scubadoc Ten Foot Stop

June 25, 2008

Free Trip To Australia

Filed under: Uncategorizedscubadoc @ 11:10 am

I’m halfway through a PhD at the University of Western Australia, researching risk factors for DCS.

There is a scheme at my University to bring outstanding researchers to Western Australia for a month or two. Full details are at

The value of each Fellowship consists of a return economy airfare up to AUD$3,000, plus a daily allowance. Nominees shall be of a high academic standing and shall normally be in the early stages of their postdoctoral research career. They shall have demonstrated original concepts, skills or techniques in their chosen research field and have a proven outstanding publication record as first author.

If that sounds like you then send me an e-mail. I’ll pick you up at the airport, get you sorted with somewhere to stay and whatnot, and lend you a full set of dive gear while you’re here. The best time of year is between December and March, with January and February like the Bahamas, (great viz and balmy evenings), but with fabulous vineyards, uniquely Australian wildlife and some of the best cave-diving in the world.

Peter Buzzacott
Western Australia

June 20, 2008

Synthetic Blood International, Inc. (SYBD.OB) Receives Grants Exceeding $5 Million

Filed under: Article, Newsscubadoc @ 7:20 pm

The Department of Defense has awarded Synthetic Blood International a number of grants totaling more than $5.3 million. The funding from these grants will be used to study clinical applications for Oxycyte®, the company’s perfluorocarbon therapeutic oxygen carrier.

The company describes Oxycyte as an oxygen-carrying intravenous emulsion that can carry five times more oxygen than hemoglobin, making it an effective means of transporting oxygen to tissues and carbon dioxide to the lungs for disposal. New applications of oxygen therapy include stroke, myocardial infarction, and certain malignant diseases.

In brief, the grants will be used for the following studies: $1.3 million will be used for the treatment and prevention of decompression sickness with Oxycyte; $1.6 million was made for support of research into Oxycyte’s ability to treat/prevent organ damage from arterial gas embolism over a period of three years; $1.2 million will be utilized in ongoing studies of perfluorocarbon emulsions in the treatment of severe decompression sickness over a period of 3 years; $300,000 was made to sponsor a post-doctoral candidate to work in the microcirculation laboratories of VCURES over a period of two years; $300,000 was awarded to develop pilot studies into the effectiveness of Oxycyte in treating TBI; and $600,000 from the United States Army will support the VCURES efforts in the human civilian brain injury trial.

In response to the grants, chairman & CEO Chris J. Stern stated, “The $5.3 million total represents only grants specifically dedicated to Oxycyte. It does not include grant funds in which Oxycyte was one among other drug studies. If we could include all the money spent from outside sources on Oxycyte research, the amount would be significantly greater. And we have indications that other researchers may be looking for funding for additional Oxycyte work that could speed up development of this promising product. This clearly underlines our intent to become a multi-product company with a strong portfolio of what could become a dozen or more indications in oxygen delivery to tissue.”

On a separate note, Synthetic Blood International will soon be changing its name to Oxygen Biotherapeutics, Inc. pending completion of a reincorporation as approved by a vote of shareholders on June 17, 2008. A new stock trading symbol will be announced when it is assigned.


Female divers Found to be at Increased Risk for DCI While Hemoconcentrated

Filed under: Uncategorizedscubadoc @ 11:04 am

In the Journal,  Undersea Hyperb Med. 2008 Mar-Apr;35(2):99-106.Link Titled, “Neurological decompression illness and hematocrit: analysis of a consecutive series of 200 recreational scuba divers,  Newton HB, Burkart J, Pearl D, PADIlla W. find that female divers are at risk for increased incidence of DCI while hemoconcentrated. The study is from the Division of Neuro-Oncology and Dardinger Neuro-Oncology Center, Ohio State University Medical Center and James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research institute, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Neurological complications are common in recreational divers diagnosed with decompression illness (DCI). Prior reports suggest that hemoconcentration, with hematocrit values of 48 or greater, increase the risk for more severe and persistent neurological deficits in divers with DCI. Herein we describe our experience with neurological DCI and hematocrit values in a large series of consecutively treated divers. We performed a retrospective chart review of 200 consecutive recreational divers that received treatment for DCI.

