Friday, September 30, 2005

New Book on Underwater Digital Video

Steven Barsky has done it again! I have just received and read through his new "how to" book on underwater digital video. I wish that I had access to this excellent instructional manual some years ago when I ventured into the arena of underwater video during a trip to the Red Sea. I'm certain that my results would have been a lot less amateurish. Now, if he could just write something that would offer assistance with getting through Egyptian customs with a camera - then everything would be perfect. (G)

Underwater Digital Video Made Easy is a book that will take you from beginner through advanced underwater video skills. It is packed with practical, real world information from three underwater video professionals and includes the following chapters:
Camera Selection • Housing Selection • Accessories • Gear Set-Up • Shooting Topside in the Marine Environment • Shooting Underwater • Lighting Underwater • Travel • Maintenance • Editing • and much more!

Most of us don't want to be a motion picture director but just want to make home videos of our next diving vacation. Well, this book is the place to start! This is the most up-to-date book on the exciting world of underwater video.

In the book there are hints and techniques for underwater video that you won't find anywhere else. Each chapter includes useful tips based upon actual underwater video or film projects that have been shown in theaters, seen on television, or are available on DVD.

Authors Barsky, Milbrand, and Thurlow are all professional underwater cameramen with a combined total of over 37 years in the field of underwater video production.

In addition, there is the pleasure of seeing their beautiful and talented diving model, Kristine Barsky, the wife of one of the authors.

A sample chapter can be downloaded at this address:

Underwater Digital Video Made Easy, Sug. Retail Price $23.95
192 pages, over 150 photographs and illustrations
Written by Steven M. Barsky, Lance Milbrand,
and Mark Thurlow
ISBN Number: 0-9674305-5-0


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ideal Body Weight for Diving, Scuba Calories

In response to a question about diving and obesity - here is an answer giving the ideal body weight for diving:

Edmonds, in the book, Diving and Subaquatic Medicine, states that weight should be less than 20 % above the average ideal weight for age, height and build. Obesity is undesirable because it increases the risk of decompression illness, there being an increase in nitrogen absorption of 4.5 times in fat. Sport diving is more lenient than commercial in this regard in that the bottom times can be reduced according to the percentage that the candidate's weight exceeds that expected for height and build.

Body mass index (BMI) is a method for determining the percentage of fat. It is determined by weight in Kg divided by height in meters squared.

In some areas of the world where medical fitness is more stringently regulated than the US, a high BMI (body mass index) would deter one from diving. Complicating conditions of adiposity include diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia or hypertension and their associations with coronary artery disease. The BMI is important to divers due to the fact that people with high BMI are more prone to coronary artery disease and an untoward coronary event while diving. A BMI above 30 kg/m2 is thought to be excessively risky for diving. Of course, measured %BF can sometimes show that the diver is quite large and muscular and this needs to be taken into consideration. Figure your BMI by going to this web site:

In one of our newsletters, reference was made to the approximate number of calories burned while scuba diving. The figures quoted (393 kcal for a person weighing 130 pounds, 413 kcal for 155 pounds, 604 kcal for 190 pounds) were all estimates but seemed inordinately high to some people who felt that scuba diving was essentially a sedate activity in a weightless milieu.

In researching a valid answer to this question we came up with some data that hopefully explains the burning of oxygen - and thus calories (kcal). There are quite a few variables in the equation, such as water temperature, level of fitness of the individual, size and body configuration of the diver, current, surge and buoyancy. Swimming energy is also proportional to the square of the velocity and workloads for higher use are tolerated by only the very fit.

Maximum burning of oxygen in the very fit is 40ml/kg/minute (VO2). Resting VO2 is 3.5ml/kg/min. or 1.5-2 kcal (1 MET). All things being equal, the act of scuba diving at a speed of 1 knot burns about 25 ml/kg/min of O2 (about 60% of maximum), the diver moving about 70 feet per minute. (Bove, ’Diving Medicine’, 1997).

A resting value of 3.5ml/kg/minute interpolated to 25 ml/kg/min is 8 kcals/min. A diver swimming for one hour at this rate would burn 480 calories, depending upon any or all of the variables noted above. See also: Nutrition and Diving

Best regards for safe diving!
Ern Campbell, MD
Scubadoc's Diving Medicine

Divers Alert Network Joins with World Communications Center To Provide Global Satellite Communication Services to Divers

CHANDLER, Ariz. ­ September 27, World Communications Center (WCC), a provider of global satellite voice and data communications, announced today that Divers Alert Network (DAN) has signed an agreement to offer its member divers the ability to rent WCC¹s Iridium satellite phones when diving in remote locations.

Satellite communications provides the ideal solution for divers, who typically travel in areas where landlines and cellular service are not available. In emergency situations, this can be cause for concern.

WCC provides service and equipment for satellite telephones, mobile asset tracking devices and satellite broadband internet. The company offers the one truly global satellite system, Iridium, which provides complete global coverage including all oceans and seas with no long distance or roaming fees. The WCC rental program allows DAN members to rent satellite equipment at weekly rates and pay for minutes they use at a fraction of what most international phone calls cost. User-friendly added-value features can include waterproof phone bags, special one-button programming to contact the DAN and WCC's 24-hour customer care.

WCC President Sam Romey said that with Iridium's unique truly global network, WCC has always recognized the value of satellite communications in the diving industry. "Many divers already use WCC¹s services, but our new relationship with DAN will help to reach out to its members and ensure further safety via reliable communications," Romey said.

Tony Bacci, Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development at DAN, underscored the value of the relationship with WCC. "Thanks to our partnership with WCC, we can offer our divers and group leaders an effective way to communicate back to us in case of emergency," Bacci said. "We encourage divers to take advantage of this program so they can travel and dive to remote and beautiful places with peace of mind."

To launch the new DAN/WCC partnership and encourage traveling divers to learn about the easy-to-use Iridium satellite system, introductory specials are available to DAN divers and professionals including discounts, custom programming and other incentives. Details of each offer will be available at the DEMA show in Las Vegas, on the DAN website ( ) and on WCC¹s website (

About DAN

Divers Alert Network (DAN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit members organization dedicated to recreational diving safety and emergency assistance. DAN is supported by the largest association of recreational divers in the world.

Founded in 1980, DAN has served as a lifeline for the scuba industry by operating diving's only 24-hour emergency hotline, a lifesaving service for injured divers. DAN also operates a diving medical information line, conducts vital diving medical research and develops and provides educational programs for everyone from beginning divers to medical professionals.

About WCC

World Communication Center (WCC) is a leading provider of global satellite solutions, including Iridium telephones, pagers, data capabilities, satellite broadband and service. The company provides leased and for-purchase satellite communications systems for maritime, aviation, commercial trucking and other ground transportation. WCC serves government agencies, leisure travelers and corporate entities including the State of Alaska, NASA, The Peace Corps and Boeing. For information, visit or call 800-211-2575.

CONTACT: Jodi Amendola, Amendola Communications for WCC - 480.664.8412

Monday, September 26, 2005

CO Poisoning Reports from Hurricanes Katrina/Rita

To UHMS Members in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas;

The CDC continues to collect cases of Katrina/Rita-related CO poisoning that were treated with HBO2. They feel that the "hyperbaric reporting network" is their most reliable source of information on the topic!

If you have treated any cases of CO poisoning related to Katrina or Rita, please email me at No patient identifiable information will be collected.

For your interest, I am attaching their most recent summary. Thanks for your help.

Neil B. Hampson, MD

The Mid-west Chapter of the UHMS along with ProMedica Health System & The Toledo Hospital present: 2005 Hyperbaric Medicine Update

The Mid-west Chapter of the UHMS along with ProMedica Health System & The Toledo Hospital present:

2005 Hyperbaric Medicine Update, October 7-8, 2005 at the Maumee Bay State Resort and Conference Center, 1750 Park Road #2, Oregon, Ohio 43618.

