CC BY 4.0 · Int J Sports Med
DOI: 10.1055/a-1342-8030
Clinical Sciences

Estimating Inert Gas Bubbling from Simple SCUBA Diving Parameters

Andreas Fichtner
1  Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany
2  Emergency Department, Kreiskrankenhaus Freiberg gGmbH, Freiberg, Germany
,
Benedikt Brunner
3  Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
,
Thomas Pohl
4  Scientific Diving Center, TU Bergakademie Freiberg University, Freiberg, Germany
,
Thomas Grab
4  Scientific Diving Center, TU Bergakademie Freiberg University, Freiberg, Germany
,
Tobias Fieback
4  Scientific Diving Center, TU Bergakademie Freiberg University, Freiberg, Germany
,
Thea Koch
1  Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Funding: Open Access Funding by the Publication Fund of the TU Dresden.

Abstract

Inert gas bubbles frequently occur in SCUBA divers’ vascular systems, eventually leading to decompression accidents. Only in professional settings, dive profiles can be adjusted on individual basis depending on bubble grades detected through ultrasonography. A total of 342 open-circuit air dives following sports diving profiles were assessed using echocardiography. Subsequently, (Eftedal-Brubakk) bubble grades were correlated with dive and individual parameters. Post-dive cardiac bubbles were observed in 47% of all dives and bubble grades were significantly correlated with depth (r=0.46), air consumption (r=0.41), age (r=0.25), dive time (r=0.23), decompression diving (r=0.19), surface time (r=− 0.12). Eftedal-Brubakk categorical bubble grades for sports diving with compressed air can be approximated by bubble grade = (age*50−1 – surface time*150−1+maximum depth*45−1+air consumption*4500−1)2 (units in years, hours, meter, and bar*liter; R2=0.31). Thus, simple dive and individual parameters allow reasonable estimation of especially relevant medium to higher bubble grades for information on relevant decompression stress after ascent. Echo bubble grade 0 is overestimated by the formula derived. However, echo might fail to detect minor bubbling only. The categorical prediction of individual decompression stress with simple bio and dive data should be evaluated further to be developed towards dive computer included automatic ex-post information for decision-making on individual safety measures.

Emergency Department, Kreiskrankenhaus Freiberg gGmbH, Freiberg, Germany.


Scientific Diving Center, TU Bergakademie Freiberg University, Freiberg, Germany.




Publication History

Received: 06 September 2020

Accepted: 14 December 2020

Publication Date:
27 January 2021 (online)

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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