill mid-
dle ear. Eardrum tears due to pressure.
a. Diver feels momentary sharp pain, then relief.
b. Usually heals without complication, but requires
medical attention to prevent infection and perma-
nent damage because water contaminates ear with
organic matter and dirt.
c. Prevented by equalizing, and stopping descent if
unable to equalize.
3. What is vertigo, and what may cause it while
diving?
a. When the ear drum ruptures, cold water on ves-
tibular canals may cause momentary vertigo - loss
of sense of direction and dizziness.
4. Reverse squeeze - ears equalize on descent, but con-
gestion at depth prevents air from escaping during
ascent. Eardrum flexes outward.
a. Feels like a squeeze, but happens during ascent.
b. May help to pinch nose and inhale against it.
c. Slow ascent and give air time to work itself out.
d. Usually caused by diving with a cold using decon-
gestants; decongestant wears off during dive caus-
ing blockage.
e. Prevent by not diving with a cold.
5. Ear plug problems - ear plugs or a tight wet suit hood
create an airspace between plug and eardrum that
cannot be equalized. During descent, eardrum flexes
toward earplug - unequalized space.
a. Feels like middle ear squeeze.
b. Eardrum can rupture outward if descent continues.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-93


c. In rare cases, ear plug can be forced into ear ca-
nal.
d. Prevent by not diving with ear plugs; if unable to
equalize while wearing a hood, pull hood off ear
momentarily and try again in case hood is seal-
ing ear canal.
6. Round window rupture - caused by delayed equal-
ization accompanied by forceful Valsalva equaliza-
tion (exhaling against pinched nostrils).
a. Pressure on eardrum presses in on ossicles, which
press in on oval window on cochlea; round win-
dow flexes outward in response.
b. Valsalva raises pressure in thorax, which causes
increase in pressure in cochlea (connected by
fluid as part of nervous system); this plus trans-
mitted pressure bursts round window outward.
c. This is a serious injury requiring medical treat-
ment to avoid or reduce permanent hearing dam-
age.
d. Symptoms include reduced hearing, vertigo, bal-
ance problems, ear ringing, a feeling the ears are
blocked.
e. Prevented by:
1. Equalizing early and often.
2. Not equalizing forcefully - if having difficulty,
ascend a bit and try again.
3. Using the Frenzel maneuver - using throat
muscles to push air against pinched nose
instead of using diaphragm to exhale against
pinched nose.
C. Sinuses
1. Sinus squeeze usually caused by diving with a cold.
2. Unequalized sinuses fill with blood and fluid during
dive - may feel like sharp pain against eyes.
3. Upon ascent, expanding air pushes blood and fluid
into nasal cavity - diver surfaces with blood in
mask.
4. Usually not serious and heals on its own. Medical
attention usually only required if pain is severe or
extended.
D. What is the cause and physiology of lung
squeeze?
1. Lung squeeze - caused by breath-hold descent to a
depth that reduces lung volume below residual vol-
3-94 Three: Knowledge Development
ume - the lowest volume after exhaling all possible
air.
a. Not a problem if you descend with full lungs un-
less you go very deep.
b. Can occur shallow if you descend with partially
full or empty lungs.
c. Lung squeeze causes fluid to accumulate in the
lungs, however, this requires some time to be-
come significant.
d. Can be life threatening and require medical at-
tention, but not likely in recreational diving.
E. What are the causes and physiologies of the
lung overexpansion injuries: air embolism,
pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema and
subcutaneous emphysema?
1. Lung overexpansion injuries are usually caused by
holding breath during ascent. They may also be
caused by lung congestion when diving with a chest
cold, or by local blockage due to loss of surfactant
(due to smoking) which keeps bronchioles from
adhering shut. In all cases, expanding air overex-
pands lungs causing lung rupture.
2. Air embolism - also called arterial gas embolism
(AGE). Alveoli and pulmonary capillaries rupture,
air enters bloodstream and flows into arteries.
a. Serious and immediately lifethreatening - bub-
bles can lodge anywhere, but most common is to
flow through the carotid arteries and cause cere-
bral air embolism.
b. Signs and symptoms similar to stroke - dizziness,
confusion, shock, paralysis, personality change,
unconsciousness and death.
c. Symptoms can vary depending upon where the
bubbles go.
3. Pneumothorax - air from rupture goes between lung
and chest wall, causing lung to collapse.
a. Also serious. Symptoms include chest pain and
patient may cough up blood.
4. Mediastinal emphysema - air from rupture accumu-
lates in center of chest over heart.
a. Serious, because air presses on heart and vessels,
interfering with circulation.
b. Patient may feel faint or short of breath.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-95


5. Subcutaneous emphysema - air from rupture accumu-
lates in soft tissues at base of neck. The victim feels
fullness in neck and voice may change. The skin
may crackle to the touch.
6. More than one of these injuries can occur simultane-
ously.
7. Avoid lung overexpansion injuries by breathing nor-
mally, not diving with chest congestion and by not
smoking. If unable to quit smoking, avoiding smok-
ing before diving may reduce risk.
F. What are the recommendations and physiologi- What is the first aid and
cal rationales for lung overexpansion injury treatment for lung
first aid and treatment? overexpansion injuries?
■ First
■ First aid
aid is
is identical
identical to
to DCS
DCS ––
1. First aid same as for DCS, hence the common term oxygen,
oxygen, lie
lie level
level on
on left
left side,
side, head
head
supported,
supported, primary
primary care,
care, etc. �
“decompression illness” for both. ■ Treatment
■ Treatment may
may involve
involve
etc.

2. Giving oxygen helps supply tissues deprived of blood recompression


recompression and
for
and surgery
for pneumothorax
pneumothorax
surgery �

flow by bubbles. DM
DM 6
6 --38
38

3. Treatment of air embolism requires recompression to


reduce bubble size (as in DCS).
4. Pneumothorax requires removing air and reinflat-
ing collapsed lung.
5. Air from mediastinal and subcutaneous emphyse-
mas dissipates over time; oxygen breathing may
help. What is mask squeeze and
G. What are the cause and physiology of mask and dry suit squeeze?
dry suit squeezes? ■ Failure to equalize mask�

◆ Swelling
◆ Swelling ffacial
mask�
acial tissues
tissues and
and �
1. Mask squeeze - caused by failure to equalize mask. capillary
capillary rruptures
uptures in
in eyes�
eyes�
■ Failure to add air to dry �

a Tissues swell, forced into unequalized mask by suit on descent�
descent�
◆ Welts
Welts and
and pinc
pinc hes�
hes�
pressure, capillaries in skin and eyes rupture.

◆ Constricted
◆ Constricted br
br eathing
eathing

b. Looks very dramatic and severe, but generally


DM 6 --39
DM 6 39

clears without complications.


2. Dry suit squeeze - caused by failure to add air to dry
suit on descent.
a. May raise welts and cause severe pinches.
b. Can constrict breathing and cause shortness of
breath.
3. Avoid by equalizing mask and dry suit during de-
scents.

3-96 Three: Knowledge Development


Topic 7 -
Dive Equipment
Recommended Materials and Methods
for Covering this Topic
The recommended method for developing knowledge about dive equipment
is to have candidates read the Equipment section of The Encyclopedia of Rec-
reational Diving and complete the equipment section in the Diving Knowledge
Workbook (or The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving Multimedia). Have them
consult the related objectives in the Appendix of the PADI Divemaster Manual
to be sure they can meet all the performance requirements.
After independent study, meet with candidates individually or in a
group. Begin by reviewing their work in the Diving Knowledge Workbook, then
answer candidate questions. Ask questions to assess mastery and review the
material based on how they complete their workbooks. Use the presentation
outline as a guide for a complete review.
If The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving and the Diving Knowledge Work-
book don’t exist in a language candidates understand, you can develop
knowledge by giving the following presentation in detail. Have examples of
the equipment you’re discussing as training aids during your presentations.

Presentation
Overview and Learning Objectives
I. Scuba cylinders
Overview
■ Scuba Cylinder s�
1. How do you identify and what are the meanings of
■ s�
■ Valves�
■ Valves�
the following scuba cylinder marks: alloy designa-
■ Regulator s�
■ s�
tion, hydrostatic test date, working pressure and over-
■ Instruments �
■ pressurization designation?
■ Enriched Air Equipment

2. What are the differences between steel and alumi-
Considerations
DM
DM 77 -- 22
num cylinder pressures, thickness and capacity?
3. What are the steps and procedures of a hydrostatic
test?
4. How does extreme heat affect a scuba cylinder, and
what should you do if a scuba cylinder is exposed to
extreme heat?
5. Why should a tank be visually inspected annually?
II. Valves
6. What are the different types of tank valves?
7. What device prevents an over-pressurized cylinder
from exploding, and how does it work?
III. Regulators
8. What is meant by open circuit scuba, semiclosed cir-
cuit scuba and closed circuit scuba?

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-97


9. How does an open circuit regulator work?
10. What is meant by fail-safe with respect to regula-
tors, and how does it work?
11. What are meant by upstream and downstream
valves, and balanced and unbalanced regulators?
12. What is the purpose of a regulator environmental
seal?
IV. Instruments
13. What are the proper procedures for using dive com-
puters in a buddy team?
14. What are the different operating principles for
depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?
15. What are the options for carrying gauges?
V. Enriched Air Equipment Considerations
16. What special equipment requirements and consid-
erations do you have when diving with enriched
air?

Outline
I. Scuba cylinders
A. How do you identify and what are the mean-
ings of the following scuba cylinder marks:
alloy designation, hydrostatic test date, working
pressure and over-pressurization designation?
1. Scuba cylinders have various markings stamped at
the neck. These vary somewhat internationally, but
typically include: [Have example cylinders present
to show candidates the following marks.]
a. The government agency responsible for super-
vision/approval of compressed gas containers.
(e.g., in North America - DOT/CTC)
b. The alloy designation. Steel will normally have
a designation 3AA. Aluminum will normally be
designated by 3AL.
c. The working pressure. The specific working pres-
sure is indicated by a numerical designation.
Tanks that have a “+” designation after the cur-
rent hydrostatic test date can be filled to 10 per-
cent beyond their rated working pressure.
d. The hydrostatic test date indicates both the date
of hydrostatic pressure tests and the testing facil-
ity. A plus sign after the test date is the over-pres-
3-98 Three: Knowledge Development
surization designation, which means the cylinder
may be filled 10 percent beyond the stamped work-
ing pressure.
e. Tanks also have a stamped serial number and
manufacturer’s designation.
B. What are the differences between steel and alu-
minum cylinder pressures, thickness and capac-
ity?
1. Virtually all scuba cylinders are made from steel alloy
or aluminum alloy.
2. Steel alloys are stronger than aluminum for the same
thickness, so steel scuba tanks have thinner walls and
larger internal volumes for a given external size. This
means that for a given size, they hold more air at a
given pressure than aluminum, or the same air at a
lower pressure.
3. Because aluminum is weaker than steel it requires a
thicker wall and lower internal volume for a given
external size. Typically, aluminum tanks have higher
working pressures so they hold comparable or slightly
more air than steel cylinders. Aluminum’s advantage
is that it is less subject to structural weakening due to
corrosion.
C. What are the steps and procedures of a hydro-
What are the st eps of a
hydrostatic (pressure) t est? static test? How does extreme heat affect a scuba
■ Tank
■ Tank volume
volume measured
measured � cylinder, and what should you do if a scuba cylin-
■ Tank
■ Tank pressuriz
pressuriz ed
ed beyond
beyond normal
normal
working pressure �
working pressure der is exposed to extreme heat?
■ Pressure
■ Pressure released
released and
and tank
tank vv olume
olume


measured
measured aa gain�
■ If
If change
change is
gain�
is within
within specified
specified limits,
limits,
1. Many countries require periodic hydrostatic pressure
tank
tank passes
NOTE:
passes test
test
NOTE: Specific
Specific pr
pr otocols
otocols ma
ma yy vary
vary
testing to determine the structural integrity of cylinders.
from
from countr
countr yy to
to countr
countr yy
Cylinders DM 77 -- 55
DM a. In the U.S., the test is required every five years.
b. In the U.K., it is required every four years.
2. Although tests procedures vary from country to coun-
try, in general:
a. The tester immerses the cylinder in water and mea-
sures its volume.
b. The tester next fills the cylinder with water and
pressurizes it to more than working pressure and
measures the cylinder’s expansion.
c. After releasing the pressure, the tester measures its
new unpressurized volume against its original vol-
ume.
d. If the tank contracts to within acceptable limits (as
set by the government), the tank passes. [Provide
local protocols if different.]

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-99


D. Certain circumstances can weaken tanks before a hy-
dro test is required. Have tanks hydrostatically tested
after exposure to any of the following conditions: Hydrostatic t ests
are necessary:
1. Tumbling (or sandblasting) to remove corrosion ■ At
■ At regular
regular inter
inter vals
vals specified
specified �
by
by the
the go
government
vernment �
2. Damage due to impact ■ If
■ If tank
tank is
is tumb
tumb led
led to
to remo
remo ve
ve corr
corrosion�
osion�
■ When
■ When aa tank
tank is
is dama
dama ged
ged due
due to
to impact
impact �
3. Exposure to heat in excess of 82° C /180° F may af- ■ After
■ After aa tank
excess
tank is
is ee xposed
xposed to
to heat
heat in
in �
excess of
of 82°C/180°F
82°C/180°F �
fect the metals integrity. Never repaint a cylinder ■ If
■ If the
the tank
tank is
is left
left un
un used
used for
for �
two
two or
or more
more yy ears
ears
using a heat painting process such as that used on Cylinders DM
DM 77 -- 6
6

automobiles.
4. Left unused for two years or more (especially if with
zero pressure)
E. Why should a tank be visually inspected
annually? Why should a tank be
visually inspect ed?�
ed?�
1. Visual inspection - an inspector examines the inte- �
rior and exterior of a cylinder annually. This is done To check for damage or
to check for damage or wear that may cause the wear that may cause
cylinder to fail
cylinder to fail between hydrostatic tests.
Cylinders DM 77 -- 77
DM

2. The inspection is not required by law in most coun-


tries, but is an industry standard.
3. Removal of the valve during the test also enables lu-
brication, reducing problems from electrolysis due to
the dissimilar metals of the valve and tank. O-rings
may be replaced as needed, and the valve examined
for overhaul if necessary.

II.Valves
A. What are the different types of tank valves?
1. The simplest tank valve is simply an on-off valve.
This is referred to as a K valve, which is by far the
most commonly used today.
2. A valve with a mechanical reserve is a J valve. It
contains a spring-loaded mechanism that, if acti-
vated (by placing it in the “up” position) restricts the
air flow when the pressure drops to between 20-40
bar (2000-4000kPa)/300-500 psi.
a. This alerts the diver to low air. The diver pulls the
lever into the “down” position, which releases the
restricted air flow. The J valve is a warning device;
it doesn’t provide any additional air volume.
b. With the advent of the submersible pressure
gauge, J valves began to disappear. In fact, when
using a J valve, many divers often disable it by
keeping it in the “down” position.
c. Note that when filling tanks equipped with J

3-100 Three: Knowledge Development


valves that they cannot be filled if the valve is in
an “up” position.
3. Long popular in Europe, DIN (Deutsche Industrie-
Norm) connectors are becoming more common.
With the DIN system, the regulator screws into the
cylinder valve, providing two primary advantages
over the yoke screw design:
a. A better seal between the tank and regulator
valves due to the fact that the o-ring is actu-
ally trapped between the two valves. (The tank
valve is “female” and the regulator connector is
“male.”)
b. Because the tank valve and regulator are secured
by threads, the connection is much stronger than
the yoke screw assembly. This makes DIN valves
particularly popular among cave and wreck div-
ers, who may accidentally strike the valve/regula-
tor on overhead obstructions.
c. This system, because of the superior o-ring po-
sitioning and strength, enables the use of much
higher air pressures.
Valves are equipped B. What device prevents an over-pressurized cylin-
with burst disks �
— a thin copper disk that
der from exploding, and how does it work?
ruptures if the tank 1. A burst disk is required by law in many countries
pressure greatly exceeds � and installed into every valve to reduce the possibil-
its working pressure
ity that an overpressurized cylinder will explode.
Cylinders DM
DM 77 -- 99

2. It is a thin copper disk that ruptures and allows air


to vent from the cylinder when the internal pressure
reaches approximately 125 percent to 166 percent of
the working pressure.
3. Because they weaken over time, you want to have
these disks replaced regularly by a qualified equip-
ment technician. Installing the wrong burst disk
could result in the tank rupturing before the disk.

III. Regulators
A. What is meant by open circuit scuba, semi-
closed circuit scuba and closed circuit scuba?
1. There are three types of scuba - self contained un-
derwater breathing apparatus.
a. Open circuit scuba - scuba typically used by recre-
ational divers. The diver inhales air from cylinder
via a demand valve regulator and exhales it into
the water, thus the circuit is open because none of
the air is recycled.
Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-101
b. Semiclosed circuit scuba - the diver inhales from a
breathing bag that receives a steady flow of gas
(usually enriched air). The diver exhales back into
a breathing bag and the gas has carbon dioxide
removed chemically - excess gas from the steady
flow trickles out through a valve. The circuit is
semi-open because part of the gas is recycled and
part of it is released.
c. Closed circuit scuba - the diver inhales from a
breathing bag and diver exhales back into a
breathing bag. The gas has carbon dioxide re-
moved chemically and electronic sensors control
flow of oxygen and other gases as required The
circuit is closed because all gas is recycled and
none released (except to vent expanding gas on
ascent).
2. Though open circuit doesn’t recycle breathing gases,
it is the main stay of recreational diving for several
reasons.
a. It much simpler in design, which makes it reliable
and less costly. Closed and semiclosed are more
prone to malfunctions.
b. It is much easier to learn to use.
c. It requires only a cylinder of air. Closed and semi-
closed units require chemicals and access to pure
gases or enriched air.
d. It is much simpler to maintain and service.
B. How does an open circuit regulator work?
1. The first stage reduces the high pressure delivered by
the tank to an intermediate pressure (usually about
10-13 bar (1000-3000 kPa)/140-190 psi above the
ambient water pressure).
a. When the diver inhales, the air pressure in the
first stage drops below the desired ambient pres-
sure. This allows water pressure to flex a dia-
phragm or move a piston, opening a valve that
releases air from the tank.
b. Air flows as long as the diver inhales, keeping the
first stage from reaching intermediate pressure.
c. When the diver stops inhaling, the pressure rises
in the first stage so that upon reaching intermedi-
ate pressure, the valve to the tank closes and air
no longer flows.
2. The second stage reduces the intermediate air pres-
sure to ambient pressure for breathing.
3-102 Three: Knowledge Development
a. When the diver inhales, water pressure pushes in
a diaphragm in the second stage and opens the
second stage downstream valve releasing air flow
from the first stage.
b. As long as the diver inhales, air continues to flow.
c. When the diver stops inhaling, the diaphragm re-
turns to its relaxed position and the valve closes.
d. Exhaled air exits the second stage through one-
way exhalation valves.
e. On some second stage models, the diaphragm
opens a small pilot valve, which creates a pres-
sure imbalance that opens the main valve.
1. Advantage - less breathing effort
2. Disadvantage - more complex design difficult
to service and adjust.
C. What are meant by upstream and downstream
valves?
1. Modern open circuit regulator valves have down-
Define these t erms with stream design, meaning they open with the air flow
respect to scuba regulators:
(the pressure is trying to open the valve) rather than

■ Upstream - Downstream�
Downstream�
upstream, in which the valves open against the air
Fail-safe�
Fail-safe�
flow (the pressure is trying to close the valve).

Environmental seal�
seal�
2. A malfunctioning downstream valve will permit


■ Balanced - Unbalanced continuous air flow (freeflow) rather than cut off air
Regulators
flow.
DM
DM 77 -- 13
13

3. What is meant by fail-safe with respect to


regulators, and how does it work?
a. Freeflowing during a malfunction gives regulators
a fail-safe design - it would fail in a safe manner
in that it continues to provide air. Obviously the
tank will exhaust quickly so the diver must as-
cend immediately.
D. What is the purpose of a regulator environmen-
tal seal?
1. Normal air flow causes regulator temperature to
drop (expanding gases have a lower temperature).
2. In extremely cold water (such as cold water deep
diving, ice diving, etc.) the temperature drop can
cause water to freeze regulator first stage valves into
the open, freeflowing position.
3. To avoid freeflow in extremely cold water, some
regulator first stages have environmental sealing.
This seals silicone grease or oil, which don’t freeze,
around the first stage. The silicone or oil transmits

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-103


the pressure from the water to the diaphragm or
piston so the regulator operates normally.
E. What are balanced and unbalanced regulators?
1. A regulator designed so that tank air pressure resists
or assists the opening of valves in the first stage is
called an unbalanced regulator.
a. Less costly design
b. Breathing characteristics change with cylinder
pressure
c. No longer commonly found
2. A regulator designed so that tank air pressure nei-
ther assists or resists the opening of valves is called a
balanced regulator.
a. Breathing characteristics unchanged with varying
cylinder pressure.
b. Virtually all modern regulators are balanced
regulators.

IV. Instruments
What are the procedures
A. What are the proper procedures for using dive for using dive comput ers?
computers in a buddy team? ■ Each
■ Each buddy
buddy should
should �
1. Dive computers calculate remaining no decompres- have
have aa computer�
computer�
■ Buddies
■ Buddies should
should follow
follow �
sion time by comparing the depth/time input to the the
the most conservative dive
most conservative dive time�
time�
limits of a programmed decompression model. ■ All
■ All dive
dive table
table guidelines
dive/depth
guidelines (deeper
(deeper
dive/depth first)
first) and
and manufacturer
manufacturer
2. Practical considerations for using dive computers: recommendations
recommendations apply
Instruments
apply
DM
DM 77 -- 14
14

a. Because buddy pairs are unlikely to dive exactly


the same profile, each diver should have an indi-
vidual computer.
b. The buddy team should ascend based on the
shortest times shown by any diver in the team.
c. If a computer fails, and the divers have recorded
their dive time, depths and surface intervals, it
may be possible to continue diving using tables.
Otherwise the diver must remain out of the water
for at least 12 hours, or as specified by the com-
puter manufacturer.
d. The same guidelines that apply to dive table use,
such as making deep dives before shallow dives,
starting deep and working shallow, etc. apply to
dive computers.
B. What are the different operating principles for
depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?
1. Depth gauges - there are several types, some in com-
mon use and some not as common
3-104 Three: Knowledge Development
a. Capillary depth gauges are a simple piece of clear
tubing, sealed at one end and open at the other,
with depth increments indicated according to
What are the different where the water column rests based on Boyle’s
types of depth gauges? Law. They are inexpensive and reliable, though
■ Capillar
Capillaryy —
— open
open tube
tube �
hard to read accurately much deeper than 10 me-

best
best used
used at
at shallo
shallo w depths �
w depths
■ Open
Open bour
bour don
don tube

straightens,
tube —
straightens, moving
— tube
tube
moving the
the depth
depth needle
needle � tres/30 feet.
■ Oil-filled
Oil-filled —
— sealed
sealed bour
bour don
don tube
tube �
b. Open bourdon tube gauges contain a spiral shaped

■ Diaphra
■ Diaphragm
gm —
— diaphra
diaphra gm
gm flexes,
flexes,
levers
levers and
■ Digital

and ggears
Digital —
ears move
move needle
— transducer
needle �
transducer senses
senses depth
depth
tube. Water enters the tube end and increasing
Instruments DM 77 -- 15
DM 15
pressure causes tube to straighten somewhat. The
straightening moves the depth gauge needle. Be-
cause the tube is open, clogging can be a problem
with these devices.
c. Oil-filled gauges also use bourdon tube design, but
using a sealed tube in an oil-filled gauge housing.
Pressure transmitted through the oil causes the
tube to coil more tightly. This moves the depth
gauge needle. The depth gauge is not open to the
water and therefore not clog prone.
d. Diaphragm gauges function by connecting a flex-
ible diaphragm to a series of levers and gears that
move the display needle.
e. Digital gauges are electronic gauges that read
depth via a transducer, which varies the electricity
it transmits depending on the pressure exerted on
it. These provide a digital display. These offer the
highest degree of accuracy, and are used in dive
computers to determine depth.
How do submersible
C. Submersible pressure gauges (SPG)
pressure gauges work? 1. The SPG works based on the same principle as the
■ Mechanical
■ Mechanical
— high

((similar
high pressure
similar to
to bourdon
pressure entering
bourdon tube)
entering the
tube)
the tube
tube
bourdon tube gauge - high pressure air from the
moves
moves the
the pressure
pressure gaug
gaug ee needle
needle� cylinder enters a C shaped or spiral tube and causes
■ Electronic
■ Electronic —
— pressure
pressure transducer
transducer �
■ Hoseless
■ Hoseless —
— pressure
pressure transducer
transducer
it to straighten somewhat, causing the SPG needle to
transmits
transmits reading
reading to
to wrist
wrist computer
computer
read the pressure.
How do compasses work?
Instruments DM 77 --16
DM 16 2. Electronic SPGs use a pressure transducer similar to
those in dive computers/electronic depth gauges.
3. SPGs may be integrated with dive computers. The
most recent innovation is a transducer on the regu-
lator that transmits the air pressure to a wrist-worn
computer, eliminating the SPG hose.
D. Compasses
1. North needle of compass always points to magnetic
north because the needle is a magnet, aligned by
the field of earth’s geomagnetism.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-105


2. With most dive compasses, the diver reads direction
directly against the needle, but new electronic com-
passes read the heading digitally.
3. Divers use liquid filled compasses so the gauge with-
stands pressure, and to dampen needle movement
for easier reading.
E. What are the options for carrying gauges? What are the options
1. Wrist mount - Diver straps gauges to the wrist. for carrying gauges?

a. Useful for compact instruments. ■ Wrist mount �


b. Most accurate placement for compass use other ■ Console �


than hand holding it. ◆ Retractable


◆ Retractable mount
mount

c. More streamlined than console on chest, especial-


Instruments
ly in overhead environments.
DM 77 -- 17
DM 17

d. May be more prone to entanglement in some in-


stances (e.g., kelp diving.)
2. Console - Combines several instruments into a pack-
age on the SPG or may integrate several instruments
into one, such as a pressure integrated dive comput-
er.
a. Speeds up dive preparation - no strapping on
gauges.
b. Keeps arms clear for easy donning/doffing.
c. Console requires securing so it doesn’t drag and
damage itself or environment.
3. Retractable mount - Gauge mount clips to BCD with
spring wound retraction cord. The diver pulls out to
read then retracts out of the way.
a. Popular for hoseless computers with divers who
don’t like wrist mount.
b. Makes it convenient to hand-hold compass for
greatest accuracy.