Attached is the brochure on this event. If you have a problem with the attachment, you can get the attachment at the following website:

Lisa Wasdin

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Scuba Clinic Posts in the past week (September 16, 2005 - September 24, 2005

Here are some questions and answers on our Scuba Clinic forum with posts during the past week. Register for our Scuba Clinic in order to read, post and participate in the board activity at

Equalizing Advice and Techniques

Vibration After A Dive As Contributor To DCS, Vibration and DCS

Reverse block

Knee replacement


Rash on Hand

Ear Meds


Diving with a Foley Catheter

Paxil and Syncope

2005 Hyperbaric Medicine Update,

ProMedica Health System Continuing Medical Education Department, The Toledo Hospital Department of Hyperbaric Medicine and the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, Midwest Chapter present 2005 Hyperbaric Medicine Update

October 7 & 8, 2005
Maumee Bay State Resort and Conference Center
1750 Park Road #2
Oregon, Ohio 43618

This seminar will provide an update on topics of interest in the use of hyperbaric medicine for disease and injury treatment and prepare participants for the Certifi ed Hyperbaric Technologist (CHT) or Certified Hyperbaric RN (CHRN) exam.

This activity is intended for physicians and may be of interest to nurses, respiratory therapists, hyperbaric technicians and divers who have an interest in hyperbaric medicine and the safe delivery of hyperbaric treatments.

Amateur Aquatic Photo Exhibit
You are invited to participate in this exciting opportunity to display your talents as an amateur aquatic photographer. Photographs will be on display during the Friday
evening dive presentations. All photo participants will receive a participation gift and Best of Show will be awarded at the Friday Evening Social. To request a copy of the guidelines for the exhibit, please contact Diane Monaghan at 419-291-4649 or

Maumee Bay Resort & Conference Center is located at 1750 Park Road #2, Oregon, Ohio,
less than 10 miles from Toledo, on the shore of Lake Erie. It is easily accessible from Detroit, Cleveland or Columbus and 45 minutes west of Cedar Point. For driving directions from these cities and other common points of origin, please refer to
Detailed directions and a map will be sent with all registration confirmations.

A block of rooms have been reserved and will be held until September 16, 2005.
Please identify the Hyperbaric UHMS as the group name.

Maumee Bay Resort & Conference Center
1750 Park Road #2
Oregon, Ohio 43618
Other hotels in the area include:
Comfort Inn-East– 419-691-8911
Holiday Inn Express–419-691-8800

Refund Policy
The registration fee, minus a $10 administrative fee, will be refunded if a cancellation is received (in writing or by phone) no later than September 30, 2005. Refunds will not be given for failure to attend. ProMedica Health System is not responsible for any accommodation cancellation fees.

For your comfort, please bring a sweater or jacket to the conference.

For more information, please call The Toledo Hospital Department of Hyperbaric
Medicine at 419-291-2072, the ProMedica Health System Continuing Medical Education
Department at 419-291-4650, or e-mail

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hurricane Katrina, HBO job offerings

Lisa Wasdin with the UHMS has the following information:

UHMS now has a listing of job offerings for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Most of the jobs listed are temporary, just for those that have been displaced. However, there has been several listed that need full-time employees. (more full-time positions are listed on our classified page)

If interested or you know of someone in the hyperbaric field that has been displaced due Hurricane Katrina please visit the follow site:

If you'd like to post a temporary job, please email me. LisaWasdin@UHMS.ORG

Thank you

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

From the DAN website: DocVikingo Is New Moderator for 'Scuba Clinic'

News & Events
DocVikingo Is New Moderator for 'Scuba Clinic'

DocVikingo, editor, writer and diver at large, is now the moderator for "The Scuba Clinic Forum,"a question-and-answer forum on

"He will join our other moderators in helping me to keep ahead of the growing tasks of the web site, newsletter and the forum,: said Dr. Ernest Campbell, founder of

DocVikingo has written many articles about diving medical problems for multiple publications, including Undercurrent, Scuba Diving magazine and DAN's Alert Diver.

Several of Vikingo's articles on the website, including "Depression and Diving," "Safe Sea - Getting Nailed by Jellies" and a Scuba Board Thread about Teen Divers.

"I am continuously impressed by his breadth of knowledge and wise use of common-sense approaches to diving medical problems, said Dr. Campbell. "We are fortunate to have access to his expertise."

Register at Scuba Clinic and participate in the forum questions and answers by going to

Other moderators on the board include Drs. Jolie Bookspan, Allen Dekelboum, Martin Quigley, Ed Kay, Larry Stein, Bruce Miller, Bill Henss and Bill McNicoll.

"Diver's Day" Meeting, for Local Dive Shop Owners and Managers

Dear Local Dive Shop Owners and Managers,

There is still room to attend the "Diver's Day" Meeting this Saturday, September 24th, 2005, from 8am to 5pm at the Wyndham Hotel in Colorado Springs. This is part of a 2 day meeting of the Pacific Chapter of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS).

I think that you will find the program of value to your divers, divemasters, instructors and almost anyone interested in diving. The Diver's Alert Network (DAN) usually has a Diver's Day like this but has not had one in Colorado for several years and we are not sure when they will be back. We put together a similar program that I think you will enjoy.

The cost is $45 (plus $25 if CME credit is needed for MDs, RNs, or CHTs) and this includes Saturday registration and food and beverages at the exhibit and break session. Lunch is not included. Parking is free. Rooms are still available if needed.

We have some excellent world class speakers and it will be a good time to interact with Diving Medical Experts in a friendly small setting.

There are lectures on Friday, September 23rd as well (on Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care) and a Banquet on Friday Night with presentations by some world renowned Diving Doctors. You are certainly welcome to these programs as well.

You may want to also forward this email to your clients. We also still have room if you shop wishes to have an exhibit booth on Saturday.

For more information go to and click on the Pacific Chapter UHMS Meeting or go to the other site at

Hope to see you there.


James R. Holm, MD, FACEP
PacUHMS President
Director of Hyperbaric Medicine
Memorial Hospital, Colo Springs, CO

Monday, September 19, 2005

2005 DAN On-Line Auction Coming in November

Divers Alert Network will hold its fourth annual auction from Nov. 1 through Dec. 1. All proceeds from winning bids in the 2005 DAN On-Line Auction will support DAN programs.

"The auction has been a success for DAN and its Auction Partners and has given DAN Members and others opportunities to bid on terrific trips, equipment, artwork and much more," said Eileen Sahlin, DAN Chief Development Officer. "We're working on our third year and are looking forward to an even bigger and better auction."

Last year's auction generated more than $135,000. More than $58,000 in cash was raised to support DAN research and safety programs, including The DAN Endowment; DAN Divers Days Program; Project Dive Exploration (PDE); Diver IDentification System Program; DAN Research Internship Program; Oxygen Grant Program; and the AED Matching Grant Program. Items valued at $90,000 were donated to DAN.

DAN Auction Partners include dive business operators, artists and others; in previous years they provided wetsuits, drysuits, tanks, dive accessories, vacations, books, cameras, clothing, jewelry and airline tickets. Auction items from DAN will also include first aid equipment.

For both DAN Members and non-members, online bidding occurs on the DAN website ( The auction starts on Nov. 1 at noon ET and closes Dec. 1 at noon ET. This year the preview of items will begin on Oct. 15 on the DAN website. No bids will be accepted during the preview.

Each item contains donor name and contact information, a description and picture of the item, its suggested retail price, its current bid price and whether the reserve has been met. During the auction, there is a live link to the donor¹s website.

