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View Full Version : What medical testing should Rebreather divers get?



jeryruse
12-14-2009, 12:36 PM
I was a rescue diver for the fire department. Before we could get in the water we where required to pass a medical test. It consisted of: Background, stress test, hearing test, lung test(blow into a spirometer), a couple of things involving rubber gloves and KY, some x rays.

How about some expert opinions on extent and frequency for medical testing for Rebreather diving.

Also we swam hard at least twice a week. The test for surface rescue (lifeguard) requires 500 meters or 550 yards in 10 miniutes.

best wishes and stay safe.

acelockco
12-14-2009, 04:11 PM
How about some expert opinions on extent and frequency for medical testing for Rebreather diving.


Not unless they are doing it for a government agency or something like that. As long as someone is using a rebreather for recreational use, then there is no reason or right to test them at all.


And please, keep your KY to yourself. LOL

The Publisher
12-14-2009, 04:12 PM
Medical testing by employers is done primarily for liability reasons. To require medical testing for rebreather divers opens up a whole can of worms on a slippery slope. Who would enforce it, who would penalize for violation of it, and would it pass Constitutional muster although that never seemed to stop the government from infringing on Citizens rights.

How about medical testing to drive a car?

I think most CCR divers would be opposed to testing.

Ace, he was being trained to do preventative pelvic exams on female athletes. ;)

lars2923
12-15-2009, 12:01 AM
I believe that breathing from a rebreather is easier than
breathing from an open circuit regulator. Therefore rebreather
divers have an advantage of reduced O2 consumption due
to reduced resistance when breathing. The bottles are better
positioned, providing greater bouyancy than with the single
open circuit cylinder or even the doubles, again reducing the
demand on O2. Physically, if an open water certified diver is
fit to dive, then that same rebreather certified diver is fit to
dive rebreather.

Okeanos
09-28-2010, 11:47 AM
I believe that breathing from a rebreather is easier than breathing from an open circuit regulator.
There isn't a rebreather on the market that is as easy to breath as an open circuit regulator. The Work Of Breathing of any rebreather is always noticeable, the only units that has been tested to reach the standards to my knowledge are the APD units. Whereas a regulator easily surpasses WOB standards.

Any diver should be fit. There are so many unkowns in diving and human physiology that it is impossible to find out who is 'fit to dive'. I complete a HSE medical in the UK every year, which includes :- Hearing, lung function (spirometry and peak flow), eyesight, fitness (VO2 max calculation based on a step test), neurological, ECG for over 40's and diabetes to name a few. This test is required for anyone working in the diving industry in the UK from DiveMaster upwards.

If every diver had to complete this Medical Exam I wonder how many would pass just the 'fitness' test?

acelockco
09-28-2010, 04:12 PM
Any diver should be fit. There are so many unknowns in diving and human physiology that it is impossible to find out who is 'fit to dive'. I complete a HSE medical in the UK every year

Unfortunately our government in the US doesn't pay for our medical insurance. If it is impossible to find out who is fit to dive as you said, what help is taking a medical test?

Everything in life has risks, if someone is really worried, then maybe they should stay home and hide from the world. In the mean time, I would rather die diving then waste my entire life hiding from everything exciting.

I also think diver education is going to do much more for diver safety then a medical exam.

The Publisher
09-29-2010, 02:04 AM
I have used both the Cis-Lunar Mark 6 and the Inspiration. My personal observations about work of breathing, a strange term in itself, is not calibrated like a wob test rig like used by APD.

I dove with a pilot valve style open circuit regulator for decades. Once my reg cracked open, especially if I were to inhale fast and deep, it opens up to the point where there was a slight overpressure. When using that as a comparison, Okeanos is right....

With shoulder mounted counterlungs such as the Mark 6 and Inspo, my personal results are it does not give me a slight overpressure like my 2nd stage did, but at no time unless I had insufficient counterlung volume from descending did it ever feel like it required any effort in the slightest.....so I see Lars' point.

But I hear rear mounted counterlung designs like the Draeger can be a pain to breathe from depending on body attitude.

Yet contrast that with the Boris that uses huge gas pathways and users do not report Draeger like issues.

I think both camps posting here are right in what is said about wob because it all depends on the counterlung location, the design, and what open circuit regulator you are comparing too, as I have used open circuit regs that took an effort I could discern to breathe from, whereas my Inspo and the Mark 6 does not.

lars2923
10-21-2010, 12:00 AM
Why would a rebreather diver need a medical vs an OW diver?

Okeanos
10-21-2010, 12:33 AM
Why would a rebreather diver need a medical vs an OW diver?
If you're asking Helen I doubt if she will respond :spam::spam::spam:

I think all divers should have a full medical, just to be on the safer side of things.

The Publisher
10-21-2010, 02:42 AM
What spammer?! ;)

acelockco
10-21-2010, 06:44 AM
I think all divers should have a full medical, just to be on the safer side of things.


And you are going to pay for this, right?

Enough with the requirements, we have enough political BS to deal with already. We really don't need the government having us jump through more hoops. I say if you feel you should have a full medical, no one is stopping you from getting one, but don't force me to have one and don't make decisions for me as I am perfectly capable of making them on my own.

