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Undersea Biomed Res. 1989 May;16(3):227-32.

Effect of brief, repeated hyperbaric exposures on susceptibility to nitrogen narcosis.

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Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory, Groton, Connecticut 06349-5900.


We investigated the effect of brief, repetitive exposures to 5.5 ATA (148 fsw) in a hyperbaric chamber on adaptation to nitrogen narcosis. A standing-steadiness task, which measures body sway, was administered to 2 groups of 3 chamber-qualified men at 5.5 ATA and 1.3 ATA [10 fsw (control)] on each of 12 successive days to determine if an initial performance decrement at 5.5 ATA would be ameliorated with time. Standing steadiness was significantly worse at 5.5 ATA than at 1.3 ATA across all 12 exposures. There were also changes in standing steadiness from day to day, but these changes occurred in both the test and control depths. There was no day-x-depth interaction that would have indicated that the initial performance decrement at 5.5 ATA was reduced with repetitive exposures. These results are taken as evidence that there is little or no behavioral adaptation to nitrogen narcosis in response to brief, repetitive exposures to narcosis-inducing hyperbaric air.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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