Winning bidders will be notified by Dec. 3. All DAN Auction Partners will be notified by Dec. 5 of the highest bidder(s) on their item(s) so that they may contact the winners. Many items will be delivered to winning bidders through their local dive shop, with the items slated to arrive no later than Dec. 15.

For more details about the 2005 DAN On-Line Auction, visit, call DAN Development at 1-800-446-2671 ext. 444 or email

Katrina-related CO poisoning that were treated with HBO2

To UHMS Members in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas;

I am continuing to work with the CDC to collect cases of Katrina-related CO poisoning that were treated with HBO2. CDC staff suspect that cases will continue to present even after electrical power is restored and generators are no longer needed. The clean-up of flood damage will likely result in a shift to cases to those resulting from use of gasoline-powered pressure washers.

If you have treated any cases of CO poisoning related to Katrina, please email me at No patient identifiable information will be collected.

Thanks for your help.

Neil B. Hampson, MD

Immediate Past-President, UHMS

Ultra lightweight flexible decompression chambers

Here is a letter we received from Alex Burnup of the UK concerning his design of an ultra lightweight flexible decompression chamber. We present this for your information only. The utility of such a product is obvious.

Dear Doctor Campbell,

I just found your 10 foot stop site by accident when I did a Google search, as your interested in HBOT and diving you may like to look at some of my work at

I design new ultra lightweight flexible decompression chambers, the current model weighs in at 66 lbs, but this is shortly to be reduced to around 55 lbs in production models, new models being worked on now will go as low as 17 lbs for a full air decompression rating with a full 2 times or more fail safety factor.

The site has 2 videos on it of the UK Navy testing, including the only ever destruction test of a chamber, which I should add failed at 12.6 bar above ambient,(183psi) when the stainless steel hatch buckled, later found to be caused by a poor weld, something soon rectified with the contractor who made it, so far we have never managed to damage the material part of the chamber and new versions will do away with the metal totally as being the weakest part of the design.

I hope you find the site interesting, at the moment I am looking for enough orders or a backer, either an existing company or an individual/individuals to set up a manufacturing plant in the USA, I seem to be getting plenty of interest from Australia and Europe but not much from the American side of the world, possible because of the belief amongst US divers that it will never happen to them, but we all know it does, I personally have used the chambers to rid myself of a Hospital Acquire Infection that very nearly killed me (8 months in Hospital), without the treatment which others in our team provided I would have died and still the staff at the hospital refuse to believe in HBOT as an effective anti bacterial treatment.

If you want any other info, just e mail, I will be glad to help out.

Yours Sincerely,

Alex Burnup


Tel:- 00 (44) (0)1622 817839



26 Kenward Road,
ME18 6JP

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Recent Questions on Scuba Clinic

Here are some recent questions that our consultants have been answering on our Scuba Clinic forum.

Equalizing Techniques and Advice

Patent Foramen Ovale Questions

Dive Medicine Training for Paramedics

Diving Medicine Electives

DCI Twice, Unlucky?

Reverse Block?

Tympanoplasty and Diving

Poll, Diving with Migraine

Migraines and Diving

Severe sea sickness

Please come join us on Scuba Clinic and read, post and query consultants about diving medical problems. Registration is required but is simple and does provide privileges such as private messaging and email. Answers are up to date, authoritative and personal by highly qualified, experienced professionals.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

From Don Chandler, UHMS, re Hurricane Katrina

To all--

Several of you have sent reports of what you have observed as our country recovers from the tragic and deadly Hurricane Katrina. For the past few days I have been trying to get our major news media (NBC, CBS, ABC, Reuters, AP) to help us inform people with warning messages about the dangers of using internal combustion engines in enclosed spaces...but have had no response as yet.

Dr. Neil Hampson, our Immediate Past President has also been busy with this potentially deadly topic. He is working very closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and this emerging problem. The number of cases of CO poisoning is growing...people just aren't paying attention to warning labels or even verbal warnings when they are using portable electric generators, power washers, and other such devices (see some of the notes below) as they restore and/or clean their damaged homes and businesses.
Dr. Hampson's emeil address is

I heard directly from Jake Jacoby (mentioned in an earlier update) who was with a DMAT in New Orleans and rather than try to summarize his news, I will paste his entire email below:
Hi, Don, just about everything you wrote is correct. although we had fewer than 30 in our morgue. There was indeed one patient with an alligator bite, down to bone, on a leg, which was 3 days old, and infected.
As commander of the CA-4 DMAT, we were sent in to the Airport, arrived at 0300 on Wednesday, Aug 31st, set up a Base of Operations in Concourse D at the airport. The torrent of patients being evacuated from the hospitals (bumper-to-bumper row of ambulances most of the first two days, intercalated with bumper-to bumper rows of busses disgorging patients), merged with another torrent of evacuees being rescued off roofs, "lily pads", parks and all sorts of congregating areas, all starting at 1100 hours on Aug 31st, previously patients had been picked up from the triage site at the I-10 site where it went under water, near the 610 junction, and were airlifted to LSU in Baton Rouge, but that was a much longer trip and consumed lots more aviation fuel, so the switch to the airport was both more efficient and saved fuel); ), At peaks, rotorcraft landed every minute or less and up to 45 per hour, all sizes, shapes and agencies .. including one seen from the Singapore AF), ....Thanks to the US Air Force which showed up ( two medevac units,) and began taking the patients by the planeload, as many as one aircraft per hour at the peak) we ( initially three full DMATs: CA-4, TX-4 and WA-1, with some strike teams from TX-1, TN-1, HI-1 [ a strike team is an augmenting unit of 5 to 9 personnel to augment in areas of need] augmented after 24 hours by OR-2, FL-3, and PA-3, plus another half a dozen DMAT strike teams, were able to clear the terminal (* both upstairs and downstairs) . At one point, we had documented over 800 patients , half on litters, rest in wheelchairs and on foot, on the floors covering both upstairs and downstairs in Concourse D.
The NDMS/DMAT Base of Operations was a classical full spread, including immediate, delayed and walking wounded tents, plus an expectant area, morgue, Command tent, Logistics supply area and Pharmacy caches. Team members slept on baggage claim areas, on carousels and anywhere there was room, shared with many Federal police, National Guard, and military, including 4,000 members of the 82nd Airborne.
There are two DMORTs with DPMUs ( Deployable Morgue Units) in the areas. All DMATs in the system were activated and are being used, and back up lists of additional members are also being utilized, we still have ten members in the field augmenting other operations.
Thanks are due to the many employers of our team members, who enabled us to field a team and pre-stage it as early as Monday, Aug 29th, (day of storm), so that we were already somewhat close to the area (Houston, and en route to Baton Rouge) when the levees broke.

Jake Jacoby, MD
Other news from our members include:

1. Caroline Fife has an urgent need for HBOT physician help. She is offering a 9-month faculty appointment (October - June) at the University of Texas, Houston. If you are interested, please contact her at 713-704-5900 or 713-305-2971. You can also email her at Also, Caroline has offered a place to stay for any Katrina-displaced hyperbaric staff who has a tolerance for teenagers.

2. Shane McKinnon informs us that Keith VanMeter " doing very well spreading good cheer and selflessly helping others in need." Shane said that Keith was in excellent care while riding with he and others from the 1st Battalion 20th Special Forces Group and now that they have departed they turned his well being over to the 82nd Airborne. I must say that surely he still is in good hands.

3. Julio Garcia, CHT, RN is the Center Director at the Springhill Medical Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine in Mobile, AL. He reports that they have treated 24 post-Katrina cases of CO poisoning with ages ranging from 22 days old to 70 years. Clearly, the CO poisoning problem is growing.