V. Enriched Air Equipment Considerations


A. What special equipment requirements and con-
siderations do you have when diving with en-
riched air?
1. Because enriched air has more oxygen than air has
oxygen, there is a greater potential for fire or explo-
sion related to improperly cleaned equipment.
2. Diving with enriched air presents oxygen toxicity
hazards not common to diving with air within recre-
ational diving limits Divers must know they’re using
enriched air, and what blend of enriched air they’re
using.
3-106 Three: Knowledge Development
B. These concerns have led to the following industry guide-
Enriched Air (EANx)
Equipment Considerations lines involving equipment used with enriched air.
■ Equipment
■ Equipment needs
needs to
to be
be cleaned
cleaned to
to 1. Most manufacturers require their equipment to be
oxygen
oxygen service
service specifications�
specifications�
cleaned to oxygen service specifications if it will be
◆ Required
◆ Required b
b yy most
most man
man ufacturer
ufacturer ss
when
when using
using more
more than
than 23%
23% O
O 22
� exposed to more than 23 percent oxygen.
◆ Definitel
◆ Definitelyy required
more
required with
with � 2. Some in the dive industry say that up to 40 percent
more than
than 40%
40% O
O 22
continued...
continued...
DM
DM 77 --18
18
oxygen requires no special cleaning or materials.
a. This so-called “40 percent rule” is under debate
and has yet to be settled. [Note to instructor:
Inform candidates of the industry’s most current
position on this issue, if different.]
b. Follow manufacturer guidelines with respect to
using equipment with enriched air.
3. Any piece of equipment that will be exposed to more
than 40 percent oxygen requires special cleaning,
lubrication and materials to meet oxygen service
specifications. If such equipment is used with air from
a standard source, it may need to be recleaned.
4. Enriched air cylinders require special marking:
EANx Equipment...
■ Cylinders
a. A 15cm/6in (approx.) band at the tank shoulder.
■ Cylinders require
require special
special marking�
marking�
◆ Identifying
◆ Identifying band
band � The top and bottom of band should be a yellow
◆ Visual
◆ Visual inspection
inspection decal
–– oxygen
oxygen cleaned
cleaned�
decal �
2.5cm/1in band with the center 10cm/4in green
◆ Content
◆ Content anal
anal ysis
ysis decal
decal � with the words “Enriched Air,” “Enriched Air Ni-
■ Divers
■ Divers must sonallyy �
personall
must per trox,” “Nitrox” or similar. Yellow cylinders need
analyze
analyze their
their cylinder
cylinder content
content
only the green/label portion.
DM 77 -- 19
DM 19

b. A visual inspection sticker stating the cylinder


has been cleaned to oxygen service specifica-
tions, or not if enriched air will not be blended
in the cylinder (partial pressure blending in the
cylinder requires putting pure oxygen in the
cylinder, even if final blend will have less than 40
percent oxygen).
c. A contents sticker or tag identifying the current
blend, the fill date, the blend’s maximum depth,
and the analyzer/diver name.
d. Local laws may alter or add to these requirements.
C. Enriched air cylinders in the dive environment
1. Enriched air divers personally analyze the contents
of their cylinders before using them.
2. On some dive boats, the normal practice is to grab
any full cylinder available for the next dive - this
isn’t appropriate with enriched air, which practice
calls for divers to use the tanks they personally ana-
lyzed.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-107


Topic 8 ‑ Decompression
Theory and the RDP
Recommended Materials and Methods
for Covering this Topic
The recommended method for developing knowledge about decompression
theory and the Recreational Dive Planner is to have candidates read:
1. The Physiology section of The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving, (or
The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving Multimedia).
2. The “Decompression Theory and the RDP” chapter of the PADI
Divemaster Manual.
3. The Recreational Dive Planner section in the Diving Knowledge
Workbook.

Additional sources:
• The Recreational Diver’s Guide to Decompression Theory, Dive Tables and
Dive Computers will help candidates understand decompression models and
the differences between how dive computers apply decompression models.
• The “Decompression Management” section of The Best of the Under-
sea Journal features articles about decompression theory and the history and
development of the RDP.

After independent study, meet with candidates individually or in a group.


Begin by reviewing their work in the Diving Knowledge Workbook, then an‑
swer candidate questions. Ask questions to assess mastery and review the
material based on how they complete their workbooks. Use the presentation
outline as a guide for a complete review.
By the end of the course, candidates should have mastered calculating
dive profiles using both the RDP table and the eRDPML. Have them consult
the related objectives in the Appendix of the PADI Divemaster Manual to be
sure they can meet all the performance requirements.
This presentation outline includes only a RDP skills review to assess mas‑
tery. Candidates who need to refresh their skills may receive remediation
under your direction. They can also independently use the Open Water Diver
CD-ROM or RDP Instructions for Use booklets.
If The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving and the Diving Knowledge Work-
book don’t exist in a language candidates understand, you can develop
knowledge by giving the following presentation in detail.

3-108 Three: Knowledge Development


Presentation
Overview and Learning Objectives
I. The Haldanean Decompression Model
1. Who is credited with developing the basic decom-
pression model we use today in most computers
Overview and dive tables?
■ The
■ The Haldanean
Haldanean
Decompression
Decompression Model
Model 2. Describe the structure and operation of a Halda-
■ US
■ US Navy
■ The
Navy Tables
Tables and
and Repetitive
Repetitive Diving
Diving
nean model.
■ The Recreational
Recreational Dive
Dive Planner
Planner
■ Dive
■ Dive Computer
Computer ss 3. What are meant by compartment, halftime and M-
■ Special
■ Special Rules,
Rules, Recommendations
Recommendations
and
and Situations
Situations value?
■ RDP
■ RDP Table
Table and
and Wheel
Wheel Re
Re view
view
DM
DM 8
8 -- 22 4. Why do you need to know your approximate alti-
tude when diving?
5. What is the relationship between the Haldanean
model and the human body, and how far can you
rely on a model?
II. U.S. Navy Tables and Repetitive Diving
6. Why was the U.S. Navy (USN) table at one time the
“standard” for recreational diving?
III. The Recreational Dive Planner
7. What is the basis for the USN table’s repetitive div-
ing surface interval credit, and why does the Recre-
ational Dive Planner use a different basis?
8. For whom was the RDP developed, and how does its
testing contrast with the testing of the USN table?
9. What effect does the RDP’s repetitive diving surface
interval credit have compared to the USN tables?
10. Why are there two forms of the RDP?
11. Why can’t pressure groups from the RDP be used on
the USN tables or any other tables?
IV. Dive Computers
12. How do modern dive computers apply decompres-
sion models to provide more no decompression dive
time?
13. How do computers compare with each other and
the RDP with respect to surface interval credit and
M-values?
V. Special Rules, Recommendations and Situations Using the
RDP and Computers
14. What are the general rules and recommendations

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-109


for diving with the Recreational Dive Planner,
including for flying after diving, emergency decom-
pression and omitted decompression?
15. What are the recommendations for diving with
dive computers?
VI. RDP Table and eRDPML Use Review
16. Demonstrate how to find a no decompression limit
for a first and repetitive dive using both the RDP
table and the eRDPML.
17. Demonstrate how to plan a multilevel dive using
the eRDPML.
18. Using both the RDP table and the eRDPML, dem-
onstrate how to calculate dive profiles for three or
more repetitive dives.

Outline
I. The Haldanean Decompression Model
Haldanean Decompression
A. Who is credited with developing the basic Model
decompression model we use today in most ■ Model
■ Model consists
consists of
of multiple
multiple
theoretical tissues
theoretical tissues
computers and dive tables? ■ What
■ What is
is aa tissue
tissue compar
compar tment ?
tment ?
1. Virtually all dive tables and dive computers calcu‑ ◆ What
◆ What is
is halftime ?
halftime ?

late no decompression limits and decompression ◆ What


◆ What in
in M-v alue ?
M-v alue ?

stops (when needed) based on a Haldanean decom‑ DM


DM 8
8 -- 33

pression model.
2. Haldanean models are named after John Scott Hal‑
dane, credited with developing the first such math‑
ematical decompression model and based on it, the
first dive tables.
a. British Royal Navy assigned Haldane to address
and solve decompression sickness in Navy divers.
b. Haldane knew of Paul Bert’s work, which showed
that dissolved nitrogen causes DCS, but no one
had developed a system for predicting DCS.
c. Haldane experimented and produced his model
and tables in 1906, his work was published in
1908 in the Journal of Hygiene. Modern Haldanean
models differ little conceptually from the original
model.
B. Describe the structure and operation of a Hal-
danean model.
1. Haldane based his model on experiments and the
following concepts:

3-110 Three: Knowledge Development


a. Upon descent to a given depth, nitrogen pressure
in breathing air is higher than in the body, so
nitrogen dissolves into body tissues.
b. Given enough time, the body will saturate and
absorb no more nitrogen at that depth.
c. Upon ascent, nitrogen in the body (tissue pres‑
sure) is higher than surrounding pressure, caus‑
ing tissues to release nitrogen.
d. The difference between the dissolved nitrogen
pressure and the surrounding pressure (whether
ascending or descending) is called the pressure
gradient.
e. On ascent, tissues can tolerate some gradient of
high tissue pressure without DCS.
f. If gradient exceeds acceptable limits, bubbles
form causing DCS.
g. DCS can be avoided by keeping the gradient
within acceptable limits.
C. What is meant by compartment, halftime and
M-value?
1. Haldane discovered that different parts of the body
absorb and release dissolved nitrogen at different
rates. To account for the differences, Haldane con‑
structed a model consisting of multiple theoretical
tissues:
a. The tissues did not directly correspond to any par‑
ticular body tissue.
b. Because they’re not actually corresponding to
body tissues, it is more proper to call them com-
partments, or tissue compartments.
c. Haldane’s original model had five compartments.
Modern versions may have 14 or more compart‑
ments.
2. Each compartment has a halftime for the rate at
which it absorbs and releases nitrogen.
a. Halftime is the time, in minutes, for a particular
compartment to go halfway from its beginning
tissue pressure to saturation at a new depth, in
exponential progression.
b. After six halftimes the compartment is considered
saturated (actually 98.4 percent saturated ‑ close
enough for practical purposes). For simplicity tis‑
sue pressure is often expressed in msw/fsw gauge.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-111


c. Halftimes are assigned in minutes ‑ Haldane’s
ranged from 5 to 75 minutes. Modern models
range from 3 to more than 600 minutes ‑ short
halftime compartments are sometimes called fast
tissues or fast compartments and those with longer
halftimes are called slow tissue/compartments.

Example ‑ A 5 minute halftime compartment will have


how much tissue pressure 5 minutes after taken from the
surface to 18 metres/60 feet in seawater?

Answer: 9 msw/30 fsw of pressure


(in one halftime, compartment goes half distance from begin‑
ning to new pressure).

Example ‑ A 20 minute halftime compartment will have


how much tissue pressure after 40 minutes at 24 msw/80
fsw?

Answer: 18 msw/60 fsw of pressure


40 minutes = 2 halftimes for 20 minute halftime.
After first halftime, pressure goes halfway = 12 msw/40 fsw.
After second halftime, pressure goes halfway from 12 msw/40
fsw to 24 msw/80 fsw = 18 msw/60 fsw.

Example ‑ How long would it take a 60 minute compart‑


ment to saturate to a given depth?

Answer: 360 minutes (60 x 6 halftimes)

3. Besides differing in halftimes, each compartment


has a different M-value.
a. M-value is the maximum tissue pressure allowed
in the compartment when surfacing to prevent
exceeding acceptable gradient. [Note: there’s ac‑
tually different M-values for each compartment at
each depth, but in no stop diving we only use the
one that applies to the surface.
b. The faster the compartment (shorter halftime),
the higher the M-value (the more nitrogen it is
allowed to have when surfacing); the slower the
compartment, the lower the M-value.
c. The M-value is determined by test dives showing
what does and does not result in DCS or Doppler-
detectable bubbles.

3-112 Three: Knowledge Development


4. Why do you need to know your approximate
altitude when diving?
a. The M-value is calculated for surfacing at sea
level; at an altitude higher than approximately
300 metres/1000 feet, the gradient may be too
high unless you use altitude diving procedures.
You need to know your approximate altitude
when diving so you can adjust for the gradient us‑
ing high altitude diving protocols.
5. The model works by determining how much each
compartment absorbs for a given depth and time;
when any compartment reaches its M-value, the
dive ends (or it becomes a decompression dive).
a. On deeper dives, fast compartments usually reach
M-value first ‑ this is why deeper dives have short
no decompression limits.
b. On shallower dives, the depth may be less than
the M-value of some faster compartments. There‑
fore a slower compartment controls the dive and
model allows more no decompression time.
c. Compartment that reaches its M-value first is
called the controlling compartment.
D. What is the relationship between the Halda-
nean model and the human body, and how far
can you rely on a model?
1. Haldanean models are mathematical extrapola‑
tions.
2. There is no direct relationship between model and
the body. The relationship is implied based on actual
dive data (tests and field experience).
3. Like all models, Haldanean models have limits of
reliability.
4. You can only rely on a model as far as it has been
shown to work in tests and by field experience.
5. Models are imperfect ‑ this is why divers learn from
the beginning that there is always some risk of DCS,
even within computer/table limits ‑ the actual inci‑
dence is less than 1 percent, but there is always some
US Navy T ables risk.
■ Developed
■ Developed primaril
primaril yy for
for militar
militar yy
decompression
decompression diving
diving
■ The
■ The “standar
“standard”
d” for
for recreational
recreational II. U.S. Navy Tables and Repetitive Diving
diving
diving until
until mid1980s
mid1980s
■ Surface
■ Surface inter
inter val
val credit
credit based
based on
on A. Haldane’s tables were well accepted, but the U.S. Navy
worst
worst case
case –– slo
halftime
halftime of
of 120
slo west
120 min
west compar
min utes
compar tment
utes
tment
revised the model and tables periodically to meet
DM
DM 8
8 -- 44
changing needs and to keep up with new information.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-113


B. The 1950s revision (current U.S. Navy tables) had two
important differences from original Haldane model
and tables:
1. Six compartments were used with a longest halftime
of 120 minutes based on Navy data that there were
even slower body areas to consider.
2. Credit for surface interval for repetitive diving added
‑ previously, all dives in 24 hours were added togeth‑
er and treated as a single dive.
C. Why was the U.S. Navy (USN) table at one time
the “standard” for recreational diving?
1. The U.S. Navy tables were developed primarily for
military decompression diving, but they became vir‑
tually the standard in recreational diving until the
mid-1980s for several reasons:
a. Before computers, developing a table was a te‑
dious process that had to be computed by hand.
Few outside the Navy had the resources or ability
to produce tables.
b. Many early sport divers began as military divers,
bringing the USN tables with them.
c. The USN tables were widely available and public
domain, allowing publishers to reproduce and
rearrange them.
d. Though they weren’t ideal for recreational divers,
they could be relied on when following accepted
conservative diving practices.
D. Repetitive Diving
1. The rise of Navy scuba diving created a need for
repetitive diving that allowed longer repetitive dives
based on credit for time at the surface.
2. On the Haldanean model, in pure math all com‑
partments would lose nitrogen at their normal half‑
time (e.g., a 5 minute compartment would be free of
nitrogen after 30 minutes or 6 halftimes at surface;
a 10 minute compartment would be free after 60
minutes or 6 halftimes at surface, etc.)
3. However, you can’t make a usable table this way
because any compartment could control a repetitive
dive, depending on the first dive, the surface inter‑
val and the second dive.
4. To solve this, U.S. Navy designed its surface interval
credit based on the worst case ‑ a dive may be pre‑
ceded by a decompression dive, so the slowest com‑
partment (120 minutes halftime) controls.
3-114 Three: Knowledge Development
5. In effect, all compartments turn into 120 minute
compartments at the surface and all repetitive dive
credit is based on this worst-case approach. This is
why it takes 12 hours (720 minutes ‑ 6 halftimes) to
be “clean” with the USN tables.
6. USN tested its tables and repetitive dive procedures
using Navy divers and released them for fleet use.
a. Subjects were male, reasonably fit, primarily in
20s and 30s.
b. Test criteria were bends/no bends.

III. The Recreational Dive Planner


Recreational Dive Planner
(R DP)
A. What is the basis for the USN table’s repetitive
■ Proposed
■ Proposed in
in the
the early
early 1980s
1980s
diving surface interval credit, and why does the
by
by Dr.
Dr. Raymond
Raymond Rogers
Rogers Recreational Dive Planner use a different ba-
◆ Believed
◆ Believed 120
120 min
min ute
ute surface
surface inter
inter val
val
credit
credit was
was too
too long
long sis?
◆ USN
◆ USN tab
table
le were
were tested
tested on
on militar
militar yy
personnel,
personnel, not
not recreational
recreational diver
diver ss 1. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Raymond E. Rogers, a PADI
◆ Doppler
◆ Doppler Flo
Flo w
w meter
meter sho
sho wed
wed silent
silent
bubbles
bubbles at
at USN
USN tab
tab le
le limits
limits
DM
DM 8
8 -- 55
Divemaster, recognized that the USN tables, while
having a good track record, might not be ideal for
recreational diving
a. The 120 minute surface interval credit, while
appropriate for repetitive decompression diving,
seemed excessively conservative for recreational
divers, who make only no decompression dives.
b. The USN tables were made for Navy divers, but
this test group didn’t fully reflect the demograph‑
ics of recreational divers, who include females
and ages above and below the Navy’s.
c. Doppler ultrasound flow meters had come into
being and they showed that silent bubbles of‑
ten formed at USN table limits, suggesting lower
M-values (which would reduce single dive no
decompression limits) might be more appropriate
for nonmilitary diving.
Working with DS AT (Diving
B. For whom was the RDP developed, and how
Science and T echnolog y), does its testing contrast with the testing of the
Dr. Rogers developed the R DP USN table?
Testing occurred at the Institut e 1. Working with DSAT (Diving Science & Technology
of Applied T echnolog y (IAP M)
with Dr . Michael P owell as the
‑ a corporate affiliate of PADI) Rogers developed the
principle investigator RDP. It was tested in 1987 and 1988 at the Institute
DM
DM 8
8 -- 6
6
of Applied Physiology and Medicine (IAPM) with Dr.
Michael R. Powell the principal investigator.
2. Testing during 1987 and 1988:
a. Established the 60 minute surface interval credit
concept.
Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-115
b. Was first extensive testing of multilevel diving.
c. Included broader demographic test subjects ‑ more
like recreational diver population.
d. Was based on limiting Doppler detectable bub‑
bles, not just bends/no bends.
e. Multiday testing successfully tested RDP making 4
dives daily for 6 days (though diving more conser‑
vatively is recommended)
C. What effect does the RDP’s repetitive diving sur- R DP Charact eristics
face interval credit have compared to the USN ■ Model
■ Model uses
uses 14
14 compartments
compartments
tables? ■ Maximum
■ Maximum allowed
allowed nitrogen
nitrogen loading
loading
(M-values)
(M-values) lower
lower than
than USN
USN tables
tables
1. Dr. Rogers found that the 120 minutes halftime for ◆ Shorter
◆ Shorter initial
initial no
no decompression
decompression limits
limits

surface interval was too conservative for no stop div‑ ■ Surface


■ Surface interval
on
on 60
interval credit
60 minute
credit based
minute washout
washout
based

ing, a 60 minute halftime was more appropriate. ◆ Longer


◆ Longer allowed
allowed repetitive
repetitive dive
dive times
times

a. This means that it offers about twice as much DM


DM 8
8 -- 77

credit for surface interval time than the USN


tables.
2. The RDP model has 14 compartments ranging from
5 to 480 minute halftimes.
3. Surface interval credit is based on 60 minutes wash‑
out. The WX, YZ rules make sure slower compart‑
ments remain within accepted limits.
D. Dr. Rogers lowered the M-values to match recent Dop‑
pler data. The RDP offers more repetitive dive time, but
its maximum allowed nitrogen loading is lower.
1. Limits sometimes called “Spencer” limits after physi‑
ologist who first proposed them.
E. Why are there two forms of the RDP? Two V ersions

1. Table version introduced for those more comfortable


with a table format.
2. The eRDPML offers multilevel diving, more precision
and is easier to use. Multilevel
Multilevel diving
diving
Pressure group designations are NOT
F. Why can’t pressure groups from the RDP be interchangeable with other dive tables
DM
DM 8
8 -- 8
8

used on the USN tables or any other tables?


1. The RDP has more pressure groups than Navy
tables. Pressure Group letters designate theoretical
nitrogen levels based on the model and since USN
and other tables use different models, letters are not
interchangeable between RDP, USN tables or any
other tables.
2. You can interchange letters between different ver‑
sions of the RDP.
.

3-116 Three: Knowledge Development


IV. Dive Computers
Dive Comput ers
■ Computers
■ Computers essentially
essentially write
write
A. How do modern dive computers apply decom-
custom
custom dive
dive tables
tables for
for exact
exact dives
dives pression models to provide more no decompres-
◆ Eliminates
◆ Eliminates rr ounding
ounding
sion dive time?
◆ Longer
◆ Longer dive
dive times
times
1. Dive computers offer the maximum bottom time es‑
sentially by writing a custom dive table for the exact
DM
DM 8
8 -- 99 dive ‑ eliminates unnecessary rounding and there‑
fore more dive time.
How do dive comput ers
B. How do computers compare with each other
compare to the R DP? and the RDP with respect to surface interval
■ Three
■ Three groups
groups credit and M-values?
◆ Spencer
◆ Spencer limits,
limits, EE
EE washout
washout 1. Spencer limits, EE washout
◆ Spencer
◆ Spencer limits,
limits, 60
60 min
minute
ute washout
washout
◆ Buhlmann
◆ Buhlmann limits,
limits, EE
EE washout
washout
a. Approximately same M-values as RDP
b. All compartments release theoretical nitrogen at
DM
DM 8
8 --10
10
the surface at their underwater halftime rate (EE
stands for “exponential ‑ exponential” ), as com‑
pared to the RDP, which releases theoretical nitro‑
gen at the 60 minute rate for all compartments of
60 minutes or faster.
c. This washout means these computers can permit
dives beyond what has been tested to work ‑ e.g.,
3 dives to 40 metres/130 feet in a row for 10 min‑
utes each with only 30 minutes between them.
d. This washout is not a problem if divers avoid
multiple deep dives with short surface intervals
(generally not recommended whether using a
computer or not).
2. Spencer limits, 60 minute washout
a. Based on data for RDP
b. At surface, all compartments 60 minutes and
faster wash out at 60 minute rate; all slower com‑
partments wash out at their underwater halftime
rate (like the RDP).
c. Dives very similar to what RDP model allows.
3. Buhlmann limits, EE washout
a. Further reduced M-values (based on work of Dr.
Buhlmann).
b. All compartments wash out at their underwater
halftime rate.
c. With reduced M-values, repetitive dives similar to
what RDP data supports, though repetitive deep
dives with short surface intervals may still permit
dives beyond what has been tested to work.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-117


C. Spencer, 60 minute washout and Buhlmann, EE wash‑
out seem to be the most popular types of computers.

V. Special Rules, Recommendations and Situations Us‑


ing the RDP and Computers
Special Rules,
Note and Reminder: Because people differ in their susceptibility Recommendations
to DCS, no decompression table or computer can guarantee that and Situations
DCS will never occur, even though a dive is within the limits of
DM
DM 8
8 -- 11
the table. Never “push” any computer or table to or beyond its
11

limits.

A. What are the general rules and recommenda- Rules


tions for diving with the Recreational Dive ■ Cold/stren
■ Cold/stren uous
uous dives
dives –– plan
plan as
as if
if
4m/10ft
4m/10ft deeper
deeper than
than actual
Planner, including for flying after diving, emer- ■ Each
■ Each successive
successive dive
actual
dive is
is to
to
gency decompression and omitted decompres- the
the same
same or
■ Limit
■ Limit depth
or shallo
depth to
shallo wer
wer depth
to training
depth
training and
and ee xperience
xperience
sion? ■ Multiple
■ Multiple repetitive
◆W
◆ W or
or X
repetitive dives
X –– 11 hour
dives
hour surface
surface interval
interval
on
on all
all subsequent
subsequent dives
1. When planning a dive in cold water or under condi‑ ◆Y
◆ Y or Z –– 33 hour
or Z
dives
hour surface
surface interval
interval
on
on all
all subsequent
subsequent dives
dives
tions that may be strenuous, plan the dive assuming continued...
continued... DM
DM 8
8 --12
12

the depth is 4 metres/10 feet deeper than it actual.


2. Plan repetitive dives so each successive dive is to the
same or a shallower depth. Don’t follow a dive with
a deeper dive. Plan your deepest dive first.
3. Limit maximum depths in consideration of training
and experience. (Scuba Divers: 12 metres/40 feet;
Open Water Divers: 18 metres/60 feet; divers with
greater training and experience: 30 metres/100 feet;
no dive in excess of 40 metres/130 feet.)
4. Multiple Repetitive Dives ‑ use when planning three
or more dives in a day.
a. If the ending pressure group after any dive is W
or X, the minimum surface interval between all
subsequent dives is 1 hour.
b. If the ending pressure group after any dive is Y
or Z, the minimum surface interval between all
subsequent dives is 3 hours.
5. Limit repetitive dives to 30 metres/100 feet or shal‑ Rules...
lower. ■ Repetitive
■ Repetitive dive limit –– 30m/100ft
dive limit
limit –– 40m/130ft
6. The 42-metre/140-foot designation on the Recre‑ ■ Maximum
■ Maximum limit
◆ Accidentall
◆ Accidentall yy deeper?
deeper?
ational Dive Planner is for emergency purposes ✚ Make
✚ Make an
an emer
emer gency
gency decompression
decompression
only; do not dive deeper than 40 m/130 ft. stop for 8
stop for 8 minutes
minutes at
at 5m/15ft
5m/15ft
✚ Do
✚ Do not
not dive
dive aa gain
gain for
for at
at
7. If you discover you have accidentally descended least 6
least 6 hours
hours

below 40 metres/130 feet, immediately ascend (at


DM
DM 8
8 --13
13

a rate not to exceed 18 metres/60 feet per minute)

3-118 Three: Knowledge Development


to 5 metres/15 feet, and make an emergency decom-
pression stop for 8 minutes. If the no decompression
limit for 40 metres/130 feet is NOT exceeded by
more than 5 minutes. Do not dive again for 6 hours.
Safety Stops B. Safety stops
■ Recommended
■ Recommended after
after every
every dive
dive
■ Required
■ Required after:
after:
1. You are encouraged to make a safety stop for 3
◆ Any
◆ Any dive
dive to
to or
or deeper
deeper minutes at 5 metres/15 feet after every dive. (The
than 30m/100ft
than
◆ Any
◆ Any dive
dive made
made within
within 3 time spent at a safety stop need not be added to the
pressure
pressure gr
gr oups
oups of
of NDL
NDL
bottom time of the dive.)
◆ Any
◆ Any dive
dive reac
reac hes
hes any
any limit
limit
on
on the
the RDP
RDP
DM
DM 8
8 --14
14
2. Always make a safety stop:
a. After any dive to 30 metres/100 feet (or greater).
b. Any time you will surface within 3 pressure
groups of your NDL.
c. When a dive is made to any limit of the RDP.
3. PADI S.A.F.E. (Slowly Ascend From Every dive) Cam‑
paign
a. This project resulted from PADI’s leadership role
in encouraging slower ascent rates among sport
divers. [Refer to sidebar article “Be a S.A.F.E. Div‑
er” in section Four of the PADI Open Water Diver
Emergency Decompression
Manual.]
■ 8 minutes
■ minutes at
at 5m/15ft
5m/15ft C. Emergency decompression
when
when limit
limit is
is exceeded
exceeded by
by
55 minutes
minutes or
or less
less 1. An emergency decompression stop for 8 minutes at
■ 15 minutes
■ minutes at
at 5m/15ft
5m/15ft (or
(or as
as 5 metres/15 feet must be made if a no decompression
long
long as
when
as air
air supply
when limit
supply permits)
limit is
permits)
is exceeded
exceeded by
by
limit is accidentally exceeded by 5 minutes or less.
more
more than
than 55 minutes
minutes
• Upon surfacing, the diver must remain out of the
water at least 6 hours prior to making another
DM
DM 8
8 --15
15

dive.
2. If a no decompression limit is exceeded by more
than 5 minutes, a 5 metre/15 foot decompression
stop of no less than 15 minutes is required (air sup‑
ply permitting).
• Upon surfacing, the diver must remain out of the
water at least 24 hours prior to making another
dive.
3. Decompression is considered an emergency proce‑
dure. The RDP should never be used for decompres‑
sion diving purposes or when breathing a gas other
than air or enriched air with special procedures.
4. Inwater recompression ‑ treating DCI by putting
the diver back underwater shouldn’t be attempted.
Recompression requires long durations, oxygen, and
often drug therapy. Normally the required resources

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-119


aren’t available at a dive site, and incomplete recom‑
pression will usually make the diver even worse.
D. Omitted decompression
1. If an emergency decompression stop is mistakenly omit‑ Omitt ed Decompression
ted, do not reenter the water for at least 24 hours. ■ Do
■ Do not
not reenter
reenter the
the water
water
■ Do
■ Do not
not dive
dive for
for at
at least
least 24
24 hours
hours
2. Rest, be alert for any signs or symptoms of DCS. ■ Monitor
■ Monitor for
for signs
signs or
or
symptoms
symptoms of
of DCS
DCS
3. Breathe pure oxygen. ■ Breathe
■ Breathe oxygen
oxygen and
and seek
seek
4. Seek medical assistance if signs or symptoms occur. medical
medical assistance
assistance if
signs/symptoms
if
signs/symptoms occur
occur
E. Altitude considerations DM
DM 8
8 --16
16

1. Because depth at altitude must be converted into a theo‑


retical equivalent depth at sea level, special procedures
Altitude Considerations
must be implemented when using the RDP at altitudes
over 300 metres/1000 feet. Special procedures must
be implement ed when
2. Special training is advised when diving at high altitudes. using the R DP at altitudes
great er than 300m/1 000ft
F. Flying and ascending to altitude after diving recommenda‑
tions. (These recommendations apply to altitudes between DM
DM 8
8 -- 17
17

600-2400 metres/2000-8000 feet.)


