A Tale of 2 Embolisms. A friend & I suffered Arterial Gas Embolisms (AGE) almost exactly a year apart, on very similar dives, on the same boat, in almost the exact same location, while we were diving together. Both dives:
2) Back gas was air
3) Short bottom times because the anchor was dragging
4) No computer violations
5) Onset of symptoms within 3-4 minutes
6) Paralyzed on 1 side – his left, my right
7) Fully resolved on surface O2 within 30 minutes
8) We both walked up on the dock when we got back
9) Both took a level 1 chamber ride as a precaution
10) Both have resumed diving with no aftereffects
A few differences:
1) My dive had 3-4 minutes bottom time; his was a true bounce dive
2) My ascent was slower due to the amount of scope on the anchor
3) I switched to 50% O2 @ 70fsw even though I didn’t need to as I wasn’t sure I could use the O2 hang reg because of the current. I was able to use it so I had quite a bit safety margin.
Posted for information purposes only. Informed, thoughtful comments are welcome.
Have you guys been checked for PFOs?
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Glad you guys recovered quickly. Hard to read this, I am diving 180 on Saturday. I can only hope all our divers are safe.
The waves are 2'...over the bow!
No we have not. The hyperbaric docs didn't suggest it either.
Originally Posted by chuckd
Correction to above post. My friend was checked for PFO & does NOT have it.
Hit a higher O2 mix than 50%. Nearly useless for the extra weight. Try 80% at 30ish fsw. That will keep you MUCH lower on your nitrogen loading, as well as helping WAY more to scrub the nitrogen out. I carry MINIMUM 80% if only one bottle, and always O2 and 50/50 if two stage bottles. Two bottles on dives that deep might not be a bad idea!
Read more carefully. I had 50% with me, 100% hanging from the boat. I used both.
Originally Posted by zack
I read it perfectly. You should not PLAN on a contingency of having to hit 50% to stay out of your danger zone. You either PLAN on diving it on a back gas, doing it as a pure bounce, or you decompress correctly. In my opinion, you should have done away with your bottle of 50%, and carried 80 on you. That way, your nitrogen loading decreases SIGNIFICANTLY (check Buuhlman!) as soon as you hit it. 50 does you hardly any good, even if you hit it at a deeper depth, as you are STILL ONGASSING. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Safe diving Steve!