4. Cheree' Wiggins, RN, the Clinical Nurse Manager of the Hyperbaric Unit at West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, LA reports they have treated 10 post-Katrina cases of CO poisoning. We had earlier heard of four it's ten. There will be more.

5. Marc R. Kaiser, President and CEO of Hyperbaric Medical Services, Inc. in Boca Raton FL reports they have treated 7 people, including 4 children, for CO poisoning. One was a family of four (mother, father, and 18 month old twins); the second family was a father and two children under 9 years. These cases were treated at the Hyperbaric & Problem Wound Center at Mercy Hospital located in Miami, Florida. These cases may not have been due to recovery efforts from Katrina (being they were in Miami) but the report does lend credence to the high danger of CO poisoning regardless of the weather conditions. By the way, Marc said he had a Reneau chamber that they just took out of service and is willing to discuss shipping it to the gulf region to assist if needed. If any of you need the Reneau telephone Marc at (305) 854-0300 or email him at:

6. Connie Witz, RN, CHRN who is the Hyperbaric Supervisor at the Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma, LA reports that they have treated two cases of CO poisoning (four were in the house, using a generator in the garage), another case was sent to another facility, and there was one fatality. Their Emergency Department has also seen some exposures but levels were very low and symptoms were mild. Need we say more about the dangers of misuse of gasoline fired portable equipment?

7. Another generous offer of assistance from one of our neighbors to the north. Ian Clapperton is an Associate Member and is willing to do whatever anyone can think of for him to do from Canada (Almonte, Ontario). Just let him know. Tel: (613) 256-6726. Cell: (613) 558-1047. Email:

That's all for now. Keep the news coming in and we'll keep posting it.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tracking cases of carbon monoxide poisoning from Hurricane Katrina

Forwarded by Don Chandler, UHMS re carbon monoxide

From: Neil Hampson []
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:55 PM
To: Lisa Wasdin
Cc: Don Chandler
Subject: CO Poisoning and Katrina

Please forward to UHMS membership:

Attention UHMS Members in the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana,
Mississippi, or Texas,

I am writing to request your assistance in tracking cases of carbon
monoxide (CO) poisoning related to Hurricane Katrina. I have been asked
by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help them identify cases of
CO poisoning treated with hyperbaric oxygen in your five state region.
The CDC is attempting to identify trends in location and source of
exposure so that they might intervene to prevent poisonings.

Please write back to me with the name and location of your hyperbaric
facility, operational status, and whether you treat CO-poisoned
patients. I will follow-up with those who are operational and
willing/able to treat CO poisoning.

Thank you for your help in this important matter. Your assistance has
the potential to help save lives.

Neil B. Hampson, MD
Medical Director
Virginia Mason Center for Hyperbaric Medicine

Immediate-Past President

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

31st Annual Meeting of the Pacific Chapter of the UHMS

31st Annual Meeting of the Pacific Chapter of the UHMS

Wyndham Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colorado

September 23 and 24th, 2005

It is not too late to attend. Register by September 16th to get a discount!

For more info go to or
The NDBHMT Exam has been cancelled. The NBDHMT is located in Harvey, Louisiana on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, adjacent to New Orleans. The area was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The NBDHMT has a long relationship with both the UHMS and the UHMS-Pacific Chapter.
Full refunds will be given to those who had registered to take the exam. We will be providing CEU's for CHTs thru NBDHMT.

Dr. Neil Hampson will be presenting on "Storm-Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning". This is one of Dr. Hampson's passions and he has been working on this topic for years. He had planned to give this talk long before the Katrina tragedy and hopefully the information he provides will save lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the Gulf area.

Agenda and Program

Friday, September 23rd, 2005 Wyndham Hotel, Ballroom Salon E

7:30am to 8:00am Registration

8:00am to 8:15am Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:15am to 9:00am “Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Multidisciplinary Approach” James Holm, MD

9:00am to 10:00am “Update in Vascular Surgery for the Wound Patient” Bruce Misare, MD

10:00am to 10:30am Break and Exhibits

10:30am to 11:15am “Why Measure Tissue Oxygen Levels” John “Ben” Slade, MD

11:15am to 12:00am “TcPO2 and Skin Perfussion Pressure (SPP)” Dick Sample, CHT

12:00pm to 1:00pm Lunch and Exhibits Open

1:00pm to 1:45pm: “Current Management of the Spectrum of Bacterial Burden in Wound Management” David Cobb, MD

1:45pm to 2:45pm: "Storm-Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning" Neil Hampson, MD

2:45pm to 3:30pm Exhibits Open

3:30pm to 4:30pm “Non-Diving Related Arterial Gas Embolism” George Hart, MD

4:30pm to 5:00pm "Design and Installation of the New Virginia Mason Center for Hyperbaric Medicine" Neil Hampson, MD

6:30pm to 7:00pm Opening Reception (open to all)

7:00pm to 9:00pm Awards Banquet and Reception (separate registration required)
“The History of Monoplace Chambers for Clinical HBOT” George Hart, MD

Spencer Award

John Alexander, MD

Friday, September 24th, 2005 Wyndham Hotel, Ballroom Salon E

8:00am to 9:00am "Ear Equalization Problems & the Eustachian Tube” Lorre Henderson, MD

9:00am to 10:00am “Oilfield Deep Saturation Diving” Dick Clarke CHT

10:00am to 10:30am Break and Exhibits

10:30am to 11:15am “Nitox and Technical Diving” James Holm, MD

11:15am to 12:00am “Hazardous Marine Life” George Hertner, MD

12:00pm to 1:00pm Lunch and Exhibits Open

1:00pm to 1:45pm: “Review of Selected Seafood Poisonings” Matthew Berry, MD

1:45pm to 2:30pm: “NOAA & Scientific Diving” Steven Katz, PhD

2:30pm to 3:00pm Exhibits Open

3:00pm to 4:00pm “Dive Computers and Their Performance” Karl Huggins, MS

4:40pm to 5:00pm “Current Update on Asthma and Sport Scuba Diving” Ralph Potkin, MD

Scuba Accidents & HBO References - Google Alerts

Veteran diver bouncing back
St. Thomas Times-Journal - Canada
... comeback. Found by fellow divers floating unconscious in the water, Vigars was a victim of decompression sickness -- the bends. ...
Related links in Scubadoc's Diving Medicine

Airlift for diver after incident
BBC News - UK
She was understood to have suffered the bends - decompression sickness - off the fishing village of St Abbs, north of Eyemouth. ...
Related Links on Decompression Sickness in Scubadoc's Diving Medicine

Drowning is county's third in three days
Everett Herald - Everett,WA,USA
By Melissa Slager. EDMONDS - A 44-year-old Yakima woman died Saturday in a scuba diving accident at Brackett's Landing underwater park, a popular diving spot. ...
Drowning Related references on Scubadoc's Diving Medicine

Working in a chronic setting takes more patience and persistence
Kansas City Nursing News - Kansas City,KS,USA
... The hospital's hyperbaric oxygen program features three individual ... that deliver high-level oxygen, which enhances ... patients find other treatment modalities and ...

chamber for Neitz - Australia
... Hyperbaric chambers are traditionally effective in the treatment of problem ... radiation injuries, and work by giving the patient 100 percent oxygen to breathe ...
See all stories on this topic

Fletcher holds his breath as Jones seeks oxygen remedy
Times Online - UK
SIMON JONES will be placed in a sealed hyperbaric oxygen chamber at different ... s chief medical officer, Dr Peter Gregory, describes the treatment device as a ...

Jones breathes Test hope
FOX SPORTS - Australia
... Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are used in the treatment of certain sports injuries because they can increase the oxygen supply to the injured part of the body. ...