The Publisher
10-21-2010, 07:12 AM
It would be safer mandating helmet use for all operators of motor vehicles too to cut down on everything from traumatic head injuries to owies ;)

I suppose it is a slippery slope if we mandate medical exams for CCR divers....I don't like the idea of getting the governments permission to do much of anything, but hey, I am sort of funny that way! lol. :D

Okeanos
10-21-2010, 11:24 AM
What spammer?! ;)
You was hungry and ate it :D

Do you have spam (the meat) in the states?

Okeanos
10-21-2010, 11:32 AM
And you are going to pay for this, right?

Enough with the requirements, we have enough political BS to deal with already. We really don't need the government having us jump through more hoops. I say if you feel you should have a full medical, no one is stopping you from getting one, but don't force me to have one and don't make decisions for me as I am perfectly capable of making them on my own.
I know where you're coming from and I would probably agree. I have to have a medical to teach or work underwater, yet I can drive a taxi/bus etc. with no medical/test whatsoever. Which is more dangerous?

I am a great believer in keeping fit (any level of fitness is better than none) and would like to see fitter divers. The HSE medical in the UK has a fitness test which is why I would like to see divers having a medical, not every year but maybe every 5 years.

Okeanos
10-21-2010, 11:36 AM
It would be safer mandating helmet use for all operators of motor vehicles too to cut down on everything from traumatic head injuries to owies ;)
They make us wear seat belts, they make us wear motorcylce helmets. They wanted us to wear hi-vis jackets on motorbikes too but that never went through as it was a step too far.

They still don't 'make us' have a certification to dive though, unless you're teaching/working underwater.

The Publisher
10-21-2010, 03:34 PM
All true and that did cross my mind..it all depends on whether there is a strong enough opposition lobby! :D

Okeanos
10-21-2010, 08:07 PM
All true and that did cross my mind..it all depends on whether there is a strong enough opposition lobby! :D
Opposition! We're English, we just take it without arguing.

Retirement age now to be 66, we say OK. French want to make retirement age 62 from 60, strikes all over the country, fuel depots blockaded, riots in the street etc.

lars2923
10-21-2010, 10:14 PM
Diving is self regulated. Let's keep it that way. In the future, If medical exams would provide a benefit, so be it. If I have a condition that could compromise my safety, I would want to know, having an exam is a good way to know, and I am well worth the investment. What you're concerned with is someone saying 'no', you can't dive here in that condition and the cost associated with the exam. I believe I addressed the latter concern. The former is the prerogative of the property, service provider and so on. Go Dive elsewhere.

My 32% worth

lars2923
10-21-2010, 10:24 PM
French want to make retirement age 62 from 60, strikes all over the country, fuel depots blockaded, riots in the street etc.

"Live to work" or "Work to Live"

62 does not sound unreasonable

acelockco
10-22-2010, 03:00 AM
I know where you're coming from and I would probably agree.


You don't know where I am coming from, and you are not seeing my point. We already have enough government control in our lives, we don't need more. If there were a high incident rate in diving, I could see something changing but as of now diving is really a safe sport with very little injury and or death compared to many other activities.

By the way, where I live (Pennsylvania) you don't have to wear a motorcycle helmet or special clothing other then any type of eye protection you choose. Anyway, I always wear a helmet and an armored jacket with reflective material (not those ugly yellow things you guys are forced to wear, just a black jacket with a reflective stripe) every time I ride even if it is right up the road. Again, I wear them because I have the choice just as you have the choice to get a medical. Think of it as survival of the fittest.

Okeanos
10-23-2010, 06:07 PM
Ace, perhaps you're not understanding my point.

If people had medicals they would either have to get fit or not dive. If I refuse someone onto my boat because they don't look fit, I'd refuse myself (6'3" & 273lbs) because I don't look fit even though I have a calculated VO2 max of 52.5 which proves I am fit. A medical would show who should be reasonably fit & healthy.

I see divers who get out of breath walking up a slipway, not what I call fit for diving. They Drink to excess the night before diving and generally not take care of themselves. I have had to recover a diver on my boat who was non-breathing and un-responsive, they survived. After a visit to the docs they were told to lose weight and get fit.

I would rather divers have medicals than make motor cyclists wear helmets or car drivers wear safety belts. We are over-regulated in many ways, too many ways, but I'd rather dive with people who had a better chance of making it back safely.

p.s. If I had the choice I wouldn't wear a helmet on my motorcycle nor a safety belt in my car but I'd have a medical to make sure I was safe(r) to dive.

Okeanos
10-23-2010, 06:16 PM
A little light reading for you - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15241540

The site is very good for studies relating to scuba diving, I have read many of these but keep finding more to read.

The Publisher
10-23-2010, 07:54 PM
Okeanos, you make valid points that many of us agree with, and my favorite is when you said "....if I had a choice...".

I prefer when the power of that choice is in the hands of a person, not the government...but, hey, I admit I am sort of FUNNY that way, lol ;)

It is interesting how this topic has sparked interest...sort of caoses the libertarians to come out of the woodwork , adn those of us who would not know the difference between a V02 max and V02 from Brillcreme. :D

cherylfoster
01-04-2011, 07:23 PM
There are a safety belt, we make use of motorcycle helmets. We wanted to use the Hi-Vis jackets motorcycle too, but never went through because it was a step too far.They still do not make us dive certification, however, if you are teaching or working underwater.

acelockco
01-04-2011, 11:46 PM
however what????