1. For a single dive within the no decompression limit, a
Flying Aft er Diving
minimum preflight surface interval of 12 hours is sug‑
■ Wait
■ Wait aa minim
minim um
um surface
surface inter
inter val
val of
of
gested 12
12 hours
hours prior
prior to
to ascent
ascent to
to altitude
altitude
in
in aa commer
commer cial cial jet
jet airliner
airliner (altitude
(altitude
2. For repetitive dives and/or multiday dives, a minimum up
up toto 2400m/8000ft)
2400m/8000ft)
■ Divers
■ Divers whowho plan
plan toto make
make dail
dail y,
y, multiple
multiple
preflight surface interval of 18 hours is suggested. dives
dives for
for several
several da daysys or
or make
make dives
dives
that
that require
require decompression
decompression stops stops
3. For dives requiring decompression stops, a minimum should
should take

take aa special
special precaution
precaution
— an e xtended surface inter val
an e xtended surface inter val
preflight surface interval greater than 18 hours is sug‑ beyond
beyond 12 12 hour
hour ss before
before flight
flight
DM
DM 8
8 --18
18

gested.
G. What are the recommendations for diving with
dive computers?
1. Divers should not attempt to share a diver computer. Use
the same computer throughout the diving day ‑ it must
keep up with all dives and surface intervals.
2. Keep these points in mind:
a. Computers and tables have same theoretical basis
‑ nothing makes one better or safer.
b. Therefore, same guidelines apply (e.g., don’t make
deep dives after shallow dives, etc.)
3. Follow all manufacturer recommendations.
4. End the dive based on the most conservative computer in What should you do if
the buddy team. your comput er fails?
5. If a computer fails: ■ Slowly
■ Slowly ascend
safety
ascend to
safety stop
stop —
to 5m/15ft
5m/15ft and
— ee xtended
and make
make aa
xtended ifif necessar
necessar yy

a. Ascend immediately according to the manufacturer’s ■ If


■ If your
your dive
limits,
dive pr
limits, you
pr ofile
you may
ofile is
may be
is within
be ab
within no
able
le to
no stop
stop
to resume
resume
diving
diving using
using the
the RDP
instruction. If there is no recommendation, immedi‑ ■ If
■ If not,
not, stay
stay out
out of
RDP
of the
the water
water accor
accor ding
ding
ately ascend slowly and make a safety stop at to
to man

manufacturer
— usuall
ufacturer recommendations
usuall yy 12
12 to
to 24
recommendations
24 hour
hour ss

5 metres/15 feet. If there’s any question as DM


DM 8
8 --19
19

3-120 Three: Knowledge Development


to whether you may have accidentally exceeded
the no decompression limits, make the stop as
long as possible with the air you have.
b. If you have been tracking your profiles with
tables and are within no stop limits, you may be
able to resume diving using tables.
c. Otherwise, remain out of the water according to
manufacturer recommendations before resuming
diving with tables or another computer. This is
usually 12 to 24 hours.

VI. RDP Table and eRDPML Use Review


R DP
Note to instructor: Candidates should be familiar with the RDP,
Wheel Review
but you may want to review its use to assure leadership-level
mastery. Candidates should be able to perform the following
listed procedures. Work through examples to assess learning, to
DM
DM 8
8 --20
20

review and remediate as necessary.

• Demonstrate how to find a no decompres-


sion limit for a first and repetitive dive using
both the RDP table and the eRDPML.
• Demonstrate how to plan a multilevel dive
using the eRDPML.
• Using both RDP table and the eRDPML, dem-
onstrate how to calculate dive profiles for
three or more repetitive dives.

A. Find NDL.
B. Find Pressure Group after a dive.
C. Find new Pressure Group after surface interval.
R DP D. Find adjusted NDL and RNT (Table).
Table Review E. Find TBT (Table) and new Pressure Group after a re‑
petitive dive.
DM
DM 8
8 --21
21
F. Find all of the above for dive profile with three or more
repetitive dives.
G. Find next level depth for a multilevel dive. (eRDPML)
H. Find NDLs for each level on multilevel dive. (eRDPML)
I. Apply the WX-YZ rules.
J. Find the minimum surface interval required for a re‑
petitive dive of given bottom time and depth.

Divemaster Course Instructor Guide 3-121


Dive Theory
Review

Presentation Notes
117
NOTES:
1. Use this presentation when divemaster candidates have not completed
independent study through Divemaster Online, or completed the Dive
Theory Online program, or read Chapter 9 of the PADI Divemaster
Manual. You may also use this presentation for prescriptive remediation
while reviewing the Chapter 9 Knowledge Review with candidates.
2. This presentation reviews dive theory concepts that candidates learned in
previous courses. It’s designed to reinforce the candidate’s understanding
to a level that allows the candidate to apply the principles to actual
diving circumstances and also explain the concepts to others.
Dive Theory
Review

3. Some candidates may be familiar with the RDP Table, others with the
Dive Theory Review eRDPML, and some may not be familiar with either, because they have
only used a dive computer. Use the last part of the presentation to help
candidates become comfortable using both RDP versions.
Go To Knowledge Review

Overview
Dive Theory

I. Theoretical Knowledge
Overview Review

 Theoretical Knowledge  Responses to Thermal


 Heat, Light, Sound and Changes
Water Responses to Pressure
• Why do you need a solid understanding of dive theory?

 Relationship of Changes on Body Air
Pressure, Gas Volume, Spaces
Density and  Scuba Cylinders
Temperature  Scuba Regulators

II. Heat, Light, Sound and Water


 Buoyancy  Gauges and Dive
 Gases Underwater Computers
 Circulatory and  Decompression Theory
Respiratory Systems  RDP Use
 Responses to Nitrogen

• Why does water dissipate body heat faster than air does, and at
what rate does it do so?
• What effect does water’s ability to dissipate heat have on a diver?
• What does light do when it passes from air into water, or vice-versa,
and how does this affect a diver?
• Why does sound travel faster in water than in air, and
approximately how much faster is it in water?
• How does the speed of sound in water affect hearing?

III. Relationship of Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and


Temperature
• What are meant by ambient, absolute and gauge pressure?
• What is the relationship between changes in absolute pressure and a
gas volume?
• What is the relationship between depth and gas density?
• What is the relationship of pressure, volume and temperature on a
gas?

Dive Theory
118
IV. Buoyancy
• How do you change an object’s buoyancy by increasing
displacement or adding weight to make it positively, negatively or
neutrally buoyant in both fresh and salt water?

V. Gases Underwater
• What is partial pressure?
• How does the physiological effect of breathing a given percentage of
gas at depth compare to breathing the same percentage of the gas at
the surface?
• What happens when you raise the pressure of a gas in contact with a
liquid?
• What happens when you reduce the pressure of a gas in contact
with a liquid?

VI. Circulatory and Respiratory Systems


• What are the organs, structure and functions of the circulatory and
respiratory systems?
• What is dead air space, and how do you avoid problems caused by
it?
• How does the body respond when breath-hold diving, and how can
you extend breath-hold time?
• Why should you avoid a wet suit hood or dry suit collar that
excessively restricts the neck, and what are the two physiological
explanations for the concern?
• What are the physiological effects of carbon monoxide while diving,
and how do you avoid them?
• What are the two types of oxygen toxicity, and how do you avoid
them?
• What is the primary first aid for a near drowning accident?
• How do you administer oxygen to a breathing injured diver and to a
nonbreathing injured diver?

VII. Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas


• What causes gas narcosis, at approximately what depth is it likely
using air/enriched air, and what are common signs/symptoms of it?
• What are the physiological mechanisms by which the body absorbs
and releases nitrogen (or other inert gases) while diving?
• What causes decompression sickness (DCS), and what are the two
types?
Presentation Notes
119
• What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?
• What are the recommendations for DCS first aid and treatment?
• What is the difference between DCI and DCS?

VIII. Responses to Thermal Changes


• How does the body respond to excess heat?
• How does the body respond to insufficient heat?

IX. Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces


• How do the ears and sinuses respond to changing pressure?
• What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear and sinus
squeezes or reverse blocks?
• What are the causes and physiologies of mask and dry suit squeezes?
• How do the lungs respond to changing pressure?
• What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion
injuries: air embolism, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema and
subcutaneous emphysema?
• What are the recommendations for lung overexpansion injury first
aid and treatment?

X. Scuba Cylinders
• How do you identify, and what are the meanings of, the following
scuba cylinder marks: hydrostatic test date and working pressure?
• What are the different types of cylinder valves?
• What device prevents an over-pressurized cylinder from exploding,
and how does it work?
• Why should a cylinder receive an annual visual inspection?
• What are the steps and procedures of a hydrostatic test?
• What functional problems can occur with cylinders and valves?

XI. Scuba Regulators


• How does a scuba regulator work?
• What is meant by “fail-safe” with respect to regulators, and how
does it work?
• What is the purpose of a regulator environmental seal?
• What functional problems can occur with regulators?

Dive Theory
120
XII. Dive Computers and Gauges
• What are the different operating principles and designs for depth
gauges, SPGs and compasses?
• What are the procedures for using dive computers appropriately?
• What special equipment requirements and considerations do you
have when diving with enriched air?
• What functional problems can occur with gauges and dive
computers?

XIII. Decompression Theory


• What is the basic structure and operation of the Haldanean
decompression model?
• For whom was the Recreational Dive Planner developed, and how
was it tested?
• Why do you need to know your approximate altitude when diving?
• How do dive computers apply decompression models to provide
more no stop dive time?

XIV. RDP Use


• What are the general rules and recommendations for diving with
the Recreational Dive Planner, including those for flying after
diving and emergency decompression?
• How do you find a no decompression limit for a first and repetitive
dive using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
• How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives
using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
• How do you plan a multilevel dive using the eRDPML?
Dive Theory

Outline
Theoretical Knowledge Review
Study Objective
1. Why do you need a solid understanding
of dive theory?

I. Theoretical Knowledge
A. Why do you need a solid understanding of dive theory?
1. In the presentation – The Role and Characteristics of a PADI
Divemaster – you learn that professionals are people who have a
high level of knowledge and skill in a particular area. Theoretical Knowledge
Dive Theory
Review
Why do you need a solid understanding of dive
a. This broad knowledge and skill base is what allows professionals theory?
 Professionals are people who have a high level of
knowledge and skill in a particular area
to be better at solving problems specific to their area of expertise.  Broad knowledge and skill base allows better problem solving
in area of expertise
 Having a dive theory knowledge base makes it
easier to identify cause-an-effect relationships
b. Having a dive theory knowledge base makes it easier to identify More fluent with dive theory:
 More easily diagnose a problem

cause-and-effect relationships when dealing with problems and and underlying cause
 More tools for solving problems
 Better prepared to answer
diver’s questions
creating solutions. continued. . .

Presentation Notes
121
c. The more fluent you are with dive theory, the more easily you
can diagnose a problem because you better grasp the underlying
causes. It gives you more tools for solving problems that aren’t
easily predicted or predefined. It prepares you to answer divers’
questions.
Dive Theory
d. By reviewing and solidifying your dive theory knowledge, you’ll
Review
Theoretical Knowledge
Why do you need a solid understanding of dive theory?
 By reviewing and solidifying dive theory,
be better prepared to apply your expertise to solve problems and
you’ll be prepared to:
 Apply your expertise to solve
problems and provide answers
provide answers, both during the this course, and when acting as
 Apply your knowledge to
dive situations
 Using a lift bag
a dive supervisor or certified assistant.
 Using a dive computer

and RDP
 Act as an instructional assistant and dive leader
 Divers will ask you questions
2. You’ll also apply your dive theory knowledge to a variety of dive
 Apply general problem solving to a variety of situations

situations during practical application exercises and workshops


during this course.
a. For example, gas pressure and volume relationships apply when
using a lift bag during the Search and Recovery Scenario.
b. Another example is applying dive computer and RDP use as well
as decompression theory to the Deep Dive Scenario.
3. You will use dive theory knowledge when acting as an instructional
assistant or dive supervisor.
a. Student divers ask you questions about what they are learning in
the course.
b. Certified divers may also ask questions as they plan their dives
and expect that you can remind them of key concepts.
c. You’ll apply what you’re learning for general problem solving in
Heat, Light, Sound and Water
Dive Theory
Review a variety of situations.
Study Objectives
1. Why does water dissipate body heat faster than air

2.
does, and at what rate does it do so?
What effect does water’s ability to dissipate heat
4. The following topics review the dive theory knowledge you’ve
have on a diver?
3. What does light do when it passes from air into
water, or vice-versa, and how does this affect a
already acquired and asks you to apply the concepts to diving.
diver?
4. Why does sound travel faster in water than in air,

II. Heat, Light, Sound and Water


and approximately how much faster is it in water?
5. How does the speed of sound in water affect
hearing?

KR Dive Theory
Review
A. Why does water dissipate body heat faster than air does, and at
Heat, Light, Sound and Water
Why does water dissipate body heat faster than air
does, and at what rate does it do so?
what rate does it do so?
 Water absorbs more heat than air



It’s denser and forms weak bonds between molecules
Conducts heat approximately 20 times faster than air
Example – hot metal spoon
1. Water absorbs more heat than air, which is why you use water to
cools off faster when placed
in a glass of water than
sitting on the table cool things. It conducts heat approximately 20 times faster than air
does. For example, a hot metal spoon cools off much faster when
continued. . . placed in a glass of water than if left sitting on the table.
KR Dive Theory
2. Heat dissipates into water, such as your body heat when scuba
Review
Heat, Light, Sound and Water
Why does water dissipate body heat faster than air
does, and at what rate does it do so?
diving,through conduction and convection.
 Heat dissipates into water – body heat when scuba
diving – through conduction and convection
 Conduction is heat transmission through direct contact
a. Conduction is heat transmission through direct contact.
Convection occurs when a fluid becomes less dense when

b. Convection occurs when a fluid becomes less dense when heated



heated and rises
– cooler fluid flows,
creating a continuous
cooling cycle

and rises. As it rises, cooler fluid flows in to replace it – creating


a continuous cooling cycle.

Dive Theory
122
B. What effect does water’s ability to dissipate heat have on a diver? Heat, Light, Sound and Water
KR Dive Theory
Review
What effect does water’s ability to dissipate

1. Due to conduction and, to a lesser extent, convection, a diver needs heat have on a diver?
 A diver needs insulation to remain comfortable in all
but the warmest water

insulation to remain comfortable in all but the warmest water.  Without a wet suit or dry suit, you’ll chill quickly:


Takes away from your enjoyment
Could lead to hypothermia

2. Without the insulation of a wet suit or dry suit, a diver will chill
quickly, which not only takes away from the enjoyment, but also
could lead to hypothermia. (More on how your body responds to
insufficient heat later.)
C. What does light do when it passes from air into water, or vice-versa, KR Dive Theory
Review
Heat, Light, Sound and Water
and how does this affect a diver? What does light do when it passes from air into water,
or vice-versa, and how does this affect a diver?
 You miss items when reaching for them, because

1. You may recall that as a new diver, you sometimes missed items 
they appear closer — refraction
When light passes from
a medium of one density

underwater when reaching for them, because they appear closer than to a medium of a differing
density, its speed changes,
and causes it to alter direction

they actually are. This is due to refraction. slightly – to “bend” or refract

2. When light passes from a medium of one density to a medium of continued. . .

a differing density – like from air to water or vice-versa – its speed


changes, and causes it to alter direction slightly – to “bend” or
refract.
3. When you’re diving, refraction results when light passes from water Heat, Light, Sound and Water
Dive Theory
Review

through glass into the air in your mask. The effect is that objects What does light do when it passes from air into water,
or vice-versa, and how does this affect a diver?
 Refraction results when light passes from water

underwater are magnified so they appear closer by a ratio of about through glass into the air in your mask
 Objects are magnified
– appear closer by a
ratio of about 4:3

4:3. This makes the object appear larger or closer, depending upon  Objects appear larger or
closer, depending upon
the circumstances

the circumstances.  Example – fish that’s four metres/yards away will


appear to be three metres/yards away
 Appears 25 percent closer or 33 percent larger
Most divers learn to compensate for refraction
a. For example, a fish that’s actually four metres/yards away will


appear to be three metres/yards away.


b. This makes the fish appear to be 25 percent closer than it
actually is, or 33 percent larger than it actually is.
4. With experience, most divers learn to compensate for refraction
without even thinking about it.
D. Why does sound travel faster in water than in air, and KR Dive Theory
Review
Heat, Light, Sound and Water

approximately how much faster is it in water? Why does sound travel faster in water than in air, and
approximately how much faster is it in water?
 Sound is energy that travels in waves

1. Sound is energy that travels in waves and can only exist in and travel 

Can only exist in and travel through matter
Generally travels best in dense
media such as solids and
liquids, like water

through matter.  Elasticity of a substance


determines how well sound
travels through it
Sound travels slightly more
a. It generally travels best in dense media such as solids and liquids,

than four times faster in
water than in air

like water.
b. Actually, it’s the elasticity of a substance that determines how
well sound travels through it. Most substances that are denser
have more elasticity.
2. Because of water has more elasticity than air, sound travels slightly Dive Theory
Heat, Light, Sound and Water Review
more than four times faster in water than in air. How does the speed of sound in water affect hearing?
 Often can’t tell where a sound is
coming from underwater

E. How does the speed of sound in water affect hearing?


 Your brain determines direction based
on slight difference in intensity and
time when a sound reaches your ears
 Underwater, it’s the same (as far
as your brain can tell), which

1. The faster speed of sound in water means that you often can’t tell 
makes it difficult to figure
out direction
Often, you perceive sound as
being directly overhead
where a sound is coming from underwater.  Sometimes you can determine general direction
based on its frequency, distance away and intensity

Presentation Notes
123
2. Your brain determines sound direction based on the slight difference
in intensity and the time when a sound reaches each of your ears.
Underwater, the intensity and time are the same (as far as your brain can
tell), which makes it difficult to figure out direction.
3. Often, you perceive sound as being directly overhead. Sometimes
you can determine a sound’s general direction based on its frequency,
distance away and intensity.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: Water _________ body heat faster than air does because it absorbs heat
approximately _____times faster than air does.
A: dissipates, 20
Q: Due to water’s ability to dissipate heat, a diver should wear _________ to
avoid becoming quickly chilled underwater.
A: an exposure suit; a dry suit; a wet suit
Q: Light changes __________ when it passes through a substance of one
density into a substance of a different density.
A: speed and direction
Q: Refraction explains why objects appear to be _______ by a factor of about
_____ when viewed underwater.
A: closer, 4:3
Q: Sound travels approximately _____ times faster in water than it does in air
because water is denser (has more elasticity).
A: four
Q: Divers have difficulty determining the direction of sound underwater
Dive Theory
because the brain perceives that sound reaches each ear __________.
Review

A: at the same time.


Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature
Study Objectives
1. What are meant by ambient, absolute and gauge
pressures?
2. What is the relationship between changes in
absolute pressure and a gas volume?
3. What is the relationship between depth
and gas density?
4. What is the relationship of the pressure, volume and
III. Relationship of Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and
Temperature
temperature of a gas?

Dive Theory
A. What are meant by ambient, absolute and gauge pressure?
Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature Review
What are meant by ambient, absolute
and gauge pressures? 1. You know from your previous training that at sea level you’re under the
 At sea level, under the pressure of the atmosphere
— 1 bar or 1 ata
 Add an atmosphere for every 10 m/33 ft of seawater
pressure of the atmosphere, which results from the weight of the air.
 Add an atmosphere for every 10.3 m/34 ft of fresh water

Atmospheric pressure is expressed as: 1 bar or 1 ata.


a. Due to the weight of water, you add another atmosphere of pressure
continued. . . for every 10 metres/33 feet of seawater as you descend. For fresh
water, you add 1 bar/atm every 10.3 m/34 ft.
2. Ambient pressure means “surrounding pressure.” It means the pressure
that exists around something at a defined moment and can be expressed

Dive Theory
124
as the absolute pressure or as gauge pressure, depending upon your Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature
KR 6
KR 7
Dive Theory
Review

purpose.
What are meant by ambient, absolute
and gauge pressures?
 Ambient pressure means “surrounding pressure”
 Pressure that exists at a defined moment

3. Absolute pressure is the total pressure, which is what you use to 


 Expressed as the absolute or gauge pressure, depending
upon purpose
Absolute pressure is the total pressure

understand the effects of pressure on gases and your body.


a. At sea level you are at 1 bar/ata. At 10 m/33 ft underwater in
continued. . .

the ocean, the absolute pressure is 2 bar/ata, because you add the
atmospheric pressure to the water pressure.
b. For seawater the pressure increases as follows:
• 20 m/66 ft – the absolute pressure is 3 bar/ata.
• 30 m/99 ft – the absolute pressure is 4 bar/ata.
• 40 m/132 ft – the absolute pressure is 5 bar/ata.
c. For fresh water the pressure increases as follows:
• 20.6 m/68 ft – the absolute pressure is 3 bar/ata.
• 30.9 m/102 ft – the absolute pressure is 4 bar/ata. Dive Theory
Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature Review

• 41.2 m/136 ft – the absolute pressure is 5 bar/ata. What are meant by ambient, absolute
and gauge pressures?
 Gauge pressure ignores the atmospheric pressure

4. Gauge pressure is a measurement that ignores the atmospheric 



At sea level, gauge pressure is zero
At 10 m/33 ft in seawater, gauge pressure is 1 bar/ata

pressure. At sea level, gauge pressure is zero. At 10 m/33 ft in


seawater, the gauge pressure is 1 bar/ata.
B. What is the relationship between changes in absolute pressure and a
KR Dive Theory
gas volume? Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature
What is the relationship between changes
Review

in absolute pressure and a gas volume?

1. As a new diver, you learned that as pressure increases, the volume  As pressure increases, the volume of air in a flexible
container will decrease
Decreasing volume is the reason you equalize
of air in a flexible container will decrease. Using a balloon as an


Air
Depth Pressure Volume

example, if you take it to: 0m/0f 1 bar/ata

10m/33ft 2 bar/ata
1

1/2

a. 10 m/33 ft – the volume will decrease to 1/2 its original size. 20m/66ft 3 bar/ata

30m/99ft 4 bar/ata
1/3

1/4
continued. . .

b. 20 m/66 ft – the volume will decrease to 1/3 its original size.


c. 30 m/99 ft – the volume will decrease to 1/4 its original size.
d. 40 m/132 ft – the volume will decrease by 1/5 its original size.
2. Decreasing volume on descent is the reason you need to equalize
your body air spaces, such as your ears and mask.
3. The opposite is also true – as pressure decreases on ascent, the Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature
KR Dive Theory
Review

volume of air in a flexible container will increase. Again, using a What is the relationship between changes
in absolute pressure and a gas volume?
 As pressure decreases on ascent, the volume of air

balloon as an example, if you take it from: 


in a flexible container will increase
Reason for the most important rule in scuba diving

a. 10 m/33 ft to the surface – the volume will increase by two Depth


0m/0ft
Pressure
1 bar/ata
Air
Volume
1

times its original size. 10m/33ft 2 bar/ata

20m/66ft 3 bar/ata
1/2

1/3

b. 20 m/66 ft to the surface – the volume will increase by three continued. . .


30m/99ft 4 bar/ata 1/4

times its original size.


c. 30 m/99 ft to the surface – the volume will increase by four
times its original size.
d. 40 m/132 ft to the surface – the volume will increase by five
times its original size.

Presentation Notes
125
4. The relationship between pressure changes and gas volume is
the reason for the most important rule in scuba diving – breathe
continuously and never hold your breath. As air expands upon
ascent, it needs to be able to escape.

Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature


Dive Theory
Review
C. What is the relationship between depth and gas density?
What is the relationship between depth
and gas density?
 As pressure increases, volume of an air space
decreases and density increases
1. You learned in your initial diver training that as water pressure
Air Air
increases with depth and the volume of an air space decreases, the
Depth
0m/0ft
Pressure
1 bar/ata
Volume Density
1 x1 density of the air inside the space increases, because the molecules
10m/33ft 2 bar/ata 1/2 x2

20m/66ft 3 bar/ata 1/3 x3 are squeezed closer together.