Health Alert: Mobile hyperbaric chambers
WIS - Columbia,SC,USA
Almost daily he's inside this pressurized hyperbaric chamber breathing pure oxygen for two ... say to check with your doctor to see if hyperbaric treatment is an ...

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy saves Horseheads man's foot
Elmira Star-Gazette - Elmira,NY,USA
... "The chamber" is called hyperbaric oxygen treatment, offered at Sayre's Robert Packer Hospital. For two hours a day, Freeborn would ...

McGrath doubts fuelled by Clark call
Independent - London,England,UK
... which has included more than a dozen visits to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber at ... the 26 year-old will be given a good idea whether all the treatment and heartache ...

How dive trip turned to disaster - Wellington,New Zealand
... At the depth the men descended to it was likely the missing man suffered from oxygen toxicity or nitrogen narcosis. The latter affected the nervous system. ...

Scuba diving accident claims Chimacum High teacher
Port Townsend Leader - Port Townsend,WA,USA
20 after an accident that occurred while he was scuba diving off Cape Flattery, near Tattoosh Island, US Coast Guard officials announced. ...

Second scuba diver missing at Dorset shipwreck
CDNN - New Zealand
... the crew of the Killer Prawn, the dive boat involved in a similar accident just over two weeks ago when a 48-year-old female disappeared while scuba diving on ...

Scuba diver drowns off Brooklyn
CDNN - New Zealand
... Dmitrey Satyukov, 33, was scuba diving with a group of divers about 10 miles off Gerritsen Beach when the accident happened. After ...

Lower Burrell diver drowns
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
... Scott Camerlo of Scott's Scuba in Freeport said Switala was participating in a night diving exercise at a lake near Slippery Rock when the accident occurred. ...

One diver missing, another bent in Cook Strait scuba diving ...
CDNN - New Zealand
by MICHAEL DALY. WELLINGTON, New Zealand (28 Aug 2005) -- A diver is missing and another seriously ill with the bends after they ...

UK: Recovering scuba diver thanks club and rescuers

Dive South Africa - Pretoria,South Africa
... below). She has returned home after a period in hospital to join her husband Jason, who was also diving when the accident occurred. ...

USA: Volunteer fireman drowns during diving exercise
Dive South Africa - Pretoria,South Africa
... Scott Camerlo, of Scott's Scuba in Freeport, said Switala was participating in a night diving exercise at a lake near Slippery Rock when the accident occurred. ...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hurricane Update from UHMS (Don Chandler)

To all--

Our list of available jobs...both temporary and growing. More are being added today and we have at least three physician positions that are in the planning stage and cannot be posted as yet. To those of you who have let us post available positions, your generosity is overwhelming! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We have head from some of our members as things progress in the LA and MS regions that were so devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The following are summaries of what we have to pass on to you...

1. Dr. Donn Bowers of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, MS reports that the "...Hyperbaric and Wound Care Department is up and running for any and all." Sandra Stillman also reported this good news.

2. Chris Morrison, MD, CWS, UHM of Tierra Verde, FL, a board-certified physician in both Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine is willing to volunteer his services as a physician (or any other capacity that may be needed) in any of the stricken areas. Contact Dr. Morrison at (727) 644-3038 (Cell); (727) 867-5480 (office); (727) 867-2880 (home) or you can email him at (home email) or (office email).

3. Anthony Johnston, BSN, of Liberty MO is curious if anyone needed short term help to get up and running or with supplemental staffing. Contact Anthony at Telephone: (816) 407-2045.

4. Dr. Jim Caruso is at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's office and reports that they are tightly involved with the deaths and have DNA collection teams in both LA and MS. He noted that it is not true that they have used 10,000 body bags so far. He said that while the death toll may climb into the thousands, it is nowhere near there yet. He has daily teleconferences with the morgues down there and reports that MS has about 200 in the morgue so far and LA has not hit 1,000. Clearly, our Armed Forces are at work helping in many areas as our nation recovers from this tragedy.

5. Tom Schmidt reports that Dr. Irving "Jake" Jacoby, a UHMS member since 1985, is part of a DMAT from San Diego County. Dr. Jacoby's team is working with other disaster medical assistance teams from across the country. Their first assignment was to the Baton Rouge area. On August 31st he reported that "'s an ongoing disaster." They were preparing to take care of patients who were evacuated from area hospitals that were flooded. By 3 September, Jake and his team had been assigned to the Louis Armstrong Airport where they helped turn the Delta Blue terminal into a triage unit. 3,000 to 5,000 patients had been treated at the triage unit and at the time the report was taken, only about 200 remained. Dr. Jacoby said, "In the beginning it was like trying to lasso an octopus. When we got here it was overwhelming." Airport director Roy Williams said about 30 people had died, some of them elderly and ill. The bodies were being kept in refrigerated trucks as a temporary morgue. By 5 September Dr. Leonard Rubinstein said that there were still a lot of desperate people to treat. He mentioned one case where a woman walked in for help with a broken jaw an fractured skull. The lady had waited in her hotel room for as long as she could stand it after the storm. When she stepped outside her door to look for help, somebody hit her in the head with a rifle butt, knocked her unconscious and raped her. Dr. Rubinstein and staff stabilized her and splinted her and medevaced her by helicopter. He also reported their concern for the psychotics who have gone without medication for six days or more, some of whom have already created big problems at the airport. "One of my nurses got stabbed in the back by a psychotic patient. No medication." Rubinstein said. Jake Jacoby reported that they even treated a patient with an alligator bite.

Thank God for these heroes who are helping make sense out of chaos!

6. As reported earlier, CO poisoning will become a BIG problem as recovery and rebuilding continues. We now know of 8 cases. Dr. Kelly Hill reported that he has treated four patients from the classical "run the generator in the house so it won't get wet" types. I sent Dr. Neil Hampson's paper on CO poisoning to the CDC last week...I can only hope they read it and help spread the word about the danger of running portable generators in enclosed spaces. Both Reimers Systems and Tom Fox have offered to each move a mobile HBO unit to where ever they may be needed...these offers, too, were sent to the CDC.

That's it for now. Please help spread the word about the jobs that have been offered for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina...send them to our website:



NORTHEAST CHAPTER MEETING UPDATE: The Cape Codder room reservation deadline date of September 14th has been extended to September 21st. Don't delay, make them today!

Room rate at the Cape Codder will be $119.00. All guest rooms are subject ot 9.7% tax. Check in time is 4:00 p.m. , and check out is 11:00 a.m. Individuals are requested to make their reservations no later than September 21st to receive this special conference room rate. To make your reservations, please call their toll free reservation number at 888-297-2200 . When making your reservations, you must identify yourself as part of the “NORTHEAST CHAPTER of UHMS.” A one night’s deposit is due with each reservation. The Cape Codder Resort accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa.