 Standard statistical analyses were performed to determine if there were any significant relationships between diving-related or demographic parameters, neurological manifestations, and hematocrit. In 177 of the 200 divers (88.5%), at least one manifestation of neurological DCI (mild, moderate, or severe) was present. The median hematocrit value was 43, for both male and female divers, with a range of 30 to 61.

Hematocrit values did not correlate with diver age or level of diving experience. In male divers, the hematocrit did not correlate with neurological symptoms, including the sub-group with values of 48 or greater.

In contrast, female divers with hematocrit values of 48 or greater were significantly more likely to develop motor weakness (p=0.002, Fisher’s exact test) and an increased number of severe sensory symptoms (p=0.001, Kendall’s tau statistic).

Neurological complications are common in recreational divers treated for DCI. Hematocrit values of 48 or higher were correlated with the presence of motor weakness and severity of sensory symptoms in female divers. The hematocrit did not correlate with neurological DCI in male divers.


June 19, 2008

Increased blood hematocrit after one dive shown by DDRC Study

Filed under: News, Publicationscubadoc @ 3:17 pm

Williams, Prior and Bryson report in the Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Journal direct evidence that one dive can cause dehydration, a problem long thought to increase the risk for decompression sickness.

Wilderness Environ Med. 2007 Spring;18(1):48-53.Links

              Diving Diseases Research Centre, Tamar Science Park, Research Way, Plymouth, UK.

OBJECTIVE: Direct evidence that dehydration results from scuba diving is scanty. Increased hematocrit (Ht) is a commonly used proxy measure for dehydration. This study sought evidence that an increase in Ht occurs over the course of a scuba dive in tropical conditions. As a secondary outcome, evidence was sought that the degree of Ht increase is correlated to pressure exposure.


METHODS: Twenty male and 21 female scuba divers were recruited at a remote tropical dive site. Water temperature was 30 degrees C (+/- 1 degrees C). Each diver gave venous blood relating to 1 dive only. Mean maximum dive depth was 13.6 m (+/- 3.7 m [SD]) and mean duration 39.5 minutes (+/- 4.5 minutes [SD]) using air as the breathing gas. Blood was taken at a mean of 12.4 minutes (+/- 3.5 minutes [SD]) before diving and a mean of 16.2 minutes (+/- 3.7 minutes [SD]) after diving. After centrifugation of microcapillaries, Ht was estimated on a visual plate reader.


RESULTS: A paired Wilcoxon test showed evidence (P < .001) for a change in Ht. The mean difference between predive and postdive measurements was 0.0073 (95% confidence interval: 0.0104-0.0042), equating to a mean relative Ht increase of 1.78%. Similar results were found for the sexes individually. A correlation between maximum depth of dive and Ht increase was statistically significant, although the correlation itself was weak (P = .049, Spearman’s r = .326).


CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence of a statistically significant increase in Ht over the course of a single warm-water scuba dive. This increase is small and is within the range of error associated with the techniques of Ht estimation employed in this study. Depth exposure was found to correlate with Ht increase. In view of the small magnitude of change in the Ht, there is no reason to amend protocols for fluid resuscitation of recreational scuba divers suspected to have experienced decompression injury in tropical locations.