30m/99ft 4 bar/ata 1/4 x4

2. As the depth increases and gas volume decreases, the gas density is as
continued. . .

follows for seawater:


a. At 10 m/33 ft, the density of a gas will increase by two times.
b. At 20 m/66 ft, the density of a gas will increase by three times.
c. At 30 m/99 ft, the density of a gas will increase by four times.
d. At 40 m/132 ft, the density of a gas will increase by five times.
KR Dive Theory
Review
3. This increase in gas density affects a diver’s air consumption rate,
Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature
What is the relationship between depth
and gas density?
because at depth each breath the diver inhales contains more
Increases in gas density affects air consumption
molecules. The deeper the dive, the faster the diver uses air.

 Example – 2 hours to breathe full cylinder at surface
 At 10 m/33 ft – 1 hour (1/2 the time)
 At 30 m/99 ft – 30 minutes


(1/4 the time)
Scuba cylinder is inflexible Depth
container filled at high
Air
Density a. For example, let’s say it takes two hours for a diver to breathe
0m/0ft x1
pressure – only when air is
exposed to surrounding
pressure does pressure,
10m/33ft x2 most of the air from a full scuba cylinder at the surface.
volume and density 20m/66ft x3
relationship exist
30m/99ft x4 b. At 10 metres/33 feet in the sea, given that the diver maintains
the same breathing rate, the same full cylinder would only last
for 1 hour, which is 1/2 of the time, because the air is twice as
dense.
c. At 30 metres/99 feet in the sea, the same full cylinder would
only last for 30 minutes, which is 1/4 of the time. because the
air is four times as dense.
4. Remember that a scuba cylinder is an inflexible container filled at
high pressure, so at depth the gas inside is not affected by the water
pressure. It’s only when a diver breathes the air – exposing it to
the surrounding pressure – that this pressure, volume and density
relationship exists.

Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature


Dive Theory
Review
D. What is the relationship of pressure, volume and temperature on a
What is the relationship of pressure, volume
and temperature on a gas? gas?
 Should not leave a full cylinder in a car in
the sun on a very hot day – pressure could


increase an rupture burst disk
Raise temperature – add energy
1. You know that you should not leave a full scuba cylinder in a car in


Molecules move rapidly
Motion causes
uncontained gas
BEFORE the sun on a very hot day, because cylinder pressure could increase
to expand or
contained gas
pressure to rise to a point that it ruptures the burst disk.
continued. . . AFTER HEAT ADDED
2. The reason is that when you raise the temperature of a gas, you
add energy, which causes the molecules to move rapidly. Increased
molecular motion causes an uncontained gas to expand, or
contained gas pressure to rise.

Dive Theory
126
3. In an inflexible container like a scuba cylinder, the volume doesn’t Pressure, Gas Volume, Density and Temperature
Dive Theory
Review

change, but increasing temperature will increase the pressure. The


What is the relationship of pressure, volume
and temperature on a gas?
Inflexible container

opposite is also true – decreasing temperature will decrease the  Increase in temperature


Volume doesn’t change
Pressure increases
Decrease in temperature
pressure.

 Pressure decreases

Flexible container
 Increase in temperature

4. In a flexible container, like a balloon, as the temperature rises 


 Volume increases
Decrease in temperature
 Volume decreases

the molecules also move more rapidly, but instead of raising the
pressure, the balloon expands. As the temperature increases, the
volume of a flexible container increases. And, as the temperature
decreases, the volume of a flexible container will decrease.
[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: If a diver is in fresh water at 10.3 metres/34 feet, what is the ambient


pressure?
A: 2 bar/ata
Q: What is the absolute pressure at 25 metres/82.5 feet of seawater?
A: 3.5 bar/ata (half way between 20 m/66 ft and 30 m/99 ft)
Q: What is the absolute pressure at 20.6 metres/68 ft of fresh water?
A: 3 bar/ata
Q: If a 12 litre balloon is taken from the surface down to 20 m/66 ft in the
ocean, what will its volume be?
A: 4 litres
Q: If a balloon is filled with two litres of air at 30 metres/99 feet, sealed and
then released, what will its volume be when it reaches the surface (given
that it doesn’t burst)?
A: 8 litres
Q: The density of a gas will be _________ at 30 metres/99 feet what it is at
the surface.
A: 4 times
Q: If it takes a diver 45 minutes to breathe half a cylinder of air at the
surface, about how long will it take that diver to breathe the same
amount of air at 20 m/66 ft (assuming all variables remain the same)?
A: 15 minutes
Q: If a scuba cylinder is filled to capacity at room temperature, what will
you notice if you use the cylinder on a cold water dive?
A: The cylinder pressure may be lower upon entering the water – the
decrease in temperature causes a decrease in pressure.

Presentation Notes
127
Dive Theory
Buoyancy Review
Study Objective
1. How do you change an object’s buoyancy by
increasing displacement or adding weight to make
IV. Buoyancy
it positively, negatively or neutrally buoyant in both
fresh and salt water?
A. How do you change an object’s buoyancy by increasing
displacement or adding weight to make it positively, negatively or
neutrally buoyant in both fresh and salt water?
Dive Theory
Review
1. You may have heard of Archimedes principle, which states that an
Buoyancy
How do you change an object’s buoyancy by
increasing displacement or adding weight to object wholly or partially immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a
make it positively, negatively or neutrally buoyant
in both fresh and salt water?
Archimedes principle: force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. This
An object wholly or partially immersed in a fluid
is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight
of the fluid displaced by the object means that:
Object Water ter
Objec
t
Water
Obje
ct
Wa
a. An object that weighs less than the water it displaces will float
continued. . . and is positively buoyant.
b. An object that weighs more than the water it displaces will sink
and is negatively buoyant
c. An object that weighs exactly the same as the water it displaces
will neither float nor sink – it’s neutrally buoyant.

Buoyancy
Dive Theory
Review
2. To decrease the buoyancy of an object, you must add weight or
How do you change an object’s buoyancy by
increasing displacement or adding weight to
make it positively, negatively or neutrally buoyant
decrease its displacement.
in both fresh and salt water?
 To decrease buoyancy – add weight
or decrease displacement
a. For example, if you get into the water wearing a thick wet suit
Example:
 If wearing a thick wet suit, hood,
gloves and boots,you’ll likely float
with a hood, gloves and boots, you will likely float very well. To
 To become neutral or negative,
you must put on weight system become neutral or negatively buoyant, you must put on a weight
continued. . . system with lead weights.
Buoyancy
Dive Theory
Review 3. To increase the buoyancy of an object, you must displace more water
How do you change an object’s buoyancy by
increasing displacement or adding weight to
make it positively, negatively or neutrally buoyant without adding weight, or release weight.
in both fresh and salt water?
 To increase buoyancy – displace more water
or release weight
 Attach a device that can be
a. The most effective way to do this is to attach a device that can
be filled with air to the object, such as a lift bag.
filled with air – lift bag
 Displace water equal to object’s
weight – neutrally buoyant
Greater displacement
b. A lift bag filled with air increases the object volume by

– positively buoyant

displacing water.
continued. . .

c. Exactly displacing the amount of water that is equal to what the


object weighs will make the object neutrally buoyant. A greater
displacement can make the object positively buoyant.
Buoyancy
Dive Theory
Review
4. To change the buoyancy of an object that is neutral, you simply
How do you change an object’s buoyancy by
increasing displacement or adding weight to
make it positively, negatively or neutrally buoyant
either add weight, decrease the volume or displacement, or increase
the volume or displacement. For example:
in both fresh and salt water?
 To change the buoyancy of object that is neutral –
 Add weight
Decrease volume or displacement

a. When a diver who is neutrally buoyant picks up a heavy lead



 Increase volume or displacement

Object Water
Object ter
Wa
Water
Obje
ct weight off the bottom, the diver will not be neutral anymore,
continued. . . but will become negatively buoyant.
Buoyancy
KR Dive Theory
Review
b. When a diver who is neutrally buoyant wants to kneel on the
How do you change an object’s buoyancy by
increasing displacement or adding weight to
make it positively, negatively or neutrally buoyant
bottom, the diver lets air out of the BCD and sinks slowly,
in both fresh and salt water?
 Diver who is neutrally buoyant:
 Picks up heavy weight
becoming negatively buoyant.
– becomes negative



Lets air out of BCD
– becomes negative
Adds to much air to BCD
c. When a diver who is adjusting for neutral buoyancy adds too
– becomes positive
 Denser the water – greater buoyancy
 Object will be more buoyant in
much air into the BCD – displacing too much water – the diver
salt water than fresh

will become positively buoyant.

Dive Theory
128
5. You probably also recall from your previous training that the
denser (heavier) the water, the greater the buoyancy for a given
displacement. Salt water (due to its dissolved salts) weighs more than
fresh water, so an object will be more buoyant in salt water than in
fresh.
[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: If an object is neutrally buoyant, what are three ways you can change its
buoyancy?
A. Add weight, drop weight, decrease the displacement, or increase the
displacement
Q: An object will be more buoyant in _______ than it would be in
________, due to the weight of the water.
A: salt water, fresh water
Q: While scuba diving, you fine-tuning your buoyancy through breath
control. This is an example of changing buoyancy by changing
Dive Theory
___________. Gases Underwater
Study Objectives
Review

A: displacement
1. What is partial pressure?
2. How does the physiological effect of breathing a
given percent of a gas at depth compare to
breathing the same percentage of the gas at the
surface?
3. What happens when you raise the pressure of a gas

V. Gases Underwater
in contact with a liquid?
4. What happens when you reduce the pressure of a
gas in contact with a liquid?

A. What is partial pressure?


Dive Theory

1. A scuba cylinder may be filled with regular air, which contains Gases Underwater
What is partial pressure?
Review

approximately 21 percent oxygen and 79 percent nitrogen, or  Air – approximately 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen


Enriched air nitrox has a higher percentage of oxygen,
Technical divers may use three gases (trimix) – oxygen,
nitrogen and helium

enriched air nitrox, which has a higher percentage of oxygen, such as  Each gas exerts its individual pressure
independently of other gases
 Independent pressure is partial pressure

a 32 percent oxygen and 68 percent nitrogen mix. Technical divers  In a cylinder filled with air, 21% of the pressure is
from oxygen, while nitrogen exerts 79%

may fill their cylinders with three gases (trimix) – oxygen, nitrogen PARTIAL
PRESSURE
OF OXYGEN
(21%)
+
PARTIAL
PRESSURE
OF NITROGEN (79%)
=
TOTAL
PRESSURE
OF AIR
(100%)

and helium.
2. No matter what is in a gas mixture, each gas exerts its individual
pressure independently of the other gases in the mixture. The
independent pressure of a gas is its partial pressure.
3. For a given pressure, each individual gas only exerts a percentage
of the pressure. For example, in a scuba cylinder filled with air, 21
percent of the pressure is from oxygen, while nitrogen exerts 79
percent.
B. How does the physiological effect of breathing a given percentage of Gases Underwater
Dive Theory
Review
How does the physiological effect of breathing a given
gas at depth compare to breathing the same percentage of the gas at percent of a gas at depth compare to breathing the
same percentage of the gas at the surface?
 Underwater, each breath has more molecules

the surface? compared to a breath of same volume at the surface


 Percentage of gas remains the same
 Number of molecules increases

1. From the discussion on depth and density, you know that when a  If there is an impurity, a diver would
take in more potentially harmful
molecules with each breath

diver inhales underwater, each breath has more molecules compared


 Deeper the dive, more significant
the physiological effects

to a breath of the same volume at the surface. This means that continued. . .

while the percentage of each gas in a mixture remains the same, the
number of gas molecules increases with the pressure.

Presentation Notes
129
Gases Underwater
Dive Theory
Review 2. If there is an impurity in the gas, a diver would take in more
How does the physiological effect of breathing a given
percent of a gas at depth compare to breathing the
same percentage of the gas at the surface?
potentially harmful molecules with each breath at depth. The deeper
the dive, the more significant the physiological effects. For example:
Example:
 Cylinder contains .04% carbon monoxide
 At surface – headache in 1 to 2 hours
 At 40 m/132 ft (5 bar/ata) – like breathing .2% carbon
monoxide
 .04 x 5 = .2
a. Breathing from a scuba cylinder that contains .04 percent
Immediately toxic
carbon monoxide at the surface would cause a headache in one
continued. . .
to two hours, but would not be immediately life threatening.
b. However, breathing from this cylinder at 40 metres/132 feet (5
atmospheres) in the ocean would be like breathing .2 percent
carbon monoxide (.04 multiplied by 5 equals .2,) which is
KR Dive Theory
immediately toxic.
Gases Underwater Review
How does the physiological effect of breathing a given
percent of a gas at depth compare to breathing the
3. As just shown in the example, you determine partial pressure by
same percentage of the gas at the surface?
 Determine partial pressure by multiplying gas
percentage by absolute pressure
multiplying the gas percentage in the mixture by the absolute
Example:
 Dive to 30 m/99 ft, breathing air – partial pressure
of oxygen?
pressure.
 4 bar/ata x .21 = .84 bar/ata
 Breathing oxygen can be toxic when the partial
pressure exceeds 1.4 bar/ata
 Understanding limits and calculating gas partial pressure is
a. For example, if you’re planning a dive to 30 m/99 ft in the ocean
breathing air and want to know the partial pressure of oxygen at
crucial for enriched air diving
and technical diving

that depth, the calculation is: 4 atmospheres multiplied by .21


(21 percent oxygen) equals .84 bar/ata.
4. Besides impurities, breathing oxygen at depth can be toxic when the
partial pressure exceeds 1.4 bar/ata.
a. Although you won’t exceed this limit diving with air within
recreational limits, you can if using enriched air nitrox due to its
higher oxygen content.
b. Understanding limits and calculating gas partial pressures is
crucial for enriched air diving and technical diving, in which
divers use various gas mixes. This is one reason why you need
certification as a PADI Enriched Air Diver to use EANx.

Gases Underwater
Dive Theory
Review
C. What happens when you raise the pressure of a gas in contact with a
What happens when you raise the pressure
of a gas in contact with a liquid? liquid?
 When gas is in contact with a liquid, it dissolves in
proportionately to pressure


 Pressure increases – more gas dissolves into liquid
Gas does not dissolve instantly
1. When gas is in contact with a liquid, it dissolves into the liquid
– it does so gradually
 Speed depends on:
 Pressure of gas
proportionately to the pressure. If the pressure increases, more gas
dissolves into the liquid.
 Amount already dissolved
 Solubility of gas in liquid
 Surface area of contact

continued. . .
2. Gas does not dissolve instantly into or out of a liquid when the
pressure changes. It does so gradually over a period. The speed
depends on the pressure of the gas, the amount already dissolved,
the solubility of the gas in the liquid, and the surface area where the
gas and liquid make contact.
KR Dive Theory
Review
Gases Underwater
What happens when you raise the pressure
of a gas in contact with a liquid?
3. Eventually, however, the pressure of the gas dissolved within the
 Eventually, when pressure of
dissolved gas equals pressure liquid will become equal to the pressure of the gas in contact with it
of gas in contact with liquid,


no more gas will dissolve in or out
State of equilibrium is saturation
and no more gas will dissolve in or out. This equilibrium is referred
to as saturation.

Dive Theory
130
D. What happens when you reduce the pressure of a gas in contact Gases Underwater
Dive Theory
Review
What happens when you reduce the pressure
with a liquid? of a gas in contact with a liquid?
 Carbonated beverage – good example of liquid with
high content of gas dissolved into it

1. A carbonated beverage is a good example of a liquid that has a high 


Under pressure – no bubbles
– equilibrium
Pressure relieved – gas comes
out of solution

content of gas dissolved into it.  If difference between dissolved


gas and surrounding pressure is
not excessive – gas comes out slowly

a. When under pressure, a carbonated beverage has no bubbles,  If difference exceeds critical point – bubbles form

because the gas within the liquid is in equilibrium with the gas continued. . .

in contact with the liquid.


b. As soon as the pressure is relieved, the dissolved gas in the liquid
has a higher pressure than the gas in contact with the liquid and
the dissolved gas comes out of solution.
c. If the difference between the dissolved gas pressure and the
surrounding gas pressure is not excessive, gas comes out of
solution slowly through the contact area.
d. If the difference exceeds a critical point, however, then the gas
dissolves out faster than it can escape through the contact area
Dive Theory

and bubbles form within the liquid. Gases Underwater


What happens when you reduce the pressure
Review

of a gas in contact with a liquid?

2. Because the human body is comprised mainly of water, this is the  Human body is comprised mainly of water
 Principle underlying decompression sickness and reason for
dive tables
Reason to slowly ascend from every dive

principle underlying decompression sickness and the reason for dive




tables. It’s also the reason that you slowly ascend from every dive,
avoiding rapid ascents and quick reduction of pressure.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: The independent pressure of a gas in a mixture is called __________.


A: partial pressure
Q: Breathing from a scuba cylinder that contains .03 percent carbon
monoxide at the surface is like breathing _______ percent carbon
monoxide at a depth of 20 m/66 ft, which is potentially harmful.
A: .09 (.03 multiplied by 3 atmospheres equals .09)
Q: If an enriched air diver plans to dive to 30 m/99 ft in the ocean using
a gas mixture that contains 32 percent oxygen, will the diver reach the
point where the partial pressure of oxygen may be toxic?
A: No (4 atmospheres multiplied by .32 equals 1.28 bar/ata)
Q: If a glass of water has been placed in a chamber pressured at 1 ata, what
will happen if the pressure is raised to 2 ata?
A: The gas dissolved within the liquid will increase.
Q: If the pressure surrounding a liquid-filled container is quickly decreased,
such as when opening a soda can, the amount of gas dissolved in the
liquid will _________ and __________.
A: decrease, gas bubbles may form

Presentation Notes
131
Dive Theory
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Review

1.

2.
Study Objectives
What are the organs, structure and functions of the circulatory
and respiratory systems?
What is dead air space and how do you avoid problems
VI. Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
caused by it?
3. How does the body respond when breath-hold diving, and how

4.
you can extend breath-hold time?
Why should you avoid a wet suit hood or dry suit collar that
excessively restricts the neck, and what are the two physiological
A. What are the organs, structure and functions of the circulatory and
explanations for the concern?
5.

6.
What are the physiological effects of carbon monoxide while
diving, and how do you avoid them?
What are the two types of oxygen toxicity, and how do you avoid
respiratory systems?
them?
What is the primary first aid for a near drowning accident?

1. In your initial dive training, you learned the rules that allow you to
7.
8. How do you administer oxygen to breathing injured diver, and to
a nonbreathing injured diver?

Dive Theory
dive safely and avoid problems with your circulatory and respiratory
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Review
What are the organs, structure and functions of the
circulatory and respiratory systems?
systems. These included never hold your breath; ascend slowly from
 Rules allow you to dive safely and avoid problems
with your circulatory and respiratory systems
 Never hold your breath
every dive, etc. Besides knowing the rules, it’s important for you,

 Ascend slowly from every dive
Besides rules, it’s important
to understand how diving
as a dive professional, to understand how diving affects your body’s
affects your systems
circulatory and respiratory systems.
continued. . .
2. The circulatory and respiratory systems work together to provide gas
Dive Theory
Review
and nutrients to the body and to eliminate waste.
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
What are the organs, structure and functions of the
circulatory and respiratory systems?
 Systems work together to provide gas and nutrients
3. Through blood, oxygen gets to body tissues via hemoglobin, a
to the body and eliminate waste
 Through blood, oxygen gets to tissues via
hemoglobin (protein that carries and releases
protein that readily carries and releases oxygen.
oxygen)
 After hemoglobin releases
oxygen, it binds with carbon
CO2 a. After hemoglobin releases oxygen, it binds with carbon dioxide
dioxide and carries it to the
lungs for elimination
 Another process – a reversible
bicarbonate reaction – also carries O2
and carries it to the lungs for elimination.
carbon dioxide back to the lungs
continued. . .
b. Another process – a reversible bicarbonate reaction – also carries
carbon dioxide back to the lungs.
KR Dive Theory
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Review
What are the organs, structure and functions of the
4. Blood is moved around by the cardiovascular system – the heart,
circulatory and respiratory systems?
 Blood is moved around by cardiovascular system –
heart, arteries, veins and capillaries
arteries, veins and capillaries.
The heart – a four chambered

a. The heart – a four chambered pump – circulates blood.



pump – circulates blood
 Arteries carry blood away from heart
 Veins carry blood toward the heart

b. Arteries carry blood away from the heart.


 Capillaries are vessels
between arteries and veins
 Gas exchange occurs in the capillaries

continued. . .
c. Veins carry blood toward the heart.
d. Capillaries are microscopic vessels between arteries and veins.
Gas exchange occurs in the capillaries.
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review 5. The cycle starts as oxygen-rich blood from the lungs enters the left
What are the organs, structure and functions of the
circulatory and respiratory systems?
 Cycle starts as oxygen-rich blood from lungs enters
side of the heart and is pumped into the aorta, the body’s largest
left side of heart and is pumped into the aorta
 Aorta branches into smaller arteries
that branch in to even smaller arteries, artery.
until reaching capillaries
 Blood gives up oxygen, picks up
carbon dioxide, then flows into
the venous system
a. The aorta branches into smaller arteries that branch in to
 Veins branch into larger veins until
a single vein returns oxygen-poor
blood to right side of heart
even smaller arteries throughout the body, until reaching the
continued. . .
capillaries.
b. Blood gives up oxygen, picks up carbon dioxide, then flows into
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review the venous system.
What are the organs, structure and functions of the
circulatory and respiratory systems?
 Heart pumps blood to lungs
c. Veins branch into larger veins until a single vein returns oxygen-
where it releases carbon


dioxide into alveoli
Blood picks up oxygen
poor blood to the right side of the heart.
and returns to heart

d. The heart pumps oxygen-poor blood to the lungs where


it releases carbon dioxide into alveoli, which are air sacs
continued. . .
surrounded by the pulmonary capillaries. The blood then picks
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review
What are the organs, structure and functions of the
up oxygen and returns to the left side of the heart to begin
circulatory and respiratory systems?
 Regarding the respiratory cycle – key point:
 Reflex respiratory centers in brain monitor carbon dioxide
another cycle.
levels in body



When carbon dioxide level rises, brain signals diaphragm to
flex downward, resulting in an inhalation
Carbon dioxide level,
6. Regarding the respiratory cycle, one key point is knowing what
not oxygen level,
primarily triggers
breathing cycle
CO 2
actually triggers the breathing cycle and keeps the whole system
O2 functioning effectively.

Dive Theory
132
a. The reflex respiratory centers in the brain monitor the carbon
dioxide levels in the body.
b. When the carbon dioxide level rises, the brain signals the
diaphragm – the large muscle below the lungs – to flex
downward, resulting in an inhalation.
c. So, it’s the carbon dioxide level, not the oxygen level, that
primarily triggers the breathing cycle.
B. What is dead air space, and how do you avoid problems caused by KR

Circulatory and Respiratory Systems


Dive Theory
Review

it? What is dead air space and how do you


avoid problems caused by it?
 You breathe slowly and deeply
for a good air exchange
1. You breathe slowly and deeply while diving for a good air exchange.  Natural dead air space –
sinuses, trachea and bronchi
 Scuba regulator and snorkel

2. As you recall, natural dead-air space consists of your sinuses, trachea add volume to dead air space

and bronchi where no direct gas exchange occurs. Your scuba


regulator and snorkel add additional volume to your dead-air space. continued. . .

3. Slow, deep breathing helps you compensate for the additional dead Dive Theory
Review
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems

air space and avoid a build up of carbon dioxide through a good air What is dead air space and how do you
avoid problems caused by it?
 Slow, deep breathing helps

exchange. compensate for additional


dead air space and avoid build
up of carbon dioxide

4. Shallow breathing raises carbon dioxide levels, which increases  Shallow breathing raises
carbon dioxide levels –
increases breathing rate and

the breathing rate, and can lead to a feeling of air starvation or can lead to overexertion
 To avoid overexertion, always
breathe slowly and deeply,

overexertion. and stop to get your breath


back under control

5. To avoid overexertion, always breathe slowly and deeply, and stop


to get your breath back under control if you feel your breathing rate
increase.
C. How does the body respond when breath-hold diving, and how can Dive Theory
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Review

you extend breath-hold time? How does the body respond when breath-hold diving,
and how you can extend breath-hold time?
 As breath-hold diving grows in popularity, people

1. As breath-hold diving or free diving grows in popularity, people dive deeper and stay down longer on a single breath
 During a breath-hold dive, circulatory system uses
oxygen stored in lungs, muscles and blood

continue to dive deeper and stay down longer on a single breath.  Underwater, pressure compresses
air in lungs, which allows blood
to use more of remaining oxygen

They do this through extensive training and by understanding how  As time goes by, carbon dioxide builds
in system, causing urge to breathe
 As urge grows stronger, body consumes

the body responds during a dive. oxygen and produces carbon dioxide
continued. . .

2. During a breath-hold dive, the circulatory system uses oxygen stored


in the lungs, muscles and blood to supply tissues.
a. Underwater, the pressure compresses the air in the lungs, raising
the oxygen partial pressure, which allows the blood to use more
of the remaining oxygen than would be possible at surface
pressures.
b. As time goes by, carbon dioxide builds in the circulatory system
and causes the urge to breathe. The initial urge is weak, but the
urge grows stronger as the body consumes oxygen and produces KR Dive Theory

more carbon dioxide. Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Review


How does the body respond when breath-hold diving,
and how you can extend breath-hold time?
 Extend breath-hold time using voluntary
3. You can extend breath-hold time using a techniques called voluntary hyperventilation
 Breathe deeply and rapidly for 3 or 4 breaths

hyperventilation. You do this by breathing deeply and rapidly for  Excessive hyperventilation depletes
carbon dioxide, delays urge to breathe
and may lead to shallow water blackout

three or four breaths. Doing this reduces circulatory carbon dioxide


 Body consumes oxygen faster than
carbon dioxide accumulates to
stimulate breathing
 At depth, there is no immediate problem

so it takes longer to accumulate enough to stimulate breathing.  As diver ascends and partial pressure of oxygen falls
abruptly – causes black out without warning

Presentation Notes
133
4. However, excessive voluntary hyperventilation depletes carbon
dioxide to a point where it delays the urge to breathe and may lead
directly to a condition called shallow water blackout.
a. If a diver excessively hyperventilates, the diver’s body consumes
oxygen faster than carbon dioxide accumulates to stimulate
breathing.
b. At depth, there is no immediate problem because increased
pressure keeps the partial pressure of oxygen high enough to meet
the body’s needs.
c. When carbon dioxide levels finally rise enough to stimulate
breathing, the diver ascends and the partial pressure of oxygen
falls abruptly. This causes the diver to black out without warning
because the oxygen partial pressure is insufficient to meet the
body’s needs. This could lead to drowning and can also damage
tissue.