OCTOBER 15-16, 2005

Saturday, October 15

Program Chair: J. Nicholas Vandemoer MD

0800-0815 Welcome, Introduction Emmerman, Vandemoer

0815-0915 HBO ( A Clinically Useful Drug to Ameliorate Extreme Reperfusion Injury) Van Meter

915-1015 Algorithm Based Multi-discipline Wound Management Center Wassel

1015-1045 Break with Exhibitors

1045-1115 Fitness to Dive in Public Safety Divers: Why We Should be Involved Wassel

1115-1145 Otic Barotrauma and HBO: Prevention and Treatment Vandemoer

1145-1215 The Effect of Dive Conditions on the Risk of Decompression Sickness Denoble

1215-1330 Lunch with Exhibitors (Provided)

1330-1530 HBO Case Presentations with Panel

Discussion Emhoff

1530-1600 Break with Exhibitors

1600-1645 Breakout Sessions

A Physician Session: Discussion of Wounds Care Issues

“Hartford Hospital Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine:
Review of Program Activity after Two Years” Perdrizet

Solicited Audience Q and A Vandemoer

B RN, CHT Session: Discussion of HBO and Wound Care Issues Bello

1645-1715 Summary Report of Breakout Sessions Vandemoer


1715-1730 Annual Chapter Meeting Emmerman

Sunday, October 16

Program Chair: Janet Bello CHRN

0800-0810 Opening Remarks Emmerman

0810-0840 Update on Chamber Certification Workman

0840-0920 Scientific Papers (Hartford)

“HBO and Acute Ischemic Injuries: The Importance of Timing and Sequence of Events” Perdrizet

“Prolonged Increases in Troponin T After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning” Johnson-Arbor

0920-1000 Hyperbaric Safety

“Hyperbaric Safety Concerns and the ICU Patient” Shivery

“Eye Prosthesis (Artificial Eye) and HBO” Bello

1000-1020 Break

1020-1140 Case studies

“Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy: Lower Extremity Wounds Respond to HBO” Corbett

“Adaptations and Accommodations” Salka

“Using Ionic Silver Powder with HBO- a Case Study” LaJoie

“Complex Hypospadias Repair: Use of Adjunctive HBO” Anderson

1140-1200 Panel Q & A/Closing Remarks Bello

Experience DAN at DEMA.

Dan Leigh sends us this material for dissemination.

DEMA 2005 Seminar Schedule
All Seminars will take place in Room S228 of the Convention Center.

Tuesday, Oct. 4
11 a.m to noon Jeff Myers
DAN Instructor Update

2 to 3 p.m. Dick Vann
Rhubarb and the Risk of Decompression Sickness (DCS)

3 to 4 p.m. Dick Vann
Dying to Dive: Risk Factors for Diving Fatalities

Wednesday, Oct. 5

11 a.m. to noon Dan Nord
The DAN Recompression Chamber Assistance Program (RCAP): How you can make a difference.

2 to 3 p.m. Jeff Myers
DAN Instructor Update

3 to 4 p.m. Dick Vann
Staying Conscious while Diving: What You Need to Know about Respiration

4 to 5 p.m. Dick Vann
Risk Factors for Fatal and Non-Fatal Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE)

Thursday, Oct. 6

11 a.m. to noon Jeff Myers
DAN Instructor Update

2 to 3 p.m. Donna Uguccioni/Guy Dear
Diabetes and Diving

3 to 4 p.m. Dan Nord/Guy Dear
The Changing Faces of Divers and Dive Injuries

4 to 5 p.m. Cuauhtemoc Sanchez
Aptitud médica para bucear: Consideraciones sobre salud y restricciones al bucear que todo Instructor debería saber.

Medical Fitness to Dive: Diving Health Concerns and Restrictions Instructors Should Know

5 to 6 p.m. Chris Wachholz Latin American Forum

Booth Presentations (Booth #1539 and #1639)

11 to 11:30 a.m. Petar Denoble
Risk Factors for Fatal and Non-Fatal Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE)

2 to 2:30 p.m. Donna Uguccioni
Staying Conscious while Diving: What You Need to Know about Respiration

3:30 to 4 p.m. Jeff Myers
Overview of New DAN Dive Accident First Aid for Nondivers Program


11 to11:30 a.m. Jeff Myers
Overview of New DAN Dive Accident First Aid for Nondivers Program

1:30 to2 p.m. Petar Denoble
Dive Conditions and the Risk of Decompression Sickness (DCS)

3 to 3:30 p.m. Donna Uguccioni
Diabetes and Diving


11 to 11:30 a.m. Petar Denoble
Dying to Dive: Risk Factors for Diving Fatalities

2 to 2:30 p.m. Donna Uguccioni
Staying Conscious while Diving: What You Need to Know about Respiration

3:30 to 4 p.m. Jeff Myers
Overview of New DAN Dive Accident First Aid for Nondivers Program


11 to 11:30 p.m. Petar Denoble
Dying to Dive: Risk Factors for Diving Fatalities

3 to 3:30 p.m. Donna Uguccioni
Diabetes and Diving

DAN Training Events at DEMA 2005

Dates: 10/4/05-10/9/05
Location of Event: Meeting room at the Residence Inn by Marriott
Opposite the LV Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nev.
Contact: DAN Training
Phone: +1-919-684-2948 ext. 555
Fax: +1-919-490-630

A Representative From DAN Will Be Attending This Event

DAN is offering a series of training opportunities during and after DEMA
this year. With the exception of the in-booth presentations and the
Instructor Updates, all programs are available to DAN Instructor Trainers

DAN Training does not offer Instructor-level training during the DEMA show. For information about Instructor Qualification Courses offered by local DAN Instructor Trainers around the show, contact DAN Training.

Presentations on the new Diving First Aid for Non-Divers program are offered at the DAN booth. Instructor Updates will be offered in a DEMA Show meeting room. All other DAN Training programs, including Instructor Trainer Updates will be conducted in the meeting room at the Residence Inn by Marriott, across the street from the convention center. For pricing, please see registration form.

Tuesday, October 4
8 a.m. to noon - Instructor Trainer Update
11 a.m. to noon - Instructor Update - DEMA Show Meeting room
1:30 to 3:30 p.m. - BLSPRO ITW
3:30 to 4 p.m. - Diving First Aid for Non-Divers (open booth presentation)
4 to 5:30 p.m. - Advanced Oxygen First Aid ITW

Wednesday, October 5
8 to 10 a.m. - BLSPRO ITW
10 30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - On-Site Neuro ITW
11 to 11:30 a.m. - Diving First Aid for Non-Divers (open booth presentation)
1:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Instructor Trainer Update
2 to 3 p.m. - Instructor Update - DEMA Show Meeting room

Thursday, October 6
8 a.m. to noon - Instructor Trainer Update
11 a.m. to noon -Instructor Update - DEMA Show Meeting room
12:30 to 2:30 p.m. - On-Site Neuro ITW
3 to 5 p.m. - On-Site Neuro ITW
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. - Diving First Aid for Nondivers (open booth presentation)

Friday, October 7
8 to 9:30 a.m. REMO2 ITW
10 a.m. to noon - On-Site Neuro ITW
1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Instructor Trainer Update

Saturday & Sunday, October 8 & 9
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. DAN Instructor Trainer Workshop
Open to all qualified Instructor Trainers from recognized scuba training
organizations. Must also be DAN Members and instructors for a recognized first aid/CPR certification agency.

Program includes certification in

* Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries
* Oxygen First Aid for Aquatic Emergencies
* Remote Emergency Medical Oxygen (REMO2 (tm))
* Advanced Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries
* First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries
* Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for Scuba Diving

DAN Instructor Trainer Candidates interested receiving certification in the BLSPRO program or the On-Site Neurological Assessment for Divers course can take that at a special package price during the DEMA show.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Current Status in the Management of Severe Nonclostridial Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Current Status in the Management of Severe Nonclostridial Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections

HBO Related Links on Scubadoc's Diving Medicine

Questions? Discuss this on Scuba Clinic Forum .

Dive Insurance from Melissa Rodriguez, About Scuba Diving

Dive Insurance, Who needs it?

Melissa Rodriguez, as if in answer to our recent article about a diver not having the right kind of insurance (or enough insurance)has written an article that you might find helpful. In it she reviews the various policies available.

"Your health insurance policy may not cover you, if you have a diving accident. If you are not sure about your coverage, ask your insurance company and get all promises in writing. If your insurance company does not cover you, you can get a supplemental policy specifically for diving accidents. These policies cover bills your primary health insurance will not, including deductibles. Look for coverage that meets all your needs."