Some Interesting Dive Accident News Items Found by ‘Googling’

Filed under: News, Publicationscubadoc @ 9:08 am

Aberdeen Diver with severe spinal bends
Divemaster - Stafford,Staffordshire,UK
Last night the unamed diver was being treated at the national Hyperbaric chamber in Aberdeen and her condition is reported to be seriously ill.
See all stories on this topic

Low helicopter flight saves severely injured scuba diving accident
CDNN - New Zealand
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment involves repressurising the victim to a “depth” where the bubbles in the blood are made smaller and redissolve into the body
See all stories on this topic

Jazz pianist Esbjörn Svensson killed in scuba accident - UK
Esbjörn Svensson, the genre-defying Swedish jazz pianist and composer, has died in a scuba diving accident, his manager said yesterday.
See all stories on this topic

Scuba diver killed by ship’s propeller blades in Sharjah
GulfNews - Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Sharjah: A scuba diver working on a ship at Hamriya Port was killed while checking the ship’s engine. The engineer was unaware that the scuba diver was
See all stories on this topic

An Unconscious Diver at the Surface After a Recreational Dive
eMedicine. Wednesday 18th June 2008. An Unconscious Diver at the Surface After a Recreational Dive. Note: (free) registration required to view Medscape eMedicine content. More…

June 12, 2008

New Anti-fire Deluge System Devised for Multiplace Chamber

Filed under: News, Uncategorizedscubadoc @ 9:26 am

An anti-fire deluge system, fulfilling the requirements of the NFPA-99 standard, has been developed for the multiplace hyperbaric chamber in the Hyperbaric Medicine Center in Buenos Aires. The design of the system is original and unique and the property rights are registered to Hipercameras SA, which also offers consulting services for design and installation of similar systems.

The system consists of a water tank under 10 ATM of pressure that allows spray of water into the chamber that is already under several atmospheres of pressure, allowing the introduction of a large amount of water in a few seconds. It has an automatic cutoff to protect from increasing the pressure in the chamber with drainage of the tank, is activated by a glass protected button to avoid accidental discharge, and can be manually operated in case of a power failure.

Other details:
· The system has visual and auditory warnings.
· Both compartments are sprayed: chamber and lockout antechamber.
· The water is forced through sprayers of special design for use in hyperbaric chambers.
· The time between activation and sprinkling is at the most a second.
· The number and location of the heads provide spraying uniformity that it covers all the inner volume of the chamber.
· The density of the spraying concerning the floor is of 81.5 L/min/m2.
· The volume of water is sufficient to maintain the spraying for a full minute.
· The initial pressure is sufficient to continue spraying if there is a power loss.


Dra. Nina Subbotina
Centro de Medicina Hiperbárica Buenos Aires (Hipercamaras S.A.)
Sánchez de Bustamante 1175
Ciudad Autónoma Buenos Aires C1173ABU

June 10, 2008

New Book by Peter Bennett, PhD Published by Best

Filed under: News, Publicationscubadoc @ 10:14 am

Best Publishing Company ” A Complete Line of Books on Diving,Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care”

to the very depths



A Memoir of

Professor Peter B. Bennett, Ph.D., D.Sc


This is the remarkable story of Dr. Peter Bennett’s career and private life. Dr. Bennett is the founder of Divers Alert Network (DAN) and currently the Executive Director of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS). He tells his story vividly and pulls no punches in describing the events and the people involved with him during his career - it is a first-hand perspective.

You will get a sense of his remarkable confidence that exists in conjunction with his inspiring level of compassion and commitment to helping people, from scuba divers to students, scientists and medical professionals.

This insight into his life, his career with DAN, the DAN lawsuit, years at Duke University, years in the scientific and research community, and many significant accomplishments make for a compelling read. Well-written and touchingly sentimental, it is an inspiring story, one not to be missed.

“I encourage everyone with a passion for scuba diving to read this book.”-Chris Bennett, Co-CEO, Health & Safety Institute, Inc.

Price: $21.95, hard cover, 229 pages


Visit our website for additional books on recreational scuba diving,commercial diving, military diving, diving medicine, hyperbaric medicine, wound care and much more!