Circulatory and Respiratory Systems


Dive Theory
Review
D. Why should you avoid a wet suit hood or dry suit collar that
Why should you avoid a wet suit hood or dry suit
collar that excessively restricts the neck, and what are
the two physiological explanations for the concern?
excessively restricts the neck, and what are the two physiological
 If a wet suit hood or dry suit collar is too tight, it
constricts carotid arteries and jugular veins explanations for the concern?
 Blocked jugular venous return and
carotid sinus reflex reduce fresh


blood flow to brain
Blocking jugular veins reduces flow
to brain, because oxygen-poor blood
1. If a wet suit hood or dry suit collar is too tight, it constricts the
can’t exit to make room for fresh blood
 Raises blood pressure because the heart
tries to push against restriction
carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain, and the jugular
continued. . . veins, which carry blood from the brain back to the heart.
2. The two possible concerns are called the carotid sinus reflex and
blocked jugular venous return. Both can reduce fresh blood flow to
the brain.
3. Blocking jugular return reduces flow to the brain, because the oxygen-
poor blood can’t exit fast enough to make room for fresh blood.
This raises blood pressure because the heart tries to push against the
restriction.
Dive Theory
4. Carotid sinus reflex results if pressure on the carotid arteries is
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Review
Why should you avoid a wet suit hood or dry suit
collar that excessively restricts the neck, and what are
perceived by the body as elevated blood pressure. This causes the heart
the two physiological explanations for the concern?
 Carotid sinus reflex results if pressure on the
carotid arteries is perceived as elevated blood
to slow, but when the perceived high blood pressure doesn’t decline,
pressure
 Causes heart to slow, but when pressure
doesn’t decline, the heart slows further
the heart slows further.
 Signs and symptoms include extreme
discomfort, headache, light-headedness,


a feeling of choking and fainting
Avoid by wearing properly fitting wet
5. Signs and symptoms of this constriction include extreme discomfort,
suit hoods and dry suit neck seals
headache, light-headedness, a feeling of choking and eventually
fainting.
6. Physiologists debate which of these two mechanisms is the primary
concern. Both can be avoided by wearing properly fitting wet suit
Dive Theory
hoods and dry suit neck seals.
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Review
What are the physiological effects of carbon monoxide
while diving, and how do you avoid them?
 Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning happens most
E. What are the physiological effects of carbon monoxide while diving,

often outside of diving
Breathing CO under pressure can be dangerous: and how do you avoid them?
 Hemoglobin bonds with CO more than 200 times more readily
than with oxygen – does not unbond as easily


Result – blood carries less and less oxygen
If left unchecked, blood may become incapable of carrying
sufficient oxygen to tissues
1. Although carbon monoxide poisoning happens most often outside of
diving, breathing carbon monoxide under pressure while diving can
continued. . .
be dangerous – as discussed earlier in the topic, Gases Underwater.

Dive Theory
134
a. The reason it’s dangerous is that hemoglobin bonds with carbon
monoxide more than 200 times more readily than with oxygen,
but does not unbond as easily.
b. This results in the blood carrying less and less oxygen. If left
unchecked, the blood may become incapable of carrying
sufficient oxygen to the tissues.
2. When blood bonds with carbon monoxide, it appears even redder Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review
What are the physiological effects of carbon monoxide
than usual. A diver’s lips and nail beds may turn bright red after while diving, and how do you avoid them?
 When blood bonds with CO, it appears even
redder than usual
breathing air contaminated with carbon monoxide (though this may  Diver’s lips and nail beds
may turn bright red
 Other signs and symptoms

be difficult to see underwater). include headache, confusion


and narrow vision
 Mild symptoms subside after
several hours of fresh air

a. Other signs and symptoms include headache, confusion and  In severe cases, give the diver pure oxygen and contact
emergency medical care

narrow vision. continued. . .

b. Mild symptoms subside after several hours of fresh air.


c. In severe cases, give the diver pure oxygen and contact
emergency medical care.
3. Although carbon monoxide rarely contaminates a diver’s air supply, Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review

it can originate from a compressor system problem. Excess carbon What are the physiological effects of carbon monoxide
while diving, and how do you avoid them?
 Carbon monoxide can originate from a compressor

monoxide can go unnoticed at first because carbon monoxide lacks system problem
 Excess CO can go unnoticed at first
because it lacks both odor and taste

both odor and taste. Only fill your cylinder at a reputable fill station. 


Fill your cylinder at a reputable
fill station
Smoking before a dive raises
normal CO levels

4. Smoking before a dive raises normal carbon monoxide levels in  Avoid risk by not smoking

the blood three to 12 times. Avoid risking this cause of carbon


monoxide poisoning by simply not smoking before diving.
F. What are the two types of oxygen toxicity, and how do you avoid Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review

them? What are the two types of oxygen toxicity,


and how do you avoid them?
 Oxygen (O2) may become toxic when the partial
pressure exceeds 1.4 bar/ata

1. You learned earlier in the topic – Gases Underwater – that oxygen 


Technical divers may use a higher limit of 1.6 bar/ata during
decompression only
Close circuit rebreather divers use a limit of 1.3 bar/ata.

may become toxic when the partial pressure exceeds 1.4 bar/ata.  You don’t reach this partial pressure when
breathing compressed air within the recreational
diving limits
It’s possible with enriched air nitrox

a. Note that technical divers may use a slightly higher limit of 1.6

 It’s a concern for technical divers using high oxygen mixes
and pure oxygen for decompression

ata/bar during decompression only. Close circuit rebreather continued. . .

divers generally use a limit of 1.3 bar/ata.


2. You don’t reach this partial pressure when breathing compressed air
within the recreational diving limits. However, it is possible when
divers use enriched air nitrox, and it is a concern for technical divers
using high oxygen mixes and pure oxygen for decompression.
3. The two types of oxygen toxicity are central nervous system (CNS) KR

Circulatory and Respiratory Systems


Dive Theory
Review

toxicity and pulmonary toxicity. What are the two types of oxygen toxicity,
and how do you avoid them?
 Two types of oxygen toxicity – central nervous
system (CNS) and pulmonary
4. CNS can occur when the oxygen partial pressure is greater than the  CNS can occur when the oxygen partial pressure is
greater than limits for type of diving

threshold limits for the type of diving.  Signs and symptoms include visual disturbances,
ear ringing, nausea, twitching muscles, irritability,
dizziness and convulsion

a. Signs and symptoms include visual disturbances, ear ringing,  Most serious sign – convulsion


 Underwater, the diver is highly likely to drown
Avoid CNS toxicity by being properly trained

nausea, twitching muscles, irritability, dizziness and convulsion. continued. . .

b. The most serious sign is a convulsion – usually without warning.


A convulsion is not usually fatal in itself, but if it happens
underwater, the diver is highly likely to drown.

Presentation Notes
135
c. You avoid CNS toxicity by being properly trained to use enriched
air and not exceeding an oxygen partial pressure of 1.4 bar/ata.
5. Pulmonary toxicity is caused by continuous exposure to elevated
Dive Theory
Review
oxygen partial pressure – above approximately .5 bar/ata – making it
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
What are the two types of oxygen toxicity,
and how do you avoid them? unlikely in recreational diving.
 Pulmonary toxicity is caused by continuous
exposure to elevated oxygen partial pressure –
above .5 bar/ata – unlikely in recreational diving
 Could occur following multiple
a. It could occur following multiple dives using enriched air or in
technical diving where long decompressions stops require using
dives using enriched air or
in technical diving
 Symptoms and signs include
burning in the chest and
irritated cough
 Prevent it by following established
pure oxygen.
oxygen exposure time limits

b. Symptoms and signs include burning in the chest and an irritated


cough.
c. You prevent it by following established oxygen exposure time
limits.
G. What is the primary first aid for a near drowning accident?
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review 1. Near drowning is defined as when an individual suffers asphyxiation
What is the primary first aid for a
near drowning accident?
 Near drowning – when an individual suffers
in water but is revived.
asphyxiation in water but is revived
 To revive a nonbreathing diver,
the primary first aid is immediate
rescue breathing
2. To revive a nonbreathing diver who had drowned – turning a
drowning into a near drowning – the primary first aid is immediate
 CPR may be the next step
 Be prepared to turn diver to the side
if vomiting occurs – keep the airway clear
 Give breathing diver emergency oxygen, keep diver
lying down and treat for shock
 Contact local EMS
rescue breathing.
continued. . .

a. CPR may be the next step if the diver has no heartbeat.


b. Be prepared to turn the diver to the side if vomiting occurs when
breathing resumes, to keep the airway clear.
c. Give the breathing diver emergency oxygen, keep the diver lying
down and treat for shock.
d. Contact the local EMS.
3. A near drowning patient may quickly seem fully recovered. However,
KR Dive Theory
the patient should seek medical care, because in nearly all cases, water
Review
enters the patient’s lungs.
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
What is the primary first aid for a
near drowning accident?
 Near drowning patient may seem fully recovered
 Should seek medical care, because in nearly all
cases, water enters the lungs
a. Over a period of hours, the water causes physiological



Water causes physiological complications that interfere with
the lung’s ability to exchange gases
Can cause secondary drowning, which is fatal
complications that interfere with the lung’s ability to exchange
gases. This can cause secondary drowning, which is fatal.
H. How do you administer oxygen to a breathing injured diver and to a
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
Dive Theory
Review
nonbreathing injured diver?
How do you administer oxygen to a breathing injured
diver and to a nonbreathing injured diver?
 Administering emergency oxygen may provide 1. From your rescue diver training, you know that administering
significant benefit to a diver
 For a breathing injured diver, provide highest
oxygen concentration possible by using a emergency oxygen is accepted practice for most diving injuries, such
nonresuscitator demand valve – steps:



Slowly open valve and test unit by inhaling from the mask – do
not exhale into the mask
Offer diver the mask – either place it on diver’s face or allow
as decompression illness and near drowning, because it may provide
significant benefit to the diver.
diver to hold the mask
 Instruct diver to breath normally
 Monitor oxygen pressure gauge

continued. . .

2. For a breathing injured diver, you want to provide the highest oxygen
concentration possible by using the nonresuscitator demand valve on
the oxygen unit. Follow these steps:
a. With the oxygen kit set up, slowly open the valve and test the
unit by inhaling from the mask. Do not exhale into the mask (for
sanitation reasons).

Dive Theory
136
b. Offer the diver the oxygen mask – either place it on the diver’s
face or allow the diver to hold the mask in place.
c. Instruct the diver to breath normally.
d. Monitor the oxygen pressure gauge so that it doesn’t run empty
with the mask still on the diver.
3. If the diver is not breathing, you can still provide oxygen while Dive Theory
Review
Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
giving rescue breaths by using a pocket mask with an oxygen inlet How do you administer oxygen to a breathing injured
diver and to a nonbreathing injured diver?
 If diver is not breathing, provide oxygen while

valve. Follow these steps: giving rescue breaths by using a pocket mask –
steps:
 Attach oxygen tube from continuous flow outlet to pocket

a. Have someone attach the oxygen tube from the continuous flow 

mask
Slowly open valve and set flow rate at 15 litres/min
Give rescue breaths through the pocket mask

outlet to the pocket mask while you continue rescue breaths. Emergency Oxygen Provider course
has option for learning how to use a
manually triggered resuscitator

b. Slowly open the valve and set the flow rate at 15 litres per
minute.
c. Give rescue breaths through the pocket mask as usual.
4. In the Emergency Oxygen Provider course there is an option for
learning how to use a manually triggered resuscitator.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from heart and ________ carry
oxygen-poor blood toward heart.
A. veins
Q: The heart pumps oxygen-poor blood to the lungs where it releases
__________ into alveoli and then picks up oxygen.
A. carbon dioxide.
Q: You can compensate for the increased _________ space resulting from
breathing through the snorkel or regulator by breathing ________ and
_______.
A: dead-air, slowly, deeply
Q: The reflex respiratory centers in the brain trigger the breathing cycle
based on the body’s __________ level, not the _______ level.
A: carbon dioxide, oxygen
Q: To extend a breath-hold dive, the diver should take no more
than____________ rapid, deep breaths before submerging.
A: three or four
Q: A wet suit hood or dry suit collar that is too tight can reduce fresh
_______ flow to the brain and raises blood ______.
A: blood, pressure
Q: Carbon monoxide bonds with blood more than _____________ times
more readily than oxygen and may turn a diver’s lips and nail beds bright
_________.

Presentation Notes
137
A: 200, red
Q: The most serious sign of Central Nervous System (CNS) toxicity is
__________ .
A: convulsion
Q: The primary first aid for near drowning is _________.
A: rescue breathing

Dive Theory
Q: For a breathing diver, you’d likely administer oxygen using a
Review
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
Study Objectives
1. What causes gas narcosis, at approximately what
_______________, and for a nonbreathing diver you’d use
depth is it likely using air/enriched air, and what are
common signs/symptoms of it?
2. What are the physiological mechanisms by which
_______________ .
A: nonresuscitator demand valve, continuous flow with a pocket mask
the body absorbs and releases nitrogen (or other
inert gases) while diving?
3. What causes decompression sickness (DCS), and
what are the two types?
4. What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?
5. What are the recommendations for DCS first aid and

VII. Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas


treatment?
6. What is the difference between DCI and DCS?

Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas


Dive Theory
Review A. What causes gas narcosis, at approximately what depth is it likely
What causes gas narcosis, at approximately
what depth is it likely using air/enriched air,
and what are common signs/symptoms of it?
using air/enriched air, and what are common signs/symptoms of it?
 You learned about nitrogen narcosis – more


correctly gas narcosis – early in your training
Different gases cause a narcotic effect when 1. You learned about nitrogen narcosis, or more correctly, gas narcosis,
breathed under sufficient pressure – nitrogen,
oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc.
 Exact mechanism (form of
early in your diver training.
anesthesia) isn’t fully
understood – appears related
to nerve impulse blockage a. Different gases can cause a narcotic effect when breathed under
continued. . .
sufficient pressure. This includes nitrogen, oxygen and carbon
dioxide among others.
b. The exact mechanism causing gas narcosis – which is a form of
anesthesia – isn’t full understood, but it appears related to nerve
impulse blockage due to gas dissolved in nerve cells.
KR Dive Theory
Review
2. Most divers begin to feel the effects of gas narcosis at about 30
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
What causes gas narcosis, at approximately
what depth is it likely using air/enriched air,
metres/100 feet, though this varies not only from person to person,
and what are common signs/symptoms of it?
 Using air or EANx, feel effects at about 30 m/100 ft
 Varies from person to person and day to day
but within one individual from day to day. As you know, ascending
Ascending to shallower depth relieves systems

to a shallower depth quickly relieves the symptoms.



 Subtle symptoms include slowed thinking, mild
sense of euphoria or well being
 Deeper – thinking slows
and motor skills deteriorate
 Judgment becomes impaired
with ability to observe
3. Subtle symptoms include slowed thinking, and some divers get a
 Delays ability to recognize
and solve problems
mild sense of euphoria or well being.
a. At deeper depths, thinking slows further and motor skills begin
to deteriorate.
b. The diver’s judgment may become impaired, along with the
ability to accurately observe what’s occurring, which may delay a
diver’s ability to recognize and solve problems.
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
Dive Theory
Review B. What are the physiological mechanisms by which the body absorbs
What are the physiological mechanisms
by which the body absorbs and releases nitrogen
(or other inert gases) while diving?
and releases nitrogen (or other inert gases) while diving?
 Gases dissolve into liquids

1. In the topic – Gases Underwater – you may recall that gases dissolve
proportionally to pressure
 Human body is primarily water
– when exposed to pressure,
gases dissolve into body tissues
 Oxygen used by body, but nitrogen
(and any other inert gas) is not
into liquids proportionately to the pressure. Because the human
Nitrogen is primary concern for recreational divers

body is primarily water, when it is exposed to pressure, gasses




 Nitrogen pressure in lungs is greater than in blood


nitrogen dissolves into blood, then into tissues
continued. . .
dissolve into body tissues.
2. Oxygen is used by the body, but nitrogen (and any other inert gas) is
not. Nitrogen is the gas that primarily concerns recreational divers.

Dive Theory
138
3. At depth, nitrogen pressure in the lungs is greater than in the blood,
so nitrogen dissolves into blood, then from the blood into the
tissues.
4. The amount of nitrogen absorbed relates directly to the depth and Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
KR Dive Theory
Review
What are the physiological mechanisms

duration of the dive. by which the body absorbs and releases nitrogen
(or other inert gases) while diving?
 Amount absorbed related directly
to depth and duration of dive
5. Dissolved gas still exerts pressure within the body tissues.  Stay long enough, all tissues would
saturate with nitrogen
 Dissolved gas still exert pressure

a. The body does not absorb and release nitrogen on a single time within tissues
 Body does not absorb and release
nitrogen on single time scale
Some tissues absorb gases more

scale. Some tissues are thought to absorb gases more slowly than

slowly than others
 Some dissolve more gas than others

continued. . .

others; some are thought to be able to dissolve more gas than


others.
Dive Theory

b. Calculating different absorption and release of inert gases from Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
What are the physiological mechanisms
Review

by which the body absorbs and releases nitrogen


theoretical tissues is the foundation of decompression theory (or other inert gases) while diving?
 Calculating different absorption and release rates
from theoretical tissues is foundation of
models and dive tables. decompression theory models and dive tables

6. On ascent from a dive, nitrogen pressure in tissues is higher than the


surrounding pressure. Nitrogen pressure in blood exceeds pressure
continued. . .

in the lungs, so the nitrogen dissolves from the blood into the Dive Theory
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas Review
lungs and is exhaled. This lowers blood tissue pressure, so nitrogen What are the physiological mechanisms
by which the body absorbs and releases nitrogen

dissolves from body tissues into blood.


(or other inert gases) while diving?
 On ascent, nitrogen pressure in tissues
is higher than surrounding pressure
 Pressure in blood exceeds

7. If the difference between surrounding pressure and tissue pressure is 


pressure in lungs – nitrogen
dissolves from blood into alveoli
in the lungs and is exhaled
Lower blood tissue pressure

within limits, the nitrogen dissolves harmlessly into the blood and 
– nitrogen dissolves from tissues into blood
If difference is within limits, nitrogen dissolves
harmlessly into blood and then slowly out

then slowly out of the body through exhalations. through exhalations


continued. . .

8. If the body has absorbed so much excess nitrogen that it can’t Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
Dive Theory
Review

eliminate it as fast as it comes out of solution, the excess nitrogen What are the physiological mechanisms
by which the body absorbs and releases nitrogen
(or other inert gases) while diving?

forms bubbles in the blood vessels and tissues, resulting in  If body has excess nitrogen that it can’t eliminate as
fast as it comes out of solution – bubbles form in
the blood and tissues

decompression sickness. Result – decompression sickness


 On many dives, some degree of bubbling does
occur without causing decompression sickness

a. Note that on many dives, physiologists think some degree of  Asymptomatic bubbles called silent bubbles

More on the Haldanean model and decompression theory later

bubbling does occur in the body without causing decompression


sickness.
b. These asymptomatic bubbles are called silent bubbles.
9. We’ll look at the Haldanean model and decompression theory in
more detail later in this presentation.
C. What causes decompression sickness (DCS), and what are the two Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
Dive Theory
Review

types? What causes decompression sickness (DCS),


and what are the two types?
 DCS occurs when bubbles form in
tissues with limited blood flow or on
1. Decompression sickness occurs when bubbles form in tissues with arterial side of circulatory system
 In many types, the exact injury mechanism
is still a mystery

limited blood flow or on the arterial side of the circulatory system.  DCS

tends to be delayed
In about half the cases, it appears within
an hour.

In many types of DCS, the exact injury mechanism is still a mystery, 



Some take up to 36 hours
Often worsens during first few hours

because the interaction between bubbles and tissues is complex. continued. . .

2. DCS tends to be delayed after a dive, though in about half the


cases it appears within an hour. Some take up to 36 hours. It often
worsens during the first few hours after onset.

Presentation Notes
139
KR

Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas


Dive Theory
Review 3. DCS cases are generally categorized into two types:
What causes decompression sickness (DCS),
and what are the two types?
Two types:
a. Type I is pain-only that presents signs and symptoms that are
 Type I – pain-only



Not immediately life-threatening or likely
to cause long-term disability
“Skin bends” – a rash
not immediately life-threatening or likely to cause immediate
 Type II – affects nervous system
 May be immediately life-threatening or
debilitating
long-term disabilities.
 Signs and symptoms – tingling,
numbness, paralysis, stroke-like
symptoms, unconsciousness and cardiac
or respiratory arrest
• “Skin bends” – cutaneous decompression sickness that forms
continued. . .
a rash – is also considered Type I if it occurs by itself.
b. Type II has symptoms that affect the nervous system and may be
immediately life-threatening or debilitating.
• Signs and symptoms include tingling, numbness, paralysis,
stroke-like signs/symptoms, unconsciousness and cardiac or
respiratory arrest.
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
Dive Theory
Review • Pulmonary DCS is a rare form that occurs when bubbles
What causes decompression sickness (DCS),
and what are the two types?
 Pulmonary DCS is a rare firm – occurs when
accumulate rapidly in the pulmonary capillaries, interfering
bubbles accumulate rapidly in the pulmonary
capillaries, interfering with blood flow and gas
exchange
with blood flow and gas exchange.
Cerebral DCS – occurs when bubbles travel to the
• Cerebral DCS occurs when bubbles travel to the brain

brain and cause arterial gas embolism.
 Signs and symptoms include blurred vision, confusion,
headache, unconsciousness and death

via the carotid arteries and cause arterial gas embolism.


Symptoms and signs include blurred vision, confusion,
headache, unconsciousness and death.

Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas


Dive Theory
Review
D. What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?
What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?
 Because everyone has a different physiology, the
predisposition to DCS varies from person to person 1. Because everyone has a slightly different physiology, the
predisposition to DCS varies from person to person. However, the
Factors that may predispose a diver to DCS:
 Fat tissue – Nitrogen is more soluble in fat
 Age – Circulatory systems become less efficient;
increased percentage of fat and reduced fitness
level, could decrease nitrogen elimination following are a few factors that may predispose a diver to DCS:
 Dehydration – Reduced quantity of blood in
circulation slows nitrogen elimination
a. Fat tissue – Nitrogen is more soluble in fat than in water. A diver
continued. . .
with a disproportionate amount of body fat may have more
nitrogen in solution after a dive.
b. Age – As we age, our circulatory systems become less efficient.
This, along with increased percentage of fat and a reduced
fitness level, could decrease the speed of nitrogen elimination.
c. Dehydration – Dehydration reduces the quantity of blood in
circulation, which slows nitrogen elimination.
Dive Theory
Review
d. Injuries or illness – Injured areas could alter or restrict
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?
Factors that may predispose a diver to DCS:
circulation leading to localized areas where nitrogen isn’t
 Injuries or illness –
 Injured areas alter or restrict circulation leading to areas
where nitrogen isn’t eliminated quickly
eliminated quickly. Any illness that affects the efficiency of the
circulatory system predisposes the diver.
 Illness that affects the efficiency of the circulatory system
predisposes the diver
 Alcohol – Drinking alcohol before or after diving
accelerates circulation, dilates capillaries and


promotes dehydration – alters nitrogen elimination
Excess carbon dioxide – Increased levels can alter
e. Alcohol – Drinking alcohol before or after diving accelerates
circulation and gas exchange

continued. . .
circulation, dilates capillaries and promotes dehydration, all of
which can alter nitrogen elimination and bubble formation.
KR Dive Theory
f. Excess carbon dioxide – Increased carbon dioxide levels can alter
Review
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
What factors may predispose a diver to DCS? circulation and gas exchange.
Factors that may predispose a diver to DCS:
 Cold water – A diver starts a dive warm with normal
circulation, but cools and circulation to the g. Cold water – If a diver starts a dive warm with normal
extremities is reduced – slowing nitrogen
elimination
 Heavy exercise –
circulation, but cools during the dive, circulation to the
Working hard during a dive accelerates circulation – more

extremities is reduced, thus slowing nitrogen elimination from



nitrogen than normal dissolves into the body
 After or immediately before a dive, heavy exercise accelerates
circulation, altering nitrogen elimination, and stimulating the

those areas.
production of microbubbles

continued. . .

Dive Theory
140
h. Heavy exercise – Working hard during a dive accelerates
circulation so more nitrogen than normal dissolves into the
body. Immediately after a dive, heavy exercise accelerates
circulation, altering nitrogen elimination, and stimulating the
production of microbubbles that can grow into larger DCS
causing bubbles.
i. Altitude or flying after diving – Dive tables and computers are Dive Theory
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas Review

based on surfacing at sea level, thus exposure to lower pressure What factors may predispose a diver to DCS?
Factors that may predispose a diver to DCS:

increases the tissue pressure gradient and may increase bubble  Altitude or flying after diving – Dive tables and
computers are based on surfacing at sea level –
exposure to lower pressure increases tissue

formation. pressure gradient and may increase bubble


formation
 History of DCS – Studies of divers suggest that

j. History of DCS – Studies of divers as well as other people someone who has had DCS will be more
predisposed to it in the future

working under pressure suggest that someone who has had DCS
will be more predisposed to it in the future.
E. What are the recommendations for DCS first aid and treatment? Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas
What are the recommendations for
1. If you suspect a diver has DCS, start by providing oxygen – DCS first aid and treatment?
 Provide oxygen – preferably 100 percent

preferably 100 percent.  Keep a breathing patient lying level


 Lie a nonbreathing patient on the back for rescue
breathing and CPR
Advise patient not to sit up, even during
2. Keep a breathing patient lying level.

transport or if feeling better
 Monitor airway, breathing
and circulation, and contact

a. Lay a nonbreathing patient on the back for rescue breathing and emergency medical services

CPR.
b. Advise patient not to sit up, even during transport or if feeling
better.
3. Monitor airway, breathing and circulation, and contact emergency
medical services.
F. What is the difference between DCI and DCS? Dive Theory
Responses to Nitrogen and Inert Gas Review

1. Decompression illness (DCI) is an overall term for DCS and lung What is the difference between DCI and DCS?
 Decompression illness (DCI) is an overall term for
DCS and lung overexpansion injuries
overexpansion injuries used in describing first aid and treatment,  Describes first aid and treatment – identical for both
conditions
In the field, don’t try to diagnose conditions –
which is identical for both conditions.

immediately offer first aid and get diver to
professional medical care
 If discussing conditions caused by dissolved

a. In the field, divers are discouraged from trying to diagnose the 


nitrogen coming out of solution, use DCS
If talking about any dive injury that will likely require
hyperbaric treatment, use DCI

two different conditions, but are encouraged to immediately


offer first aid to an injured diver and get the diver to professional
medical care.
2. If discussing the conditions caused by dissolved nitrogen coming out
of solution, use the term DCS.
3. If talking about any dive injury that will likely require hyperbaric
treatment, use DCI.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: The signs and symptoms of gas narcosis usually begin to occur at around
_______metres/ _______ feet.
A. 30, 100

Presentation Notes
141
Q: Nitrogen dissolved in the body after a dive comes out harmlessly and
slowly if the difference between __________ pressure and _________
pressure is within limits.
A: surrounding, tissue
Q. Type I DCS is characterized by ______, which is not immediately life-
threatening, and Type II DCS has symptoms that affect the _______
system and may be immediately life-threatening or debilitating.
A: pain only, nervous
Q: List factors that may predispose a diver to DCS:
A: Fat tissue, age, dehydration, injury, illness, alcohol, excess carbon
dioxide, cold water, heavy exercise, altitude or flying after diving, and
history of DCS.
Q: What is the first step you should take in providing aid to a diver
suspected of having DCS?
A: Provide 100% oxygen

Responses to Thermal Changes


Dive Theory
Review
Q: Decompression illness (DCI) is an overall term for _________ and
Study Objectives
1. How does the body respond to excess heat? _____________.
2. How does the body respond to insufficient heat?