Read more about this at:

EUBS 23rd Congress, Abstracts

We thought you'd be interested in this link to a web page containing abstracts of presentations to the EUBS 23rd Congress.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

More About Katrina, from Don Chandler, UHMS

To all--

A few updates from our members as they offer help and support to those who are suffering through recovery from this national disaster...

1. Paul Baker reports that Melissa Frosch has been locate and, when he spoke with her, she was well and dry in Bay Town Texas, and on her way to her in-laws home in Oklahoma. Melissa worked in the NBDHMT office with Pauline. Thankfully they are both safe and sound.

2. CO poisoning from misuse of portable generators has begun...just as we feared it would. Mike Donelon, CHT, who is at West Jefferson Medical Center in Harvey, LA reports that they have treated four cases of CO poisoning in the past four days. I sent Mike's report to our contact at the CDC and asked that they somehow spread the word about the danger of using portable generators in closed spaces. CDC responded that the information had been passed to superiors at CDC who will appropriately transmit the information. Previously we had sent our database of hyperbaric facilities to the CDC, at their request, in anticipation that CO poisoning would be an emerging problem as recovery activity gets underway.

3. The USNS Comfort, one of the U.S. Navy's hospital ships has departed for New Orleans (should be there by now) with 397 members of the medical and support staff from the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, MD.

4. Yesterday, you may have heard, 25,000 more body bags were ordered for use in New Orleans. If you read my last update, you will recall that Mary VanMeter said they have already used 10,000 body bags. Sadly, the death toll continues to rise.

5. Our list of available temporary positions for displaced HBO personnel is posted on our website A special thank you goes out to all of you who are offering to take on our displaced colleagues. If you have not offered a position as yet, please give it serious consideration. I am convinced we have not heard the worst of the situation.

6. Dr. Lee Domangue, who was the Medical Director of the Chalmette HBO and Wound Clinic (someone reported it was 20 feet underwater) reports that he, several other doctors, and one nurse remain in Chalmette manning a makeshift medical clinic to treat the severely injured and sick victims as well as the deputies and firemen. Dr. Domangue noted that supplies are now coming in regularly and, as of yesterday, more doctors and nurses were coming in.

That's all for now.


From Jolie Bookspan, re Tsunami Clean-up in Thailand

Hello from Thailand.

Tsunami cleanup help still welcome here.

Volunteer divemasters and up for shallow water cleanup - snorkelers can help too.

Carpenters, construction, environmental restoration, even IT and graphic design people can help.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The 'Pee Factor' in Diving: When the urge hits, should you? from the August, 2005 issue of Undercurrent

The 'Pee Factor' in Diving: When the urge hits, should you?

from the August, 2005 issue of Undercurrent

The 'pee factor' in diving: When the urge hits, should you?Most experienced divers don't think twice about peeing underwater, but there are those -- especially new divers – who are hesitant. Should you hold your urine underwater? Is there a downside to holding it? Does holding or emptying your bladder affect thermal status?

Once underwater, the urge to urinate increases. During a dive, there is about a 60 percent increase in the work of breathing. Pressure outside the chest wall is positive and at the end of breath expiration, internal lung pressure is less negative. Negative pressure breathing causes divers to lose about 350 cc/hour from their circulating blood volume.

The cardiovascular system changes. More blood returns to the heart due to increased abdominal pressure and decreased pooling in peripheral veins. Cold inhibits the natural anti-diuretic hormone, so peripheral blood vessels constrict, driving fluid back into the core and stimulating urine discharge. Diving increases carbon dioxide in the blood, which also decreases a natural anti-diuretic hormone, promoting fluid loss from blood.

There is an increased central blood volume and output from the heart increases up to 30 percent. The result? Urine flow increases 4-5 times during a dive.

Even with all those physiological changes, there should be no problem emptying the bladder while diving — if the person is wearing a wet suit. The odor will wash out if care is taken after diving.

Holding the urine in could possibly be harmful. There have been cases of fainting when the stretch receptors located in the wall of the bladder are stimulated and a vagal nerve reaction -- a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and a feeling of light-headedness occurs. Fainting underwater is risky to say the least.

In addition, why ruin a perfect sport by the sense of urgency that occurs as well as the distraction from multi-tasking?

The problem is different when wearing a dry suit. Men have a “pee valve”. Women have to wear some absorbent shorts or diapers (Depends, for example).

Is there a change in thermal status? Loss of heat from the urine might be counteracted by the temporary heating of the wet suit. If using a dry suit, it would likely be a wash. But, to my knowledge, the topic has not been studied.

So, my best answer is you need to go ahead and pee even if it is against your sensibilities.

— Ernest Campbell, MD, the Scuba Doc

See Kidney-related links Scubadoc's Diving Medicine


With the changes to so many lives on the Gulf Coast....maybe the following listing can help one displaced physician. Please pass it on.


Patrick McMahon


( Sayre, Pennsylvania)

Guthrie's Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine is based at the Robert Packer Hospital, a 260-bed tertiary care center located on the border of Pennsylvania and New York. RPH is one of three hospitals which are part of the Guthrie Health Care System. Guthrie Health Care System is a $330-million integrated health care delivery system with a 100-year history in this region of the Northeast. The Wound Center includes four exam rooms plus a suite with two hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Guthrie's physician-based wound management model includes multiple treatments for a wide variety of chronic non-healing wounds such as diabetic leg and foot ulcers, pressure sores, ostomy-related wounds, compromised skin grafts and more. Potential candidates will be board certified in their specialty and have experience with minor surgery wound care related debridement. Advanced wound care and hyperbaric experience is desirable but is not a prerequisite. The Center is open 5 days per week from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. No call.

The main campus is located on the border of NY and PA, 30 miles south of the Finger Lake Region of NY State. One of the most scenic areas of the Northeast. Excellent schools, safe communities and affordable housing. Summers on the lakes and winter sports create unparalleled 4-season recreational opportunities. Visit the website at Competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits. Contact Kathy Murray, 800-724-1295, Email: FAX 570-882-3098.

Please call or email me if you have any questions. Thanks for your consideration.


Patrick Q. McMahon, Director
Guthrie Center for Wound Care &
Hyperbaric Medicine
Robert Packer Hospital, 4th Floor
1 Guthrie Square
Sayre, PA 18840
Phone: (570) 882-6639
Cell: (607) 351-4760
Fax: (570) 882-6728

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

From Don Chandler, UHMS Pres. - breaking news re Hurricane Katrina

To all--

We have had many inquiries about people who were employed in hyperbaric medicine facilities that are now damaged, under water, or otherwise put out of commission. We will pass information on as we get it. As you hear of people in our fields of medicine, please pass the info to me at: Also, more jobs are coming in and we will be listing these on our website today. The following are some of what we have heard from our members:

1. Georgia Siebenaler and John Van Rynen (Associates - MidWest Chapter) are currently deployed with the FEMA Ohio-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) and want all to know they are well and working hard. Georgia said the devastation they have seen " beyond words..." and they have not been near the worst hit areas. Georgia and John are employed at the Toledo Hospital, Department of Hyperbaric Medicine.

2. Pauline Poletti of our NBDHMT is alive and well in Baton Rouge, as reported by Paul Baker in his letter I forwarded yesterday. We are still hoping for a good report from Melissa Frosch who also worked at the National Board...if any of you hear from her, please let me know.

3. Dr. Derek Gordon and family are OK. He was working at a hyperbaric facility in Chalmette, LA, that is now under twenty feet of water. I sent Derek a listing of five positions for HBO physicians that have been offered by some of our members.

4. The latest on Keith VanMeter is pasted below in an email I received from his wife, Mary. I am not at all surprised to know that Keith is riding in a military Hummer looking for someone to help.