P.O. Box 30100 Flagstaff, AZ 86003

800.468.1055 Toll-Free

928.527.1055 Tel

928.526.0370 Fax


Websites: Forward to a Friend

June 5, 2008

Miniature Ascent Rate Alarm

Filed under: News, Uncategorizedscubadoc @ 11:39 am

MARA is a water-tight processor that fits on the diver’s mask near the ear. Upon entering the water, sensors on MARA detect the change in resistance and activate the unit. Once active, MARA calculates the depth based on water pressure. If the diver begins ascending too quickly, audible tones are sent from the unit to the diver’s ear.

MARA can inform the diver if they are ascending at 30, 40, 50, or 60 feet. The tool also signals a safety stop at 15 feet of water, as recommended by most dive training agencies around the world.

X-RAY MAG issue #23 is published — Download it FREE!

Filed under: News, Publicationscubadoc @ 10:05 am

In X-RAY MAG issue #23, Mark Webster takes on a tour through the fascinating underwater world off Cornwall, England.
We talk with Pascal Bernabé for insights into his achievements in deep diving.

Science editor, Michael Symes, investigates locomotion of sea creatures, and we look at Hammerhead sharks and their unique head shape.

Harald Apelt brings us to another pearl in the Mediterranean — beautiful, historic Croatia.

Kurt Amsler discusses proper workflow in digital photography.

Rebreather pro, Cedric Verdier, gets us up to speed on physical fitness for divers and DIR for rebreather divers.

Girldiver Cindy Ross discusses sunscreen and gives us the skinny on sunrays and skin cancer.

We meet the Bubbling Reefs of Denmark, and a diverse portfolio of ocean art from artists around the world tops it all off. Plus the news — on marine ecology, discoveries, ship wrecks, conservation, equipment, travel, divers, record breakers, books and films, turtles, sharks, whales, jellyfish and more…

Download FREE now >>>

Subscribe FREE today >>>

June 3, 2008

Undercurrent Online Report

Filed under: News, Publicationscubadoc @ 11:04 am

Undercurrent — Consumer Reporting for
the Scuba Diving Community since 1975

Dive News

June 3, 2008

You have received this message because you have signed up on our website to receive this email or your are a former subscriber or Online Member of Undercurrent . Removal instructions are below.

Open Water Redux : By now you’ve heard about Richard Neely, a Brit, and his American friend, Allyson Dalton, who got separated from the catamaran Pacific Star on May 23 and spent 19 hours floating on the Great Barrier Reef waters. Unlike Open Water divers Tom and Eileen Lonergan, Neely and Dalyon were found alive and unharmed, but they’re taking flack from the Australian and British press for everything from blaming the dive boat operator Oz Sail for their getting lost, to faking their disappearance so they can sell their story and become wealthy celebrities. And like the Open Water story, the Aussie scuba industry went on the offensive, blamed the divers, said it was staged. Look at our Open Water story from March 1998 Undercurrent and you’ll see how faked deaths were suggested for the Lonergans – bizarre suicide, one of their tanks found on a beach as proof the disappearance was planned. We’ll have more details in our July issue, and what’s happening to Aussie demands that Neely and Dalton repay the $400,000 search costs.

The June issue : Get a seven-month trial subscription to Undercurrent for only $29.95, and in addition to your seven issues delivered by U.S. mail, you’ll receive the all-new 2009 Travelin’ Divers’ Chapbook as soon as it’s off the press. In the June issue, you’ll find out about:
* Good, inexpensive diving in Curacao’s Westpunt;
* A Thumbs Down for Curacao’s Sunset Divers for their dangerous tank fill system;
* The latest research on wait times for flying after diving;
* What happens if you’re late for your liveaboard trip;
* Why you should look before you leap into the water for a dive;
* Nine reasons why you won’t win a lawsuit against a dive business;
* Two sleek new traveling BCDs – and which one is the winner.
* Cheng Ho in Raja Ampat, Indonesia — perhaps the world’s best diving, but on this boat? Read this article from our June issue for free at Undercurrent (click on the “PA” symbol to access the article)