A. DCS, lung overexpansion injuries

VIII. Responses to Thermal Changes


Dive Theory
A. How does the body respond to excess heat?
Responses to Thermal Changes Review
How does the body respond to excess heat?
 Overheating (hyperthermia) is a potential problem
for divers when fully suited on a hot day
1. Overheating (hyperthermia) is a potential problem for divers when
 Body responds to excess heat progressively by first
dilating the skin capillaries to promote cooling
 If this doesn’t help, perspiration
fully suited in wet suits or dry suits on a hot day, and there is a delay

starts to cool skin through
evaporation
Next step is to accelerate the
in getting in to the water.
pulse to circulate blood faster
for cooling
 These processes continue until
the body cools 2. The body responds to excess heat progressively by first dilating the
continued. . .
skin capillaries to promote cooling.
a. If this doesn’t help, perspiration starts in an attempt to cool the
skin through evaporation.
b. The next step the body takes is to accelerate the pulse to
circulate blood faster for cooling.
3. These processes continue until the body cools. For example, the hot
diver gets in to the water.
Dive Theory
4. If cooling doesn’t occur, the process continues until the body reaches
Responses to Thermal Changes Review
How does the body respond to excess heat?
 If cooling doesn’t occur, process continues until the
its physical limit, which may mean heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
body reaches its physical limit – heat exhaustion or


heat stroke
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body works at full
capacity to cool
5. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body works at full capacity to
 Signs and symptoms are a weak
and rapid pulse, profuse
perspiration, cool and clammy
cool.
skin, nausea and weakness
 Person needs to cool off
– remove heavy exposure suit
or cool in the water a. Signs and symptoms are a weak and rapid pulse, profuse
continued. . .
perspiration, cool and clammy skin, nausea and weakness.
b. Someone with heat exhaustion needs to cool off, which may
means removing a heavy exposure suit or cooling in the water.

Dive Theory
142
6. Heat stroke results if the body reaches its limits and fails to cool. Responses to Thermal Changes
KR Dive Theory
Review
How does the body respond to excess heat?

a. Perspiration ceases and the person’s skin is hot and flushed. The  Heat stroke results if the body reaches its
limits and fails to cool
Perspiration ceases, person’s skin is hot and flushed, and

pulse is strong but rapid.



pulse is strong but rapid
 Emergency medical condition that can cause serious damage
to the brain and body systems

b. This is an emergency medical condition that can cause serious


damage to the brain and body systems.
B. How does the body respond to insufficient heat? Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Thermal Changes
How does the body respond to insufficient heat?
1. In the topic – Heat, Light, Sound and Water – you learned that  Water conducts heat 20 times faster than air, which
is why we chill faster in even relatively warm water

water conducts heat 20 times faster than air, which is why we chill  As the body loses heat, it responds progressively:
 Reducing blood flow to the extremities
– fingers and toes go numb
Shivering to generate heat

faster in even relatively warm water.



through muscle activity
– signals you are losing
the battle against cold

2. As the body loses heat, it responds progressively, first reducing blood


flow to the extremities. For example, your fingers and toes may start continued. . .

to go numb.
3. The next step is shivering to generate heat through muscle activity.
In the water, shivering signals that you are losing the battle against
the cold.
4. Uncontrollable shivering precedes the core body temperature KR Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Thermal Changes

dropping, which is hypothermia. How does the body respond to insufficient heat?
 Uncontrollable shivering precedes the core body
temperature dropping – hypothermia

a. Mental processes slow and the diver becomes drowsy,  As protective responses fail, shivering stops
and diver feels warm, but core temperature
continues to drop
uncoordinated and forgetful. 


Mental processes slow and the diver becomes drowsy,
uncoordinated and forgetful
Advanced hypothermia is a medical emergency requiring
emergency care

b. Advanced hypothermia is a medical emergency requiring


emergency care.
[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: The body responds to excess heat by first dilating the ________ , then
beginning ___________, and finally accelerating the _________ to
circulate blood faster for cooling.
A. skin capillaries, perspiration, pulse
Q: The body responds to cold by reducing blood flow to the _________,
Dive Theory
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces Review
Study Objectives

and then by ___________ to generate heat through muscle activity.


1. How do the ears and sinuses respond to changing pressure?
2. What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear and sinus
squeezes or reverse blocks?
3. What are the causes and physiologies of mask and dry suit

A. extremities, shivering
squeezes?
4. How do your lungs respond to changing pressure?
5. What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion
injuries: air embolism, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema
and subcutaneous emphysema?
6. What are the recommendations for lung overexpansion injury

IX. Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces


first aid and treatment?

A. How do the ears and sinuses respond to changing pressure? Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces

1. One of the first things you experience when going underwater is


How do the ears and sinuses respond
to changing pressure?
 One of the first things you
experience is pressure in
pressure in your ears, and as a new diver, you quickly learned to your ears – you quickly learn
to equalize pressure
 Your sinuses usually equalize

equalize that pressure. with normal breathing


– unless congested
 Knowing the structure and
function of ears and sinuses
2. You may not have ever felt any pressure in your sinuses while diving, will help you understand how
they respond to changing pressure

because they usually equalize with normal breathing – that is unless continued. . .

they are congested, which is why you know not to dive with a cold.
3. Knowing more about the structure and function of the ears and
sinuses, will help you better understand how they respond to
changing pressure.

Presentation Notes
143
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Dive Theory
Review 4. The ear is divided into three areas – the outer, middle, and inner ear.
How do the ears and sinuses respond
to changing pressure?
 Ear – three areas
a. The outer ear consists of the external ear and the ear canal,
Outer

which channels sound to the eardrum.




 Middle
 Inner
 Outer ear – external
ear and ear canal,
which channels b. The middle ear is an air space that is connected to the throat
sound to eardrum

by the eustachian tube. The middle ear is separated from outer


continued. . .
ear by the eardrum. Sound waves hit the eardrum and are
Dive Theory
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
How do the ears and sinuses respond
Review
transmitted through small bones, called ossicles, to the inner ear.
to changing pressure?
 Middle ear – air space
connected to throat
by eustachian tube
c. The inner ear turns vibrations from the ossicles into nerve



Separated from
outer ear by
eardrum
Sound waves hit
impulses that are sent to the brain – allowing you to hear.
eardrum and are

5. During descent, water fills the outer ear, putting pressure on the
transmitted through
small bones, called
ossicles, to inner ear
 Inner ear turns vibrations from ossicles into nerve
impulses – allowing you to hear
continued. . .
eardrum.
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Dive Theory
Review a. Equalization occurs by adding air through the eustachian tubes
How do the ears and sinuses respond
to changing pressure?
 During descent, water fills outer
to each middle ear.
ear, putting pressure on eardrum
 Equalization occurs by adding
air through eustachian tubes b. As you know, failure to add air or a blockage that prevents air
 Failure to add air or a blockage
causes a squeeze
 During ascent, expanding air normally exits easily
from getting to the middle ear causes a squeeze.
 If a blockage prevents air from exiting,
a reverse block occurs

continued. . .
6. During ascent, expanding air normally exits easily without the diver
even being aware of it. However, if a blockage prevents air from
exiting, a reverse block occurs, which we’ll discuss in a few minutes.

Dive Theory
7. The sinuses are divided into four chambers that are connected to the
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
How do the ears and sinuses respond
Review
nose.
to changing pressure?
 Sinuses are divided into four chambers
– connected to the nose a. As mentioned, healthy sinuses have free air flow and normally
 Healthy sinuses have free air flow


and normally equalize naturally
Congested sinuses may
equalize naturally on descent and ascent.
experience a sinus squeeze
on descent
 If congestion occurs during b. Congested sinuses, however, may experience a sinus squeeze on
dive, then a reverse block
could result on ascent
descent.
c. If congestion occurs during the dive, then a reverse block could
result on ascent.
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Dive Theory
Review B. What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear and sinus
What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear
and sinus squeezes or reverse blocks?
 If a squeeze or reverse block
squeezes or reverse blocks?
is not corrected quickly,
a pressure-related injury,
– barotrauma – could occur 1. If a squeeze or reverse block is not corrected quickly, a pressure-
 Middle ear squeeze results in blood
and fluid filling the middle ear until
equilibrium is restored
 Ears feel full and hearing is reduced
related injury, called a barotrauma, could occur.
 Injury needs proper treatment to heal
 Failure to receive medical care can mean permanent hearing
impairment 2. A middle ear squeeze that is not equalized results in blood and fluid
continued. . .

filling the middle ear until equilibrium is restored.


a. The ears feel full and hearing is reduced.
b. This injury needs proper treatment to heal. Failure to receive
medical care can mean permanent hearing impairment.
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Dive Theory
Review
3. Eardrum rupture occurs when a diver descends rapidly without
What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear
and sinus squeezes or reverse blocks?
 Eardrum rupture occurs when
equalizing, and the eardrum flexes inward until it ruptures.
a diver descends rapidly without
equalizing – eardrum flexes
inward until it ruptures
a. Water enters the air space through the ruptured eardrum to



Water enters the air space
to equalize the pressure
Injury requires medical attention to prevent
equalize the pressure.
infection and permanent damage
b. This injury requires medical attention to prevent infection and
continued. . .
permanent damage due to water contaminating the middle ear.

Dive Theory
144
4. Another ear barotrauma that can occur to the inner ear is round KR

Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces


Dive Theory
Review
What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear
window rupture. and sinus squeezes or reverse blocks?
 Another ear barotrauma is round
window rupture

a. If a diver delays equalization, the round window bulges outward  If a diver delays equalization, the
round window bulges outward
in response to unequal pressure

into the middle ear in response to the unequal pressure. If at  If at the same time, the diver attempts
a long, forcefully blowing against a pinched nose,
the increase in internal pressure can rupture the

the same time, the diver attempts to equalize by using a long, round window
 Serious injury needs medical treatment and can
lead to permanent hearing reduction or deafness

forcefully blowing against a pinched nose, the combined increase continued. . .

in internal pressure can rupture the round window.


b. This serious injury needs medical treatment and can lead to
permanent hearing reduction or deafness in the affected ear.
5. Vertigo, which is characterized by dizziness or a loss of sense of Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Dive Theory
Review
What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear
direction, often results from ear barotrauma. and sinus squeezes or reverse blocks?
 Vertigo – characterized by
dizziness or a loss of sense

a. For example, when an eardrum ruptures underwater, the rush of of direction – often results
from ear barotrauma
 For example, when an eardrum

cool water hitting the inner ear will impair the diver’s balance, ruptures, the rush of cool water
hitting inner ear will impair
a diver’s balance
Round window rupture or a bad

resulting in vertigo.

squeeze can also cause vertigo

b. Round window rupture or a bad squeeze can also cause vertigo. continued. . .

6. You already know that ear plugs aren’t appropriate for scuba diving Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces

because they create an air space that you can’t equalize. Be aware that What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear
and sinus squeezes or reverse blocks?

tight fitting hoods or anything that can obstruct the outer ear could  Ear plugs aren’t appropriate for scuba diving
 Tight fitting hoods or anything that can obstruct the outer ear
could also be a problem

also be a problem.  Obstruction creates an airspace


that can’t be equalized
 During descent, eardrum flexes
toward the unequalized space,

a. When the outer ear is blocked, the obstruction creates an 


and can rupture outward

Some special ear protectors and vented ear plugs


made for scuba diving allow for equalization
airspace between the block and the eardrum that can’t be continued. . .

equalized.
b. During descent, the eardrum flexes toward the unequalized
space, and if the descent continues, the eardrum can rupture
outward.
c. There are some special ear protectors and vented ear plugs made
specifically for scuba diving that allow for pressure equalization.
7. During descent, congestion in the sinuses could result in a squeeze, Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces

which is characterized by pressure or pain between the eyes, over the What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear
and sinus squeezes or reverse blocks?
 During descent, congestion in sinuses

teeth or in the cheekbones. could result in a squeeze


 Pressure or pain between the eyes,
over the teeth or in the cheekbones

a. Just like a middle ear squeeze, blood and fluid from surrounding 
 Blood and fluid fill the sinus
to restore pressure balance
During ascent, accumulated fluids

tissues fill the sinus to restore the pressure balance. 


and blood often flow into the diver’s mask
Sinus squeeze usually heals on its own, unless
accompanied by extended pain or fever, suggesting
a sinus infection
b. During ascent, the accumulated fluids and blood often flow into continued. . .

the diver’s mask – an unpleasant sight.


c. A sinus squeeze usually heals on its own, unless accompanied by
extended pain or fever, suggesting a sinus infection.
8. A reverse block can occur in either the ears or sinuses if congestion
occurs during the dive and prevents expanding air from escaping Dive Theory
Review
during ascent. Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
What injuries or incidents may occur as a result of ear
and sinus squeezes or reverse blocks?

a. For the ears, this causes the eardrum to flex outward. If a very  Reverse block – occurs in ears
or sinuses if congestion prevents
expanding air from escaping
during ascent
slow ascent does not give the air a chance to work its way out,  For the ears – eardrum flexes outward
 If air not given a chance to work its way out, eardrum could
rupture outward

the eardrum could rupture outward.  For the sinuses – slow ascent usually
gives air a chance to work its way out
 Fluid and blood may flow from
diver’s nose, and extended pain
or fever suggest a sinus infection

Presentation Notes
145
b. For the sinuses, a very slow ascent usually gives the air a chance
to work its way out. Similar to a sinus squeeze, fluid and blood
may flow from the diver’s nose, and extended pain or fever
suggest a sinus infection.

Dive Theory
C. What are the causes and physiologies of mask and dry suit squeezes?
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Review
What are the causes and physiologies of
mask and dry suit squeezes? 1. As an experienced diver, you probably equalize the air space in
 You probably equalize the air space in your mask


without even thinking about it
Mask squeeze occurs most commonly on very rapid
your mask without even thinking about it. Newer divers, however,
descents when a diver neglects to equalize the
mask
 Results in swollen face tissues
sometimes need to be reminded to exhale through their noses into
and capillary rupture in


skin and eyes
Looks dramatic, but generally
clears without complications
their masks.
continued. . . 2. Mask squeeze occurs most commonly on very rapid descents when a
diver neglects to equalize the mask.
a. Failure to do so results in swollen face tissues and capillary
rupture in the skin and eyes.
b. The effect of mask squeeze looks dramatic, but generally clears
without complications.
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Dive Theory
Review
3. Dry suit squeeze occurs when a diver fails to add air to the dry suit
What are the causes and physiologies of
mask and dry suit squeezes? when descending.
 Dry suit squeeze occurs when a diver fails to add air
to the dry suit when descending
 Most common cause is a rapid descent with dry suit inflator
accidentally left disconnected
a. The most common cause is a rapid descent with the dry suit
inflator accidentally left disconnected.
 Causes pinching – raise welts and cause skin injury
 Bad squeeze can
constrict breathing
 Easily prevented using

b. The squeeze causes pinching and can raise welts and cause skin
proper technique

injury. A bad squeeze can also constrict breathing.


c. Like a mask squeeze, dry suit squeeze is easily prevented using
proper technique to equalize the dry suit during descents.
Dive Theory
D. How do the lungs respond to changing pressure?
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces Review


How do your lungs respond to changing pressure?
Breathe continuously 1. You know that the most important rule in scuba diving is to breathe
continuously, because this allows you to automatically equalize your
lungs on descent and ascent. Closing the airway off during ascent
can lead to a lung overexpansion injury – which we’ll discuss next.
2. When you skin dive, holding your breath, the pressure compressing
your lungs has no effect when diving to normal depths, because the
drop in lung volume during descent and is restored during ascent –
provided you started with a full breath.

Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces


KR Dive Theory
Review
E. What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion
What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion
injuries: air embolism, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema and
subcutaneous emphysema?
injuries: air embolism, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema and
subcutaneous emphysema?
 Most serious lung overexpansion injury is air
embolism – also called arterial gas embolism (AGE)
 When alveoli and pulmonary capillaries rupture, air
bubbles enter bloodstream and flow into arteries


Bubbles can lodge anywhere, stopping blood flow
When they flow through carotid arteries to the brain – results
in cerebral air embolism
1. From your rescue diver training, you recall that the most serious
 Signs and symptoms – dizziness, confusion,
shock, paralysis, personality change,
unconsciousness and death
lung overexpansion injury is air embolism – also called arterial gas
continued. . . embolism (AGE).
a. This occurs when alveoli and pulmonary capillaries rupture,
allowing air bubbles to enter the bloodstream and flow into the
arteries.

Dive Theory
146
b. These bubbles can lodge anywhere, stopping blood flow to
tissues.
c. When they flow through the carotid arteries to the brain, it
results in a cerebral air embolism.
d. Signs and symptoms are similar to stroke and include dizziness,
confusion, shock, paralysis, personality change, unconsciousness
and death.
2. Pneumothorax is a serious injury that occurs when air from the Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces
Dive Theory
Review
What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion

rupture collects between the lung and chest wall, causing the lung to
injuries: air embolism, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema and
subcutaneous emphysema?
 Pneumothorax is a serious injury
that occurs when air collects
collapse. Symptoms include chest pain and coughing up blood. between the lung and chest wall,
causing the lung to collapse
 Symptoms include chest pain

3. Mediastinal emphysema occurs when air from a lung rupture


and coughing up blood

accumulates in the center of the chest over the heart.


continued. . .

a. Air can press on the heart and vessels, and interfere with KR Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces

circulation. What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion
injuries: air embolism, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema and
subcutaneous emphysema?
Mediastinal emphysema occurs
b. Signs and symptoms include feeling faint and having shortness

when air from a lung rupture
accumulates in center of
chest over the heart

of breath.  Air can press on heart and


vessels, and interfere
with circulation
 Signs and symptoms include

4. Subcutaneous emphysema occurs when air from the rupture feeling faint and having
shortness of breath

accumulates in soft tissues at the base of the neck. continued. . .

Dive Theory

a. This injury often happens in conjunction with a mediastinal Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces Review
What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion
injuries: air embolism, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema and

emphysema. 
subcutaneous emphysema?
Subcutaneous emphysema occurs
when air from rupture accumulates
in soft tissues at base of neck
b. Signs and symptoms include fullness in the neck, voice change 
 Often happens in conjunction
with mediastinal emphysema
Signs and symptoms include

and skin that crackles when touched. fullness in the neck, voice
change and skin that crackles
when touched
 Two or more, or all 4, injuries

5. Keep in mind that two or more, or all four, injuries could happen could happen simultaneously

simultaneously.
F. What are the recommendations for lung overexpansion injury first Dive Theory
Review
Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces

aid and treatment? What are the recommendations for lung overexpansion
injury first aid and treatment?
Treatment same as for decompression sickness:

1. As discussed earlier, the treatment for lung overexpansion injuries is 




Give oxygen – preferably 100 percent.
Keep a breathing patient lying level
Advise the patient not to sit up

the same as for decompression sickness – they are both considered


 Lie a nonbreathing patient on
the back for CPR
 Monitor airway, breathing and
circulation, and contact emergency medical services

decompression illness.  If diver has an air embolism, prompt recompression


is critical to diminish bubbles

a. Give oxygen – preferably 100 percent.


b. Keep a breathing patient lying level.
c. Advise the patient not to sit up, even during transport or if
feeling better.
d. Lie a nonbreathing patient on the back for rescue breathing and
CPR.
e. Monitor airway, breathing and circulation, and contact
emergency medical services.
2. If the diver does have an air embolism, prompt recompression is
critical to diminish bubbles in the bloodstream and force them into
solution.

Presentation Notes
147
[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: The middle ear is most affected by changing pressure, because it is an


___________ that is connected by the eustachian tube to the throat.
A: air space
Q: If congestion occurs during the dive, then a _________ could result on
ascent in either the ears or sinuses.
A: reverse block
Q: A ruptured eardrum may immediately cause _________ underwater and
may also lead to infection due to water entering the __________.
A: vertigo, middle ear
Q: If a middle ear squeeze or sinus squeeze is not equalized, ____________
will fill the air space until equilibrium is restored.
A: blood and fluid
Q: Mask and dry suit squeeze are caused by ________ to add air during
descent.
A: failure
Q: The most important rule in scuba diving is to breathe _________ and
never hold your ________.
A: continuously, breath
Q: The most serious form of lung overexpansion injury is an
_____________, because air bubbles enter the arterial circulation.
A: air embolism
Q: ______________ emphysema occurs when the expanding air
accumulates under the skin.
A: Subcutaneous
Q: Pneumothorax is characterized by a ______________ .
A: collapsed lung.
Q: Mediastinal emphysema occurs when the expanding air becomes lodged
in the __________ between the lungs.
A: chest cavity (the mediastinum)
Q: If a diver does have an air embolism, prompt _____________ is critical
to diminish bubbles and force them into solution.
A: recompression (hyperbaric treatment)

Dive Theory
148
Dive Theory
Scuba Cylinders Review

X. Scuba Cylinders
Study Objectives
1. How do you identify, and what are the meanings of, the following
scuba cylinder marks: alloy designation, hydrostatic test date
and working pressure?
2. What are the different types of cylinder valves?
What device prevents an over-pressurized cylinder from

A. How do you identify and what are the meanings of the following
3.
exploding, and how does it work?
4. Why should a cylinder receive an annual visual inspection?
5. What are the steps and procedures of a hydrostatic test?

scuba cylinder marks: hydrostatic test date and working pressure? 6. What functional problems can occur with cylinders and valves?

1. Scuba cylinders have various markings stamped at the neck that


provide information, such as the government agency responsible for Dive Theory
Review
Scuba Cylinders

approving compressed gas containers, the type of metal used (alloy How do you identify, and what are the meanings of, the
following scuba cylinder marks: hydrostatic test date
and working pressure?

designation), the maximum pressure, etc.  Scuba cylinders have various markings stamped at
the neck that provide information:
 Government agency responsible
for approving compressed

2. As a divemaster, you need to be familiar with the cylinder markings 


gas containers
Type of metal used
(alloy designation)
Maximum pressure

– specifically, you should know how to identify when the last



 Be familiar with the cylinder markings and know
how to identify when the last hydrostatic test was
completed and the working pressure

hydrostatic test was completed and the working or fill pressure of continued. . .

the cylinder.
3. A cylinder’s initial hydrostatic test date will usually appear as the Scuba Cylinders
Dive Theory
Review

last item in the last row of information originally stamped on the How do you identify, and what are the meanings of, the
following scuba cylinder marks: hydrostatic test date
and working pressure?

cylinder.  Initial hydrostatic test date


– last item in last row
 Consists of numbers representing

a. The hydrostatic test date consists of numbers representing the


month and year
 Numbers separated by hydrostatic
tester’s initials or tester’s special
registered symbol

month and year in which the cylinder was tested.  Subsequent hydrostatic test dates may
appear anywhere on neck

b. These numbers may be separated by either the hydrostatic continued. . .

tester’s initials or by the tester’s special registered symbol.


Dive Theory
c. Subsequent hydrostatic test dates may appear anywhere on the Scuba Cylinders Review
How do you identify, and what are the meanings of, the

cylinder’s neck. following scuba cylinder marks: hydrostatic test date


and working pressure?
 Marked with maximum pressure
Psi (pounds per square inch)

4. Cylinders are also marked with a maximum pressure or working



 Bar
 MP (mega-pascal)

pressure to which a cylinder may be filled for normal use. This may
be in psi (pounds-per-square-inch), bar or MP (mega-pascal)
B. What are the different types of cylinder valves? Dive Theory
Scuba Cylinders Review

1. A scuba cylinder is fitted with a standard chrome plated brass valve What are the different types of cylinder valves?
 Cylinder fitted with standard chrome plated brass
valve – either yoke system or DIN system
— either the yoke system or the DIN system valve. Yoke System
 Regulator fits down over the valve
First stage opening

2. With the yoke system, the regulator fits down over the valve where

meets valve’s high
pressure opening
 Tightened in place

the its first stage opening meets the valve’s high pressure opening.
with yoke screw
 Seals against
valve’s o-ring

The regulator is tightened in place with it’s yoke screw and seals continued. . .

against the valve’s o-ring.


3. DIN stands for Deutsche Industrie-Norm — a German national Scuba Cylinders
Dive Theory
Review

standards organization. What are the different types of cylinder valves?


 DIN stands for Deutsche Industrie-Norm – a German
national standards organization

a. With the DIN system, the sealing o-ring mounts on the  With the DIN system, sealing o-ring mounts on
regulator, which screws into DIN valve
Five thread DIN fitting can be used for pressures up
regulator, which screws into the DIN valve.

to 200 bar/3000 psi
 Seven thread DIN fitting for higher
working pressures

b. The five thread DIN fitting can be used for pressures up to


200 bar/3000 psi, and the seven thread DIN fitting for higher
working pressures. KR Dive Theory
Scuba Cylinders Review

C. What device prevents an over-pressurized cylinder from exploding, What device prevents an over-pressurized cylinder
from exploding, and how does it work?
 Burst disk is part of many

and how does it work? cylinder valves


– protects against damage from:
 Accidental overfilling
 Accidental overheating

1. A safety device called a burst disk is part of many cylinder valves to 



Not used in some countries
If cylinder pressure rises to 140%
of working pressure, disk

protect against damage that may occur from accidental overfilling, ruptures and air escapes through
vented plug

continued. . .

Presentation Notes
149
but more often from accidental overheating. They are not used in
some countries.
2. If cylinder pressure rises to approximately 140 percent of the
Scuba Cylinders
Dive Theory
Review
working pressure, the disk ruptures, and the air escapes through the
What device prevents an over-pressurized cylinder
from exploding, and how does it work? vented plug.
 Burst-disk assembly consists of a
thin copper disk held in place with
a gasket and a vented plug
 Burst disks need to be replaced
3. A burst-disk assembly consists of a thin copper disk held in place
periodically – weaken over time
with a gasket and a vented plug.
4. Burst disks need to be replaced periodically, as they weaken over
time.
Dive Theory
Review
D. Why should a cylinder be visually inspected annually?
Scuba Cylinders
Why should a cylinder receive an
annual visual inspection?
 Dive community requires cylinders to be visually
1. The dive community standards is for cylinders to be visually
inspected each year
 Valves are inspected and O-rings replaced as needed
Three general reasons – to detect
inspected each year, even though in most areas this is not required
 Exterior damage – severe scratches
or dents that can weaken cylinder
 Interior corrosion that can weaken
by law. At inspection time, valves are also inspected and O-rings
cylinder and clog valve
 Galvanic action between dissimilar
metals of cylinder and valve threads
 Threads can seize, making it
replaced as needed and appropriate.
impossible to remove valve – makes cylinder useless

continued. . .
2. There are three general reasons:
a. First, to detect exterior damage such as severe scratches or dents.
Severe external damage can weaken the cylinder. The outside is
also inspected for cracks around the valve neck.
b. The second reason is to detect severe interior corrosion, which
can weaken the cylinder and clog the valve. In steel cylinders,
corrosion called “pitting” can weaken the cylinder structurally in
a small area, causing it to fail.
c. Lastly, the inspection is important to spot any galvanic action
between the dissimilar metals of the cylinder and valve threads.
If galvanic action progresses, the valve and cylinder threads
can seize, making it impossible to remove the valve without
destroying the threads, which makes the cylinder useless.
Dive Theory
3. A visual inspection should also occur any time:
Scuba Cylinders Review
Why should a cylinder receive an
annual visual inspection?
a. You hear loose material rolling around inside the cylinder, or
you hear sloshing water in it.
 Inspection should occur:
 Hear loose material rolling around or sloshing water
 Any exterior damage
 Seems heavier than it should be



Burst disc fails or cylinder
completely emptied
Air inside smells unusual or
b. There is any exterior damage to the cylinder.
cylinder filled by compressor

c. The cylinder seems heavier than it should be, because it could


thought to be defectiv.
 After long term storage or when
cylinder’s history is unknown

continued. . . have water in it.


d. A burst disc fails, or the cylinder is completely emptied.
e. Air inside smells unusual or the cylinder was filled by a
compressor thought to be defective.
f. After long term storage or when the cylinder’s history is
Dive Theory
Scuba Cylinders
Why should a cylinder receive an
Review
unknown.
annual visual inspection?
 Decal attached noting inspection date
 Be familiar with decals used in your area 4. After inspection, a decal is usually attached to the cylinder noting
the inspection date. You should be familiar with the decals used
in your area, so you can tell if a cylinder is within a year of its last
inspection.

