Introduction: There is a dearth of information regarding CNS oxygen toxicity accidents in closed-circuit oxygen diving. The aims of the present study were to report the sensations and symptoms that accompany CNS oxygen toxicity accidents, and to evaluate whether loss of consciousness can occur without any warning signs. Methods: We documented 36 CNS oxygen toxicity accidents in closed-circuit oxygen diving. The full accident inquiry included the first report from the diving unit, an interview of the victim and his buddy by the researchers, and an examination of the diving equipment. Results: The symptoms that appeared before termination of a dive, as reported by the victim or his buddy, were as follows (in descending order of frequency): limb convulsions; hyperventilation; difficulty maintaining a steady depth; headache; and visual disturbances. The symptoms that appeared after detachment from the mouthpiece were, in descending order of frequency: headache; loss of consciousness; confusion; weakness; dizziness; and facial muscle twitching and limb convulsions. A high inspired CO2 [mean 4.2 kPa (29.9 mmHg)] was connected with loss of consciousness. No dive was terminated before at least two symptoms (mean 3.4) had been noted a minimum of 5 min before termination. Discussion: Symptoms that are accepted as being related to CNS oxygen toxicity, as well as others such as headache, difficulty maintaining a steady depth, hyperventilation, weakness, and a choking sensation, were more frequent among the O2 accident victims compared with divers who did not interrupt their dives. Conclusion: Awareness of any unusual sensation can prevent a potentially dangerous situation from arising.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine|
|State||Published - Nov 2006|
- Diving accidents
- Hyperbaric oxygen
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health