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Clin Chest Med. 2005 Sep;26(3):381-94, v.

Physiological and clinical aspects of apnea diving.

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Sektion Anaesthesiologische Pathophysiologie und Verfahrensentwicklung, Universitaetsklinikum, Parkstrasse 11, D-89073 Ulm (Donau), Germany.


Apnea diving is a fascinating example of applied physiology. The record for apnea diving as an extreme sport is 171 meters, 8:58 minutes. The short time beneath the surface induces profound cardiovascular and respiratory effects. Variations of blood-gas tensions result from the interaction of metabolism and the rapid sequence of compression and decompression. Decompression sickness is possible. Apnea divers can reach depths beyond the theoretic physiologic limit by using the lung-packing maneuver. Apnea divers exhibit a fall in heart rate, which can be trained and is an oxygen-conserving effect, but increases the incidence of ventricular arrhythmia.

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