Dive Theory
150
E. What are the steps and procedures of a hydrostatic test? Scuba Cylinders
Dive Theory
Review
What are the steps and procedures of

1. To determine that a cylinder is structurally sound, many countries a hydrostatic test?


 To determine that a cylinder is structurally sound,
many countries require periodic hydrostatic testing

require periodic hydrostatic testing. As a divemaster, you should be  Test procedures vary from region to region
General steps:
 Cylinder is filled with water and placed into a

familiar with hydrostatic test requirements for your area. water-filled container
 Cylinder is pressurized to specified test pressure
for a minimum of 30 seconds
5/3 or 3/2 cylinder’s listed pressure

2. Hydrostatic test procedures vary from region to region, but follow




 At test pressure, total expansion is recorded


– amount of water displaced from container

these general steps:


continued. . .

a. The cylinder is filled with water and placed into a water-filled


container.
b. The cylinder is pressurized to the specified test pressure for a
minimum of 30 seconds.
c. At test pressure – typically 5/3 or 3/2 the cylinder’s listed
pressure – the total expansion is recorded, usually by the amount
of water displaced from the container.
d. The pressure is released, the cylinder contracts and the displaced Scuba Cylinders
KR Dive Theory
Review

water is returned to the container. What are the steps and procedures of
a hydrostatic test?
General steps:

e. Any remaining displaced water above zero (if any) represents  Pressure is released, cylinder contracts and
displaced water is returned to container
Remaining displaced water represents permanent
permanent expansion of the cylinder.

expansion of cylinder
 If expansion is within specific limits – cylinder passes test and
receives new stamped test date

f. If the expansion is within specific limits, then the cylinder passes  If expansion is too high – metal has fatigued
— cylinder is condemned

the test and receives a new stamped test date. continued. . .

g. If expansion is too high, the metal has fatigued and is no longer


capable of safely holding high pressure gases. The cylinder is
condemned.
3. Beyond required intervals, you should have a cylinder hydrostatically Dive Theory
Review
Scuba Cylinders

tested if the cylinder: What are the steps and procedures of


a hydrostatic test?
Beyond required intervals, have cylinder tested if it:

a. Has sustained impact damage. 



Has sustained impact damage
Has been exposed to extreme heat
– in excess of about 82°C/180°F

b. Has been exposed to extreme heat – in excess of about – because molecular structure of
metal may have been altered
 Cylinders made from some alloys

82°C/180°F – because the molecular structure of the metal 


– particularly aluminum – are
condemned after heat exposure
Has any signs of stress or weakening

may have been altered and become more brittle. Note that
cylinders made from some alloys – particularly aluminum – are
condemned immediately after heat exposure due to the high risk
of molecular damage.
c. Has any signs of stress or weakening.
F. What functional problems can occur with cylinders and valves? Scuba Cylinders
Dive Theory
Review
What functional problems can occur with
1. As a divemaster and problem solver, you need to be aware of what cylinders and valves?
 You need to be aware of what problems can occur
with cylinders and valves – to prevent or handle
problems can occur with equipment, such as cylinders and valves, so  Most common cylinder problem
– diver doesn’t properly secure
it in the BCD
you can help prevent those problems or quickly handle them when 

May slip out, or it may be too high
Watch for cylinders that are not
attached or adjusted properly

they do occur.
2. The most common cylinder problem that occurs is when a diver continued. . .

doesn’t properly secure it in the BCD.


a. The cylinder may slip out, or it may be too high and bang
against the diver’s head.

Presentation Notes
151
b. Watch for cylinders that are not attached or adjusted properly.
Be aware of cylinders that start to slip when a diver stands or
enters the water.
Scuba Cylinders
Dive Theory
Review 3. If a cylinder has internal corrosion, the flakes and debris that
What functional problems can occur with
cylinders and valves?
 Cylinder has internal corrosion
accumulate can start to clog the valve or regulator, potentially
– flakes and debris that accumulate can
start to clog the valve or regulator
 This is why visual inspections are so important
causing significant damage. Again, this is why visual inspections are
so important.
4. The most common valve problem is a worn o-ring.
continued. . .

Dive Theory
a. This would normally be indicated by a small string of bubbles
Scuba Cylinders Review
What functional problems can occur with during a dive. This is not a big concern but it does indicate that
cylinders and valves?
 Most common valve problem is a worn o-ring
 Indicated by a small string of bubbles
the o-ring needs to be to be replaced as soon as possible.
 Not a big concern but it does indicate that the o-ring needs to

b. A major leak calls for aborting the dive due to rapid air loss.
be to be replaced
 Major leak calls for aborting dive due to rapid air loss
 Make a habit of checking
and changing o-rings frequently
c. Make a habit of checking o-rings frequently, before they show
continued. . .
wear.
KR Dive Theory
Review
5. Another valve problem occurs when a diver turns the valve on to
Scuba Cylinders
What functional problems can occur with
cylinders and valves?
check the air supply and then turns it off, but doesn’t purge the
 Another problem occurs when a diver turns the
valve on and then turns it off, but doesn’t purge
pressure
pressure. The SPG will continue to show a full cylinder and the
 SPG will continue to show a full cylinder and diver may enter


the water with valve off
Diver may open valve only partially, then forget to
open it completely and begin the dive
diver may enter the water with the valve off.
 Identify this problem by observing

6. Similarly, a diver may open the valve only partially to check the
the diver’s SPG
 Pressure will fall and rise as
diver inhales and exhales
 Encourage divers to perform
a predive safety check
pressure, then forget to open it completely, and begin the dive with
the valve barely open.
a. You can identify this problem underwater by observing the
diver’s SPG. The pressure will usually fall and rise sharply as the
diver inhales and exhales.
7. Encouraging divers to perform a predive safety check before each
dive will help prevent these problems.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: The hydrostatic test date is found on the cylinder’s _________ and


consists of numbers representing the ____________ in which the
cylinder was tested.
A: neck, month and year
Q: A scuba cylinder valve is either the ________ system or the _______
system.
A: yoke, DIN
Q: If cylinder pressure rises to approximately 140 percent of the working
pressure, the ____________ will rupture, which allows air to escape.
A: burst disk

Dive Theory
152
Q: During a cylinder’s visual inspection, the inspector looks for exterior
_________, interior _________ and _________ action between the
dissimilar metals of the cylinder and valve threads.
A: damage, corrosion, galvanic
Q: During a hydrostatic test, the cylinder is pressurized to the specified test
pressure and the total _________ is recorded, usually by the amount of
________ displaced from the testing container.
A: expansion, water
Q: The most common cylinder problem that occurs is when a diver doesn’t
properly secure it in the ________.
A: BCD
Q: The most common valve problem is a worn ________.
A: o-ring Scuba Regulators
Dive Theory
Review
Study Objectives
1. How does a scuba regulator work?

XI. Scuba Regulators


2. What is meant by “fail-safe” with respect to
regulators, and how does it work?
3. What is the purpose of a regulator environmental
seal?
4. What functional problems can occur with

A. How does a scuba regulator work? regulators?

1. From your previous training, you know that a regulator delivers air
(or enriched air) to you from your cylinder at the same pressure as Dive Theory
Review
Scuba Regulators

the pressure surrounding you. How does a scuba regulator work?


 A regulator delivers air
(or enriched air) from

2. The regulator first stage reduces the high pressure delivered by the
your cylinder at same
pressure as pressure
surrounding you

cylinder to an intermediate pressure, usually about 10 to 13 bar,  First stage reduces


high pressure to an
intermediate pressure

1000-3000 kPa, or 140 to 190 psi above the ambient water pressure. 


About 10 to 13 bar, 1000-3000 kPa, or 140 to 190 psi above
ambient water pressure
Intermediate pressure is what’s in the hose that leads to the
second stage

This intermediate pressure is what’s in the hose that leads to the continued. . .

regulator second stage. Scuba Regulators


Dive Theory
Review
How does a scuba regulator work?

3. When you inhale, the following action occurs: When you inhale, the following action occurs:
 Water pressure pushes in second stage diaphragm
opening the downstream valve, releasing air

a. Water pressure pushes in the second stage diaphragm opening  Release causes air pressure
in first stage to drop, opening
a valve that releases air

the downstream valve, releasing air from the hose. from cylinder

b. This release causes the air pressure in the first stage to drop,
continued. . .

opening a valve that releases air from the cylinder until the diver
stops inhaling.
c. When you stop inhaling, the second stage diaphragm returns to Scuba Regulators
Dive Theory
Review
How does a scuba regulator work?

its relaxed position, and the downstream valve closes.  When you stop inhaling, second stage
diaphragm returns to its relaxed position,
and downstream valve closes

d. This allows the intermediate pressure to build back up in the  Intermediate pressure builds back up in the hose,
closing first stage valve

hose, closing the first stage valve so that air no longer flows.
4. To learn more about how different types of first and second stages
function, take Dive Theory Online or read The Encyclopedia of
Recreational Diving – Chapter 3, Dive Equipment. Scuba Regulators
Dive Theory
Review
What is meant by “fail-safe” with respect to
regulators, and how does it work?
B. What is meant by “fail-safe” with respect to regulators, and how  Second stage has a “downstream” valve design,
meaning that the valve opens with the air flow

does it work?
 Because spring pressure holds
valve closed against air flow,
a valve malfunction allows
the valve to open
 Releases air continuously in a freeflow

1. As just mentioned, the regulator’s second stage has a “downstream”  This is called fail-safe because a regulator failure
allows diver to get air – fails in a safe manner
Divers learn to breathe from a freeflowing regulator so they

valve design, meaning that the valve opens with the air flow.

know how to deal with the situation

Presentation Notes
153
2. Because spring pressure holds the valve closed against the air flow,
a valve malfunction allows the valve to open. This releases air
continuously in a freeflow.
3. This is called fail-safe because a regulator failure allows the diver to
get air. That is, it fails in a safe manner.
4. Open water divers learn to breathe from a freeflowing regulator so
if this occurs, they know how to deal with the situation and breathe
from the regulator while ascending.

Scuba Regulators
Dive Theory
Review
C. What is the purpose of a regulator environmental seal?
What is the purpose of a regulator environmental seal?
 Some first stages have environmental seals that
help keep regulator from freezing in cold water
1. Some regulator first stages have environmental seals that help keep
Normal air flow causes a temperature
the regulator from freezing in cold water.

drop in first stage
 In extremely cold conditions, water
quickly freezes within first stage causing


valves to stick open in a freeflowing position
An environmental seal does not allow water to 2. Normal air flow causes a temperature drop in the regulator first
directly contact the first-stage valve
– substantially reducing possibility of freezing
stage. In extremely cold conditions, this can result in water quickly
freezing within the first stage causing valves to stick open in a
freeflowing position.
3. An environmental seal does not allow water to directly contact
the first-stage valve, thus substantially reducing the possibility of
freezing.
Scuba Regulators
KR Dive Theory
Review D. What functional problems can occur with regulators?
What functional problems can occur with regulators?
 Knowing how to handle regulator


problems is a key skill to have
Most functional problems occur
1. Knowing how to spot and handle regulator problems is a key skill to
due to inadequate maintenance
or servicing
 Build-up of minerals and salt can
have as a divemaster.
increase breathing resistance or
keep valves from completely


seating – resulting in a constant
air leak from second stage
Regulator that has a continuous
2. Most functional problems with a regulator, including an alternate air
source, occur due to inadequate maintenance or servicing.
flow of air needs professional servicing

continued. . .

a. The build-up of minerals and salt on regulator parts can increase


breathing resistance or keep the valves from completely seating,
resulting in a constant air leak from the second stage.
b. A regulator that has a continuous flow of air needs professional
servicing.
Dive Theory
Review
3. Poor maintenance may also result in the second stage exhaust valves
Scuba Regulators
What functional problems can occur with regulators?
 Poor maintenance may also result in exhaust valves
sticking or failing to seal.
sticking or failing to seal



A stuck exhaust valve can block exhalation,
making regulator unusable
An exhaust valve that doesn’t seal makes
a. A stuck exhaust valve can block exhalation, making the regulator
regulator breathe “wet”
 Regulator needs to be serviced
unusable.
b. An exhaust valve that doesn’t seal makes the regulator breathe
continued. . .
“wet,” which is very uncomfortable for a diver.
c. In both cases, the regulator needs to be serviced as soon as
possible.
Scuba Regulators
Dive Theory
Review 4. Problems with the regulator mouthpiece may include:
What functional problems can occur with regulators?
Problems with mouthpiece include:
 Divers biting through the bite tabs
a. Divers biting through the bite tabs, making the mouthpiece
Small tears that allow water to drizzle in

difficult if not impossible to use.



 Mouthpiece comes loose, because plastic tie breaks
 Careful inspection before
each use as well as regular
servicing can prevent most
regulator problems b. Small tears that allow water to drizzle in during a dive, which
makes it very uncomfortable for the diver.

Dive Theory
154
c. The mouthpiece comes loose, because the plastic tie that secures
it to the second stage breaks.
5. Careful inspection of the regulator, including the alternate air
source, before each use as well as regular servicing can prevent most
regulator problems.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: A regulator first stage reduces the ______ pressure delivered by the


cylinder to an __________ pressure.
A: high, intermediate
Q: When a diver inhales, water pressure pushes in the second stage
___________, opening the __________, releasing air from the hose.
A: diaphragm, downstream valve
Q: If there is a regulator malfunction, the second stage downstream valve
will be pushed open, causing the regulator to ________, which is
referred to as a ________ design.
A: freeflow, fail-safe
Q: An environmental seal reduces the risk that a regulator will ________ in
_______ water.
A: freeze, cold
Q: Most functional problems with a regulator, such as air ______ and stuck
Dive Theory

_______, occur due to inadequate maintenance or servicing. Dive Computers and Gauges
Study Objectives
Review

1. What are the different operating principles and

A: leaks, valves designs for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?


2. What are the procedures for using dive computers
appropriately?
3. What special equipment requirements and
considerations do you have when diving with

XII. Dive Computers and Gauges


enriched air?
4. What functional problems can occur with gauges
and dive computers?

A. What are the different operating principles and designs for depth
gauges, SPGs and compasses? Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review
What are the different operating principles and designs

1. As an experienced diver, you know how important the information for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?
 Gauges provide information
for planning your dive

your gauges provide is for planning your dive and diving your 
and diving your plan
You need to understand of
how instruments – depth

plan. As a divemaster, you need to have a broad understanding of gauges, SPGs, compasses
and dive computers – function
so you can better advise

how instruments such as depth gauges, SPGs, compasses and dive diver’s you supervise and
handle problems

computers function so that you can better advise the diver’s you continued. . .

supervise and better handle problems that may occur.


2. Although many divers invest in a dive computer as soon as possible
after certification, there are many standard depth gauges still in use.
The three basic types of depth gauges include: Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review
What are the different operating principles and designs

a. Oil-filled analog gauges have a sealed tube (bourdon tube) that for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?
 Although many divers invest in a dive computer,
there are many standard depth gauges still in use
coils with pressure. As depth increases, the additional pressure Three basic types:
1. Oil-filled analog gauges – sealed tube (bourdon

is transmitted through the oil and the tube coils more tightly, tube) that coils with pressure
 As depth increases,
pressure is transmitted
through oil and tube

moving the depth gauge needle. coils, moving depth


gauge needle

continued. . .

Presentation Notes
155
Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review b. Diaphragm gauges function by connecting a flexible diaphragm
What are the different operating principles and designs
for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?
Three basic types:
that senses the changing pressure to a series of levers and gears
2. Diaphragm gauges – flexible
diaphragm that senses changing
pressure connected to levers
that move the display needle to the corresponding depth.
and gears that move needle
to corresponding depth
3. Digital gauges – read depth via a transducer that
c. Digital gauges read depth via a transducer that varies its
varies electricity it transmits depending on pressure


Offer a high degree of accuracy
Same technology is used in dive computers
electrical transmission depending on the pressure exerted on
continued. . .
it. These gauges offer a high degree of accuracy, and this same
technology is used in dive computers to determine depth. Today,
this by far the most common type of gauge.
KR Dive Theory
Review
3. The most common submersible pressure gauge (SPG) is one that
Dive Computers and Gauges
What are the different operating principles and designs
for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?
attaches to the regulator’s high pressure port via a hose.
 Most common submersible pressure gauge (SPG) is


one that attaches to high pressure port via a hose
An analog SPG uses a sealed tube
a. An analog SPG uses a sealed tube, similar to an oil-filled depth
to sense cylinder pressure
 Increasing or decreasing
pressure causes tube
to flex, which moves
gauge, to sense cylinder pressure. Increasing or decreasing
needle around dial
pressure causes the tube to flex, which moves the needle around
continued. . .
the dial.
Dive Theory
Review
b. There are hoseless SPGs that have a compact transmitter that
Dive Computers and Gauges
What are the different operating principles and designs
for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses? threads into the high pressure port. The transmitter sends
 Hoseless SPGs have a compact transmitter that
threads into the high pressure port
 Transmitter sends pressure information to receiver in dive
pressure information to a receiver in a dive computer worn on
computer worn on the wrist
 SPGs can be integrated into
dive computers – either connected the wrist.
to a high pressure hose or packaged
into a hoseless unit
c. SPGs can also be integrated into dive computers – either
continued. . . connected to a high pressure hose or packaged into a hoseless
unit.
Dive Theory
4. There two basic types of dive compasses – the conventional,
Dive Computers and Gauges Review
What are the different operating principles and designs
for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses?
mechanical compass and the newer electronic compass with digital
Two basic types of dive compasses:
 Mechanical compasses are liquid filled:
 Allows compass to withstand pressure at depth
readouts.
Allows needle to move smoothly within unit

a. Most mechanical compasses are liquid filled, which allows the




 Mechanical compasses
either function with direct
or indirect reading
 Numbers either rotate as
bezel is moved
compass to withstand pressure at depth. The liquid also allows
 Numbers are fixed and only
index marks rotate

continued. . .
the needle to move smoothly within the unit.
Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review
b. Mechanical compasses either function with direct or indirect
What are the different operating principles and designs
for depth gauges, SPGs and compasses? reading – meaning that the numbers either rotate as the bezel is
Two basic types of dive compasses:
 Electronic compasses are generally
integrated into dive computers
moved, or the numbers are fixed and only the index marks rotate
around.
c. Electronic compasses are generally integrated into dive
computers.

KR Dive Theory
B. What are the procedures for using dive computers?
Dive Computers and Gauges Review
What are the procedures for using
dive computers appropriately?
1. Because most of the divers you will supervise are likely to
 Most divers you supervise are likely to have dive
computers – advise them to follow the manufacturer
recommendations
have dive computers, advise them to follow the manufacturer
General guidelines when offering suggestions:
 Know how to use the computer recommendations for their particular units.
 Plan the dive by activating computer
and scrolling through the NDLs


 Note NDL for next deeper depth
Each diver needs an individual 2. Use the following as general guidelines when offering suggestions for
computer, and that computer must
stay with diver for entire day
continued. . .
dive computer use:
a. First, know how to use the computer. Sometimes divers
get a new computers and need to thoroughly review the
manufacturer’s directions or get a complete orientation to a
specific dive computer before using it.

Dive Theory
156
b. The next step is to plan the dive by activating the computer and Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review
What are the procedures for using
scrolling through the NDLs. It’s a good idea to note the NDL dive computers appropriately?
General guidelines when offering suggestions:

for the planned depth, as well as for the next deeper depth.  Dive the plan
 Don’t revise plan just because computer allows it – other than
if plan is more conservative
Stay well within limits and ascend to a shallower
c. Divers shouldn’t share computers. Each diver needs an

depth to avoid pushing the no stop time showing
 Follow most conservative
computer by heading shallower
individual computer, and that computer must stay with the or ending dive if a computer
nears a limit

diver for the entire dive day. Because the computer tracks depth continued. . .

closely, it’s only accurate for the diver wearing the computer.
d. In the water, dive the plan. Don’t revise your plan just because
the dive computer allows it, other than if you change the plan to
be more conservative.
e. Stay well within limits and ascend to a shallower depth to avoid
pushing the no stop time showing.
f. Follow the most conservative computer within a buddy team
or group by heading shallower or ending the dive, together, if a
computer nears a limit.
g. Watch your SPG because often air supply limits the dive – not Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review

the NDL. What are the procedures for using


dive computers appropriately?
General guidelines when offering suggestions:

h. Progress from deep to shallow and avoid large increases in depth 


Watch your SPG – often air supply limits dive
– not the NDL
Progress from deep to shallow and avoid large

after ascending to a much shallower one. increases in depth after ascending shallower
 Ascend slowly and make
safety stops

i. Ascend slowly and make safety stops. Use your computer’s ascent  If a dive computers fails during
a dive, ascend, make a safety
stop and end dive

rate indicators and alarms to help.


j. Although very rare, if a dive computer fails during a dive,
ascend, make a safety stop and end the dive.
C. What special equipment requirements and considerations do you KR Dive Theory
Review
Dive Computers and Gauges

have when diving with enriched air? What special equipment requirements and
considerations do you have when
diving with enriched air?
 Guideline is that standard scuba

1. The dive community guideline is that standard scuba regulators, regulators, BCDs, SPGs and alternate
air sources may be used with enriched
air blends up to 40% oxygen (O2)
BCDs, SPGs and alternate air sources may be used with enriched air  Follow manufacturer’s guidelines
and local regulations
 For technical diving with mixes more than 40% O2,

blends that have up to 40% oxygen without modification. However, scuba equipment must be cleaned to O2 service
specifications, be made of O2 compatible materials
and be lubricated with O2 compatible lubricants

follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and local regulations regarding continued. . .

using scuba equipment with enriched air.


2. For technical diving with gas mixes containing more than 40%
oxygen, scuba equipment must be cleaned to oxygen service
specifications, be made of oxygen compatible materials and be
lubricated with oxygen compatible lubricants.
3. Enriched air cylinders must be dedicated cylinders that are clearly Dive Theory
Review
Dive Computers and Gauges

marked. They may need to meet oxygen service standards based on What special equipment requirements and
considerations do you have when
diving with enriched air?

manufacturer recommendations, local law or local practice.  Enriched air cylinders must be dedicated cylinders
that are clearly marked
 May need to meet oxygen service standards based on
manufacturer recommendations, local law or practice

4. Before using an enriched air cylinder, each diver must analyze the  Before using an enriched air cylinder,
each diver must analyze the contents
Divers use an oxygen analyzer – either

contents to confirm the percentage of oxygen so they can plan the



their own or one available at enriched air
fill station

Become a PADI Enriched Air Diver

dive and set their enriched air dive computers properly. To do this,
divers use an oxygen analyzer – either their own or one available at
the enriched air fill station.

Presentation Notes
157
5. If you aren’t already a PADI Enriched Air Diver, taking this specialty
will further orient you to the equipment and procedures for
enriched air diving.

Dive Computers and Gauges


Dive Theory
Review
D. What functional problems can occur with gauges and dive
What functional problems can occur
with gauges and dive computers? computers?
 Although depth gauges and computers that are in
good shape seldom give a substantially inaccurate
depth reading, mishandling and wear can affect
gauge accuracy 1. Although depth gauges and computers that are in good shape
Periodically check depth

seldom give a substantially inaccurate depth reading, mishandling



accuracy by comparing it
to gauges of several other divers
 If a gauge appears off, have it

and wear can affect gauge accuracy. Periodically check depth


checked by a qualified technician

continued. . . accuracy by comparing it to the gauges of several other divers. If a


gauge appears off, have it checked by a qualified technician.
Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review
2. Regarding SPGs, the most common problems result when dangling
What functional problems can occur
with gauges and dive computers? gauges snag and become damaged during entry, or continually bang
 Regarding SPGs – most common problems result
when dangling gauges snag and become damaged
 Destroys the hose and gauge over time
into things underwater, which destroys the hose and gauge over time
 Harms aquatic life
 Inspect gauge and hose for
signs of wear – replace at
— plus harms aquatic life in the process.
first signs of damage
 Look at needle before turning
air on to make sure it reads zero a. Inspect the gauge and hose for signs of wear, and replace SPG
 If above zero, have the SPG serviced

continued. . . hoses at the first signs of damage.


b. Also, look at the SPG needle before turning the air on to make
sure it reads zero. If it is above zero, have the SPG serviced to
Dive Computers and Gauges
Dive Theory
Review
correct its accuracy before using it.
What functional problems can occur
with gauges and dive computers?
 A mechanical SPG that consistently reads higher
c. A mechanical SPG that consistently reads higher than the actual
than actual pressure indicates metal fatigue;
 Bourdon tube flexes more
easily than it should – allowing
pressure indicates metal fatigue; the bourdon tube flexes more
needle to travel farther
 Gauge needs to be replaced
easily than it should because it is weak, allowing the needle to
travel farther at a given pressure. The gauge needs to be replaced.
continued. . .
3. As mentioned, computer failure has become very rare because most
Dive Computers and Gauges
KR Dive Theory
Review models self-check themselves and monitor battery power. If there’s
What functional problems can occur
with gauges and dive computers?
 Computer failure has become very rare
a problem, or the battery is low, the computer will shut down or
If there’s a problem, or battery is low,

otherwise warn you.



computer will shut down or
otherwise warn you
 If a dive computer fails between
dives, diver may continue diving if:
 Diver has been diving with
a backup for every dive
a. If a dive computer fails between dives, the diver may continue
All dives have been recorded

diving if the diver has been diving with a backup for every dive.

and can be calculated on dive tables
 If neither of these options are available, diver must
wait 12 to 24 hours before diving again

b. Another option is switching to dive tables, but only if all dives


have been recorded and can be calculated on the tables.
c. If neither of these options are available, the diver must wait 12
to 24 hours before diving again using a working computer.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: An analog depth gauge or SPG uses a _________ to sense pressure


changes, and as it flexes, it moves the needle around the dial.
A: sealed tube (bourdon tube)
Q: When diving with dive computers, ________ diver needs an individual
computer, and the ________ must stay with the diver for the entire dive
day.
A: each, same dive computer

Dive Theory
158
Q: A buddy team should follow the most __________ computer and go
shallower or end the dive if a computer nears a ________.
A: conservative, limit
Q: Enriched air cylinders must be _________ marked, and before using the
cylinder, you must __________ to confirm the percentage of oxygen.
A: clearly, analyze the contents
Q: The most common problem with gauges tends to be damage caused by
___________ that snag or bump into things underwater.
A: dangling gauges or consoles
Q: If a dive computer fails between dives, the diver may continue diving
with a _________ that has been used on al previous dives, or by
switching to __________, only if all dives have been recorded. Decompression Theory
Dive Theory
Review

A: backup dive computer, dive tables


Study Objectives
1. What is the basic structure and operation of the
Haldanean decompression model?
2. Forwhom was the Recreational Dive Planner
developed, and how was it tested?