Top Wreck Dives of the World : Editor Jack Jackson gathered a group of wreck diving enthusiasts, including notables like Bob Halstead and Scottish diving pioneer Lawson Hood, to write about their favorite wreck dives. They’re grouped by the regional waters they lie in, from the major graveyards of Truk and Scapa Flow to overlooked wrecks in New Zealand and South Africa. These are accessible wrecks and need to be your next dive itinerary. To order the 160-page, full-color book at’s best price, go to Undercurrent and scroll down to “Editor’s Picks.” Undercurrent will direct all proceeds from book sales to protect coral reefs.

Bikini Atoll Divers Closes: Due to the unpredictability of the national airline Air Marshalls, and the rapid rise in fuel prices, Bikini Atoll Divers have had to close their diving operation, which visits some of the greatest wrecks in the world. They will decide in August whether they can afford to reopen next year.

Man Dies While “Helmet Diving” in Grand Cayman : Timothy Mowry of Traverse City, Michigan died while doing what’s known as a helmet dive in George Town’s Royal Water Port on May 26. Helmet diving lets people with no diving certification or swimming ability walk the ocean floor at shallow depths after being lowered on a line from the boat, literally wearing a helmet with a breathing apparatus, and supervised by dive crew. Despite good weather and water conditions, Mowry, 68, got into trouble while on an underwater trek with Sea Trek Cayman Islands. Boat crew said he was unconscious when pulled from the water, and never revived despite CPR.

Major Reef Cleanups : 2008 is International Year of the Reef and to celebrate, four Maui dive shops and 42 volunteer divers and snorkelers retrieved more than three miles of tangled fishing line and 600 pounds of lead weights, hooks and steel leaders near McGregor Point in just one day. On May 10, armed with wire cutters and burlap bags, the divers did two 50-minute dives and combed an area of 200 square feet, collecting everything from glass bottles to cell phones. Meanwhile, a major reef cleanup in Florida is not going so quickly. The infamous artificial reef of two million scrap tires that broke free near Broward County will cost the state $3.4 million to clean up. Army and Navy divers are retrieving 2,600 tires a day but at that rate, clearing the main tire field will still take 17 years to complete.

Bad Tanks Kills Diver, Injures 11 on Baani Adventure : The culprit seems to be carbon monoxide poisoning, due to contaminated air from one of the Maldives liveaboard’s two compressors, that killed a Russian diver, injured eight others and hospitalized two dive instructors. Roman Kudarov, 36, died May 22 after a morning dive. The problem began when divers experienced headaches. A dive guide requested a filter change on the compressors but on the next day, one of the divers surfaced to find most of the group semi-conscious or unconscious. The single bottle of oxygen available on the dive dhoni did not work, though there was a functioning bottle on the main boat. We’ve had complaints about poor maintenance on the sister boat Baani Explorer, so steer clear of these craft until our full report in the July issue.

You’re Never Too Old to Be a Diver : For years, Marge Frisch would hear stories and see photos of Grand Cayman diving from her daughter, Linda. Finally in mid-May, she went diving for the first time – at the age of 81. Frisch took lessons in her hometown of Sun City Center, Florida, and completed her first openwater dive at Stingray City on May 18. Her divemaster, Absolute Divers owner Mark Sahagian, said she acted like a diver decades younger. “Once we got her ears cleared, she was like a fish in the water, immediately taking to the stingrays.”

How Much to Tip on Dive Trips, Part II : Part I from our May issue, about readers’ thoughts on who and how much to tip, is also available to read for free at Undercurrent. In the June issue, we ask dive operations worldwide what they advise their customers and how they handle tips among crew, and we determine how to handle tipping in Third World Countries, where a 15 percent tip of a $3,000 liveaboard trip can be more than a local’s monthly salary. Subscribers and Online Members can read our findings in this month’s “Tipping on Dive Trips: Part II,”

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben

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