XIII. Decompression Theory


3. Why do you need to know your approximate altitude
when diving?
4. How do dive computers apply decompression
models to provide more no stop dive time?

A. What is the basic structure and operation of the Haldanean


decompression model? Dive Theory
Decompression Theory Review

1. Virtually all dive tables and dive computers calculate no What is the basic structure and operation of the
Haldanean decompression model?

decompression limits and decompression stops based on a  Virtually all dive tables and dive computers
calculate no decompression limits and
decompression stops based on a Haldanean
decompression model
Haldanean decompression model.  John Scott Haldane
experimented and
produced his original
a. John Scott Haldane experimented and produced his original model and tables in 1906

model and tables in 1906. continued. . .

2. Haldane structured his model based on the following concepts: Dive Theory
Decompression Theory Review

a. At depth, nitrogen pressure in breathing air is higher than in the What is the basic structure and operation of the
Haldanean decompression model?
Haldane structured model based on:
body, so nitrogen dissolves into body tissues.  At depth, nitrogen pressure in breathing air
is higher than in the body, so nitrogen dissolves
into body tissues
b. Given enough time, the body will saturate and absorb no more  Given enough time, the body will saturate and
absorb no more nitrogen at that depth

nitrogen at that depth.  During ascent, nitrogen pressure in the body is


higher than the surrounding pressure, causing
tissues to release nitrogen

c. During ascent, nitrogen pressure in the body is higher than the continued. . .

surrounding pressure, causing tissues to release nitrogen.


d. The difference between the dissolved nitrogen pressure and Decompression Theory
Dive Theory
Review
What is the basic structure and operation of the
the surrounding pressure (whether ascending or descending) is Haldanean decompression model?
Haldane structured model based on:

called the pressure gradient. 


Difference between dissolved nitrogen pressure and
surrounding pressure is called pressure gradient
On ascent, tissues can tolerate some gradient
without causing decompression sickness (DCS)
e. On ascent, tissues can tolerate some gradient of high tissue  If gradient exceeds acceptable limits, bubbles can
form, which could result in DCS

pressure without causing decompression sickness (DCS).  DCS can be avoided by keeping gradient within
acceptable limits

f. If the gradient exceeds acceptable limits, bubbles can form, continued. . .

which could result in DCS.


g. DCS can be avoided by keeping the gradient within acceptable Decompression Theory
KR 36
KR 37
Dive Theory
Review
What is the basic structure and operation of the
limits. Haldanean decompression model?
 Haldane discovered that different body tissues
absorb and release nitrogen at different rates

3. Haldane discovered that different body tissues absorb and release


 Model consisted of five different tissue compartments
(theoretical tissues)
 Modern versions may have 14 or more compartments
 Each compartments was assigned a halftime in

dissolved nitrogen at different rates. To account for this, his model minutes ranging from 5 to 75 minutes
 Modern models range from 3 to more than 600 minutes
Halftime – the time it takes a compartment to go

consisted of five different tissue compartments (theoretical tissues).


halfway from its present tissue pressure to
saturation at a new depth, in exponential
progression

Modern versions may have 14 or more compartments. continued. . .

Presentation Notes
159
a. Each of his compartments was assigned a halftime in minutes
ranging from 5 to 75 minutes. Modern models range from 3 to
more than 600 minutes.
b. Halftime is the time, in minutes, it takes a compartment to go
halfway from its present tissue pressure to saturation at a new
depth, in exponential progression.
Decompression Theory
KR Dive Theory
Review
c. Each compartment also has a different M-value – the maximum
What is the basic structure and operation of the
Haldanean decompression model? tissue pressure allowed in the compartment when surfacing to
 Each compartment also has a different M-value
– the maximum tissue pressure allowed in
compartment when surfacing to prevent exceeding prevent exceeding the acceptable gradient.
acceptable gradient
 Compartments with
shorter halftimes
(fast tissues) have
d. Compartments with shorter halftimes have a higher M-value, and
a higher M-value
 Compartments with
longer halftimes
(slow tissues) have
compartments with longer halftimes have a lower M-value.
a lower M-value

continued. . .
4. The model works by determining how much each compartment
Decompression Theory
Dive Theory
Review theoretically absorbs for a given depth and time. When any
What is the basic structure and operation of the
Haldanean decompression model?
 Model works by determining how much each
compartment reaches its M-value, a no decompression dive would
compartment theoretically absorbs for a given
depth and time
 When any compartment reaches its M-value – no
end and that time becomes the no decompression limit for that
decompression dive ends and time becomes the no


decompression limit (NDL) for that depth
On deeper dives, compartments
with shorter halftimes absorb
depth.
nitrogen fastest and usually
reach their M-value first
 This is why deeper dives
a. On deeper dives, compartments with shorter halftimes absorb
have short NDLs
continued. . .
nitrogen the fastest and usually reach their M-value first – this is
why deeper dives have short no decompression limits.
Decompression Theory
Dive Theory
Review
What is the basic structure and operation of the
b. On shallower dives, the shorter halftime (fast) compartments
Haldanean decompression model?
 On shallower dives, the shorter halftime (fast) can’t reach their high M-values, thus the dive is limited by
compartments can’t reach their high M-values
– dive is limited by longer halftime (slow)
compartments = more no decompression time the longer halftime (slow) compartments, affording more no
 There is no direct relationship between a
mathematical decompression model and the body
 Models are imperfect decompression time.
 Rely on one as far as it has been shown to work in tests and
field experience
 Even within those limits there is still risk of DCS
5. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no direct relationship
between a mathematical decompression model and the body. Models
are imperfect, and you can only rely on one as far as it has been
shown to work in tests and field experience, and even within those
limits there is still some risk of DCS.
Dive Theory
Review
B. For whom was the Recreational Dive Planner developed, and how
Decompression Theory
For whom was the Recreational Dive Planner
developed, and how was it tested?
was it tested?
 Up until mid-1980s, most scuba divers depended on


US Navy tables to plan dives – even though tables
were developed for military decompression diving
In the early 1980s, Dr. Ray Rogers reasoned that
1. Up until the mid-1980s, most scuba divers around the world
since recreational divers dive differently from navy
divers, perhaps different tables would be
appropriate
depended on the US Navy tables to plan dives – even though the
 Proposed that repetitive diving could be based
on a faster halftime – 60 minutes instead of the
US Navy’s 120 minutes – because recreational
US Navy tables were developed primarily for military decompression
diving is limited to no stop diving

continued. . . diving.
2. In the early 1980s, Dr. Ray Rogers reasoned that since recreational
divers dive differently from navy divers, perhaps different tables
would be more appropriate.
KR Dive Theory
a. Specifically, Rogers proposed that repetitive diving could be based
Review
Decompression Theory
For whom was the Recreational Dive Planner
developed, and how was it tested?
on a faster halftime – 60 minutes instead of the US Navy’s 120
 Data suggested that maximum allowable nitrogen
limits for recreational divers should be somewhat
lower than those on US Navy tables
minutes – because recreational diving is limited to no stop diving.
 Diving Science & Technology (DSAT), a corporate
affiliate of PADI, organized and funded a study
through the IAPM (Institute of Applied Physiology
b. Rogers also knew that data suggested that the maximum
and Medicine) in Seattle, Washington, USA to test
Roger’s hypothesis.
allowable nitrogen limits for recreational divers should be
continued. . .
somewhat lower than those on the US Navy tables.

Dive Theory
160
3. Diving Science & Technology (DSAT), a corporate affiliate of
PADI, organized and funded a study through the IAPM (Institute of
Applied Physiology and Medicine) in Seattle, Washington, USA to
test Dr. Roger’s hypothesis.
a. The tests covered a broad demographic range including males, Decompression Theory
KR Dive Theory
Review

females, younger and older divers, and people with differing For whom was the Recreational Dive Planner
developed, and how was it tested?
 Tests covered a broad demographic range:

physical types, to better match the recreational diver population. 


 Males, females, younger and older divers, and people with
differing physical types
Tests were evaluated based on Doppler
detectable silent bubbles, not just whether
b. Tests were evaluated based on Doppler detectable silent bubbles, 
a diver experienced DCS
More than 1000 dives were
made in hyperbaric chamber
not just whether a diver experienced DCS. and open water – demonstrating
validity of RDP concepts

c. More than 1000 individual dives were made in the hyperbaric


chamber and open water, successfully demonstrating the validity
of the RDP concepts.
4. In October 1987, Dr. Michael Powell of IAPM delivered the test Decompression Theory
Dive Theory
Review
For whom was the Recreational Dive Planner
results and based on this research, in 1988, the DSAT (Diving developed, and how was it tested?
 In October 1987, Dr. Michael Powell of IAPM
delivered test results and in 1988, DSAT

Science and Technology) Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) distributed by
PADI was released
RDP introduced in several formats:

distributed by PADI was released.  RDP Table – 1988


 The Wheel – 1988 – first table
developed to allow multilevel
no stop diving
 EANx RDPs – 1995

5. Over the years, the RDP has been introduced in several formats,  eRDP – 2005 – first electronic dive table
 eRDPML – 2008 – electronic dive table
that has multilevel dive planning capabilities

some of which are no longer available.


a. RDP Table – Introduced in 1988
b. The Wheel – Introduced in 1988, this was the first table
developed to allow multilevel no stop diving. Its unique circular
format reduced unnecessary rounding with more depth and time
increments found on tables.
c. EANx RDPs – Introduced in 1995, the EANx RDPs are special
version of the RDP Table specifically calculated for use with
EANx32 and EANx36.
d. eRDP – Introduced in 2005. The world’s first electronic dive
table, the eRDP carried out all the functions of the RDP Table
in a calculator format.
e. eRDPML – Introduced in 2008 as the successor to the eRDP.
The eRDPML is an electronic dive table that duplicates
the smaller depth increments and multilevel dive planning
capabilities originally found in The Wheel.
C. Why do you need to know your approximate altitude when diving? Decompression Theory
Dive Theory
Review
Why do you need to know your approximate
1. Dive tables and dive computers were developed for dives starting altitude when diving?
 Dive tables and dive computers
were developed for dives starting
and ending at sea level. If diving in a high mountain lake, you start and ending at sea level
 At altitude, you start and end in
air pressure less than at sea level

and end the dive in air pressure less than at sea level.  Pressure gradient between theoretical gas
dissolved in tissues and atmospheric pressure is
greater than designed into Haldanean
decompression model
2. The pressure gradient between the theoretical inert gas dissolved  To account for this difference, follow altitude
diving procedures

in the tissues and the atmospheric pressure is much greater than continued. . .

designed into the Haldanean decompression model. To account for


this difference, you follow altitude diving procedures as discussed in
the section – Specialized Skills and Activities.

Presentation Notes
161
Decompression Theory
Dive Theory
Review 3. Knowing the approximate dive site altitude allows you to:
Why do you need to know your approximate
altitude when diving?
 Knowing the approximate altitude allows you to:
a. Find a pressure group on the RDP Table or eRDPML that
Find a pressure group on the RDP Table or eRDPML that

accounts for the higher level of nitrogen in your body, if you’ve



accounts for the higher level of nitrogen – if you ascended
from a lower altitude less than six hours before dive
 Use Theoretical Depth at Altitude

ascended from a lower altitude less than six hours before the
table to convert actual depth to
theoretical depth
 Set your dive computer for
correct altitude – if it doesn’t
automatically adjust
dive, such as driving up the mountain from sea level.
b. Use the Theoretical Depth at Altitude table to convert the actual
depth to theoretical depth, so you can plan dives using the RDP
Table or eRDPML.
c. Set your dive computer for the correct altitude, if the computer
doesn’t automatically adjust.

Decompression Theory
KR Dive Theory
Review
D. How do dive computers apply decompression models to provide
How do dive computers apply decompression models
to provide more no stop dive time? more no stop dive time?
 Dive computers offer maximum bottom time by
writing a custom dive table for the exact dive
 Computer’s microprocessor continuously plugs information
about dive into its mathematical decompression model,
estimating how much nitrogen has gone into solution in
1. Dive computers offer the maximum bottom time essentially by
writing a custom dive table for the exact dive. This eliminates
tissues
 Different computers use differing models
(algorithms) and may vary in NDLs, time
allowed on repetitive dives and credit
for ascending to a shallower depth
 Differences are not substantial
unnecessary rounding and provides more dive time.
2. The computer’s microprocessor continuously plugs information
about the dive into its mathematical decompression model,
estimating how much nitrogen has gone into solution in the diver’s
body tissues.
3. Different dive computers use somewhat differing decompression
models (algorithms) and may vary somewhat in their no
decompression limits, time allowed on repetitive dives and the credit
for ascending to a shallower depth. However, the differences are not
substantial, though you may note them if your buddy’s diving with a
different computer brand.

[NOTE: Use the following questions to test candidate understanding. Ask candidates to
explain their answers.]

Q: The Haldanean decompression model is based on the concept that


___________ can be avoided by keeping the pressure gradient between
dissolved __________ in the tissues and the surrounding pressure within
acceptable limits.
A: DCS, nitrogen
Q: According to the decompression model, on deeper dives, compartments
with _________ halftimes usually reach their M-value first – this is why
deeper dives have short no decompression limits.
A: shorter
Q: If diving at altitude without having been at the dive site altitude for six
hour, you need to know the approximate altitude so that you can find
a ____________on the RDP Table or eRDPML that accounts for the
higher level of nitrogen in your body.
A: pressure group

Dive Theory
162
Q: Using its mathematical decompression model, a dive computer
________ how much nitrogen has gone into solution in the diver’s body
and __________ a custom dive table during the dive – eliminating
unnecessary rounding and providing more dive time. Dive Theory
Review
RDP Use

A: estimates, writes Study Objectives


1. What are the general rules and recommendations
for diving with the Recreational Dive Planner,
including those for flying after diving and
emergency decompression?
2. How do you find a no decompression limit for a first

XIV. RDP Use and repetitive dive using both the RDP Table and
the eRDPML?
3. How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more
repetitive dives using both the RDP Table and the
eRDPML?

A. What are the general rules and recommendations for diving with 4. How do you plan a multilevel dive using the
eRDPML?

the Recreational Dive Planner, including those for flying after


Dive Theory
diving and emergency decompression? RDP Use Review
What are the general rules and recommendations for
diving with the Recreational Dive Planner, including
[NOTE: Have candidates open their RDP Table and eRDPML Instructions For Use those for flying after diving and emergency
decompression?

booklets to the General Rules/Guidelines pages and review each point.] Please open your RDP Table and eRDPML
Instructions For Use booklets to the
General Rules/Guidelines pages

B. How do you find a no decompression limit for a first and repetitive


dive using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
[NOTE: Ask candidates to have the RDP Table and eRDPML ready to use.] RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review
How do you find a no decompression limit
for a first and repetitive dive using both
1. You may be comfortable using both the RDP Table and eRDPML, the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
 This topic walks
through basic
or this could be the first time. Either way, this topic walks through use of the RDP
Table and eRDPML
You will need to
basic use of both RDP versions. You will need to practice further by

practice further by
using the Instructions
for Use booklets
using the Instructions for Use booklets. Have your RDP Table and eRDPML ready to use

continued. . .

2. To find the no decompression limits on the RDP Table for a first Dive Theory
RDP Use Review

dive, you start on Table 1. How do you find a no decompression limit


for a first and repetitive dive using both
the RDP Table and the eRDPML?

a. Depths are shown on the top row. To find NDL on RDP Table
– start on Table 1
 Depths are on top row

b. No decompression limits are in black boxes in the columns  NDLS are black boxes
in columns below depth
Example:
below the depth. NDL for 30 m/100 ft?
20 minutes

c. For example, the no decompression limit for 30 metres/ 100 feet continued. . .

is 20 minutes.
3. To find the no decompression limit for a repetitive dive on the RDP RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review

Table, you are actually looking for an adjusted no decompression How do you find a no decompression limit
for a first and repetitive dive using both
the RDP Table and the eRDPML?

limit, and you must know what your pressure group is after the  To find NDL for a repetitive dive on RDP Table, you
are looking for adjusted no decompression limit
(ANDL) – must know what pressure group (PG) is

surface interval. 
after surface interval
Given that you know PG
– start at bottom of Table 2

a. Given that you know the pressure group, you’ll start at the
bottom of Table 2. Let’s say that your pressure group is L. continued. . .

Dive Theory
b Flip the table over to Table 3 and find L in the top row. RDP Use
How do you find a no decompression limit
Review

for a first and repetitive dive using both


c. Follow that column down until it intersects with the 30 the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
Example – PG is L

metre/100 foot row.  Flip table over to Table 3 and


find L in top row
 Follow column until it intersects
with depth row – 30 m/100 ft
d. The box contains two numbers. The top number - 17 - is  Box contains two numbers
 Top number - 17 - is residual
nitrogen time (RNT)

the residual nitrogen time. The bottom number - 3 - is your 


 Bottom number - 3 - is ANDL
An L diver going to 30 m/100 ft
– maximum allowed time is 3 minutes

adjusted no decompression limit. continued. . .

e. This means that as an L diver going to 30 metres/100 feet, the


maximum allowed time is 3 minutes.

Presentation Notes
163
RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review 4. After turning on the eRDPML, to find the no decompression limits
How do you find a no decompression limit
for a first and repetitive dive using both
the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
for a first dive, start by selecting the mode with the MODE/RESET
button:
 Using the eRDPML, after turning it
on, find the NDL for first dive
– start by selecting mode
with MODE/RESET button
 Choose Dive Planning
and push ENTER a. Choose Dive Planning and push ENTER.
 Multilevel dive? Select NO
 First dive? Select YES
 Depth? Use number keys to enter depth
– shows NDL in minutes
b. It asks if this is a multilevel dive – select NO.
c. It asks if this is the first dive – select YES.
continued. . .

d. It asks for the depth – use the number keys to enter the depth,
and it shows the no decompression limit in minutes.

RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review
5. Using the eRDPML, to find the adjusted no decompression limit for
How do you find a no decompression limit
for a first and repetitive dive using both
the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
a repetitive dive, you must know what your pressure group is after
 To find the ANDL for a repetitive dive
– must know PG after surface interval
 Choose Dive Planning – ENTER
the surface interval.
 Multilevel dive? NO
 First dive? NO
 PG after SI? YES
a. Choose Dive Planning and push ENTER.
 PG? Use letter keys to enter PG


 Example – use L
Depth? Use number keys
b. It asks if this is a multilevel dive – select NO.
 Example – 30 m/100 ft
ANDL = 3 minutes
c. It asks if this is the first dive – select NO.
d. It asks if you know the PG after the SI – select YES
e. It asks for the PG – use the letter keys to enter the PG - for this
example, use L.
f. It asks for the depth – use the number keys to enter 30
metres/100 feet - for this example.
g. It shows the no decompression limit as 3 minutes.
Dive Theory
Review
C. How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives
RDP Use
How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more
repetitive dives using both the RDP Table and the
using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
eRDPML?

1. Let’s look at a three-dive profile that not only allows you to plan and
record dives, but also allows you to apply some of the special RDP
rules. Examples are divided into metric and imperial – choose the
METRIC IMPERIAL
continued. . . measuring system you are familiar with:
RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review
How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives
METRIC
using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?


Start on Table 1 – round depth up to 22 m
Go down to find 32 minutes
Dive 1 – 21 metres for 31 minutes
 Safety stop rule applies


Go right to find PG – P
Continue into Table 2 to find surface
interval – 56 minutes
Surface interval – 56 minutes
 Follow column down to find PG – F

Dive 1 – 21 metres for 31 minutes


Surface interval – 56 minutes
Dive 2 – 19 metres for 26 minutes
Dive 2 – 19 metres for 26 minutes

continued. . .
Surface interval – 1h:02 minutes
Dive 3 – 16 metres for 45 minutes METRIC Surface interval – 1h:02min
Dive 3 – 16 metres for 45 minutes
2. Start on Table 1 and find 22 metres along the top. You must round
up and use 22 metres.
a. Follow the 22 metres column until you find a time equal to or
greater than 31 minutes.
b. You must use 32 minutes, which puts you in a shaded box. This
means that the safety stop rule applies.
c. Follow the row to the right to find the pressure group of P.
d. Continue right along the row into Table 2 to find a surface
interval box that includes 56 minutes. You’ll see that it falls
between 52 and 59 minutes.
Dive Theory
164
e. Follow the column down to see that after the surface interval,
you are in F pressure group.
f. Flip the RDP over to Table 3 and follow the F column down to RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review

where it meets the 20-metre row, because you must round up


How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives
using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
 Flip to Table 3, follow F column down to 20 m row
 18 minutes is RNT

from 19 metres. 
 27 minutes is ANDL
Add RNT 18 to actual bottom time (ABT) 26
for a total bottom time (TBT) = 44 min
 Flip to Table 1, go to 20 m column to 44 min

g. The box contains two numbers. The top number – 18 – is the 


 Safety stop rule applies
PG is T
Dive 1 – 21 metres for 31 minutes

residual nitrogen time (RNT). The bottom number – 27 – is the Surface interval – 56 minutes
Dive 2 – 19 metres for 26 minutes
Surface interval – 1h:02 minutes

adjusted no decompression limit (ANDL).


Dive 3 – 16 metres for 45 minutes METRIC
continued. . .

h. You must add the 18 (RNT) to the actual bottom time (ABT) –
26 – for a total of 44 minutes.
i. Flip back to Table 1, go to the 20 metres column, and follow
it down to 44 minutes, which is in a shaded box – so the safety
stop rule applies. You are in pressure group T after the second
dive.
j. Continue right along the T row into Table 2 to find a surface RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review

interval box that includes 1 hour and 2 minutes. You’ll see that How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives


using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
Continue along T row into Table 2 to SI – 1:02

it falls between 1:00 and 1:06. 



Follow column down to find PG – G
Flip to Table 3, follow G column down to 16 m row
 25 minutes is RNT

k. Follow the column down to see that after the surface interval, 

Add RNT 25 to ABT 45 = 70 minutes
Flip to Table 1, go to 16 m column to 70 minutes
 Safety stop rule applies

you are in G pressure group.  PG is W


 WX rule
applies
Dive 1 – 21 metres for 31 minutes
Surface interval – 56 minutes
Dive 2 – 19 metres for 26 minutes
METRIC
Surface interval – 1h:02 minutes Go to

l. Flip the RDP over to Table 3 and follow the G column down to Dive 3 – 16 metres for 45 minutes eRDPML

where it meets the 16-metre row.


m. The residual nitrogen time is 25 minutes. Add the RNT 25 to
the ABT 45 for a total of 70 minutes.
n. Flip back to Table 1, go to the 16 metres column, and follow
it down to 70 minutes, which is in a shaded box – so the safety
stop rule applies.
o. You are in pressure group W after the third dive. This means
that if planned to do a fourth dive the WX rule applies, and you
would need at least 1 hour surface interval between dives.
3. IMPERIAL RDP Use
Dive Theory
Review
How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives

Dive 1 – 69 feet for 34 minutes 


using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
Start on Table 1 – round depth up to 70 ft
 Go down to find 35 minutes

Surface interval – 56 minutes 



 Safety stop rule applies
Go right to find PG – Q
Continue into Table 2 to find surface
interval – 56 minutes

Dive 2 – 58 feet for 33 minutes  Follow column down to find PG – F

Dive 1 – 69 feet for 34 minutes


Surface interval – 56 minutes

Surface interval – 1h:02min Dive 2 – 58 feet for 33 minutes


Surface interval – 1h:02 minutes
Dive 3 – 45 feet for 45 minutes IMPERIAL
continued. . .

Dive 3 – 45 feet for 45 minutes


a. Start on Table 1 and find 70 feet along the top. You must round
up and use 70 feet.
b. Follow the 70 foot column until you find a time equal to or
greater than 34 minutes.
c. You must use 35 minutes, which puts you in a shaded box. This
means that the safety stop rule applies.
d. Follow the row to the right to find the pressure group of Q.

Presentation Notes
165
e. Continue right along the row into Table 2 to find a surface
interval box that includes 56 minutes. You’ll see that it falls
between 56 and 1hour and 3 minutes.
f. Follow the column down to see that after the surface interval,
you are in F pressure group.
Dive Theory
Review
g. Flip the RDP over to Table 3, and follow the F column down
RDP Use
How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives


using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML?
Flip to Table 3, follow F column down to 60 ft row
to where it meets the 60 foot row, because you must round up



19 minutes is RNT
36 minutes is ANDL
Add RNT 19 to actual bottom time (ABT) 36
from 58 feet.
for a total bottom time (TBT) = 52 min
 Flip to Table 1, go to 60 ft column to 52 min
 Safety stop rule applies
h. The box contains two numbers. The top number – 19 – is the
 PG is U
Dive 1 – 69 feet for 34 minutes
Surface interval – 56 minutes
Dive 2 – 58 feet for 33 minutes
residual nitrogen time (RNT). The bottom number – 36 – is the
continued. . .
Surface interval – 1h:02 minutes
Dive 3 – 45 feet for 45 minutes IMPERIAL adjusted no decompression limit (ANDL).
i. You must add the 19 (RNT) to the actual bottom time (ABT) –
33 – for a total of 52 minutes.
j. Flip back to Table 1, go to the 60 foot column, and follow it
down to 52 minutes, which is in a shaded box – so the safety
stop rule applies. You are in pressure group U after the second
dive.
Dive Theory
k. Continue right along the U row into Table 2 to find a surface
RDP Use Review
How do you calculate dive profiles for three or more repetitive dives
using both the RDP Table and the eRDPML? interval box that includes 1 hour and 2 minutes. You’ll see that
 Continue along U row into Table 2 to SI – 1:02


Follow column down to find PG – G
Flip to Table 3, follow H column down to 50 ft row
it falls between 57 and 1:02.
 28 minutes is RNT


Add RNT 28 to ABT 45 = 73 minutes
Flip to Table 1, go to 50 ft column to 73 minutes
 Safety stop rule applies
l. Follow the column down to see that after the surface interval,
 PG is W
 WX rule
applies
Dive 1 – 69 feet for 34 minutes
Surface interval – 56 minutes
Dive 2 – 58 feet for 33 minutes
you are in H pressure group.
Surface interval – 1h:02 minutes
Dive 3 – 45 feet for 45 minutes IMPERIAL
m. Flip the RDP over to Table 3, and follow the H column down to
where