From Paul Baker, re Hurricane Katrina

September 2, 2005

To All,

As all of you know by now some of the United States Coastal states are suffering from the effects of the largest natural disaster to ever occur there. New Orleans and surrounding parishes seem to be suffering the most. The Hurricane itself inflicted terrible damage to everything and everyone in it’s path and the ensuing floods in New Orleans has caused that city to call for a complete evacuation of all it’s residents. The US Government is trying to accomplish that task now.

The “home office” for the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology (NBDHMT) is located in Harvey, Louisiana, a parish on the West Bank of the Mississippi, adjacent to New Orleans. As one might expect all communication to that entire area has been interrupted and we do not know either the status of our employees there, Pauline Poletti and Melissa Frosch, or the status of our office. Every effort is being made to contact Pauline and Melissa at this time.

In the interim, the point of contact for the NBDHMT will be through my email address, or cell phone at 1(210)215-8660. While all records are kept at the home office I will answer as many of your questions as I possibly can. I have no estimate as to when we will be able to reoccupy the office or access our records but we will get everything back up and running as soon as humanly possible. We do plan to conduct the CHT/CHRN examination presently scheduled during the Gulf Coast Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, FL. Since I do not have our records I have no knowledge of any other examinations scheduled.

Please bear with us during this terrible tragedy and join me in praying for Pauline and Melissa’s safety and all those affected by it.


Paul C. Baker, CHT
NBDHMT, President

NOTE: Sunday Evening, 9/4/05: I have just heard from Pauline and she is safe and dry in Baton Rouge. She reports that she has been told that they may not return to Harvey, LA (home office) for at least 30 days and then only if electricity and water has been restored. The condition of the office building is unknown. Please be patient.

Hyperbaric Chamber for Sale

This from Greg Roehr:

I have a 54", double lock decompression chamber for sale. Fully equipped, 2 years old on a trailer.

Please contact: Greg Roehr at

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Job Bank for Displaced HBO/Diver Employees , Hurricane Katrina - from UHMS, Don Chandler

To all--

The UHMS and Reimers Systems, Inc. are joining forces to establish a temporary job bank for people in the fields we represent who will be displaced by the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The idea came from conversations I have had over the past two days with Steve and Sunny of Reimers Systems. We are convinced that many hyperbaric facilities and diving companies will have lengthy down time while repairs are made and support services are re-established. In the meantime what happens to the valued CHRN's, CHT's and physicians who will be without employment during this down time?

As a professional society, I believe we should come to the aid of those who work in the fields we represent and offer temporary employment to those who will be displaced by this national disaster, even if that means temporarily overstaffing. Remember, the displaced hyperbaric facility employees will still have families to feed even though their usual place of employment is undergoing repair.

Consequently, I encourage those of you who staff hyperbaric facilities or diving companies to offer up some temporary positions that we can post on our website All we need is for you to send me the very basic information (e.g. Position: CHRN. Location: Anywhere USA. Telephone No. 555-555-5555. Contact Person: Ms. Anybody) We will post this information on our website where displaced employees in the fields of undersea and hyperbaric medicine can easily find it. From there it will be between those of you who offer the positions and the person seeking temporary employment. We will also do all we can to get the word out to places where the displaced employees can learn of your generosity. Reimers Systems, Inc. has already begun our listing with some positions they're willing to open as temporary employment. The UHMS will follow suit.

In my thinking, this is a wonderful way to contribute to the recovery from this national disaster. Please consider offering one, or more, positions.


Hot news – deep sea fluorescent shark! (Link at end of message)

First a little history on fluorescence exploration in the deep sea. In 2003 NightSea founder Dr. Charles Mazel had the privilege of being the chief scientist on the first-ever project that outfitted a manned submersible to explore for fluorescence on the deep sea floor. The ONR-supported expedition used the Johnson Sea-Link submersible operated by Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, making a total of 18 dives to depths as great as 850 meters (2800 feet), at a variety of locations through the Bahamas. Custom-made exciter filters and filter holders converted the submersible's powerful 400W HID lights into sources of blue light to excite fluorescence, while a custom barrier filter was fitted over the submersible's camera so that fluorescence could be recorded on video. The observer in the submersible's viewing sphere wore a pair of the NightSea yellow visor glasses. On these dives we discovered fluorescence in a variety of deepwater corals and anemones, as well as in sponges, crinoids, and other invertebrates.

In 2004 another set of fluorescence exploration dives was made as part of Project DeepScope, supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration. This wasn't an all-fluorescence expedition, but some of the dives were dedicated to fluorescence using the same basic equipment that had been used in 2003. Besides Charlie Mazel, fluorescence participants included Dr. Michael Matz (University of Florida), who had made the breakthrough discovery on the nature of the fluorescing pigments in corals, Dr. Joerg Wiedenmann (University of Ulm, Germany), and Dr. Eran Fuchs (Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution). You can read all about that expedition at, and for fluorescence you should particularly check out the August 10 and August 16 logs, and the page on detecting fluorescence,

Many more discoveries of deep sea fluorescence were made during the 2004 trip, including a dive during which Charlie came upon a fluorescent shark at a depth of about 600 meters (2000 feet), but was unable to get good video because the shark lifted off the bottom and swam away too quickly

That brings us up to date. The DeepScope 2005 expedition is just wrapping up, having suffered interruptions from Hurricane Katrina and from a broken winch needed to retrieve the submersible. Mike Matz reports back that using the NightSea filter set on the submersible he found another fluorescent shark, and this one had the courtesy to settle on the bottom and pose for pictures. You can read about this exciting discovery and see the image at

Charles Mazel
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 USA
877 436-9262 (toll free)
978 685-6410
Fax 978 689-3232

Humor for September, 2005

Interesting Quotes

{1} The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.

[2] The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.

[3] We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

[4] It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world everyday always just exactly fits the newspaper.

[5] It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.

[6] Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."

[7] Help a man when he is in trouble and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.

[8] Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.

[9] It is not exactly cheating, I prefer to consider it creative problem solving.

[10] Behind every successful woman, is a man who is surprised.

[11] whoever said money can't buy happiness, didn't know where to shop.

[12] Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.

[13] Most people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them.

[14] Forgive your enemies but remember their names.

[15] Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.

Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity.

[16] The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action



Tom had been in the liquor business for 25 years. Finally sick of the stress he quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total peace and quiet. After six months or so, of almost total isolation, someone knocks on his door.

He opens it and sees a huge, bearded man standing there.

"Name's Lars, your neighbor from forty miles up the road. Having a Christmas party Friday night...

Thought you might like to come. About 5:00."

"Great", says Tom, "after six months out here I'm ready to meet some local folks. Thank you."

As Lars is leaving, he stops. "Gotta warn you...... There's gonna be some drinkin'."

"Not a problem" says Tom. "After 25 years in the business, I can drink with the best of 'em."

Again, the big man starts to leave and stops. "More 'n' likely gonna be some fightin' too."

"Well, I get along with people, I'll be all right. I'll be there, Thanks again."

"More'n likely be some wild sex, too," says Lars.

"Now that's really not a problem," says Tom, warming to the idea "I've been all alone for six months!

I'll definitely be there. By the way, what should I wear?"

"Don't much matter ..... Just gonna be the two of us."


Jewish Mothers

A young Jewish man excitedly tells his mother he's fallen in love and that he is going to get married. He says, "Just for fun, Ma, I'm going to bring over 3 women and you try and guess which one I'm going to marry." The mother agrees.

The next day, he brings three beautiful women into the house and sits them down on the couch and they chat for a while. He then says, "Okay, Ma, guess which one I'm going to marry."

She immediately replies, "The one on the right."

"That's amazing, Ma. You're right. How did you know?

The Jewish mother replies, "I don't like her."


The Harvard School of Medicine did a study of why Jewish women like Chinese food so much. The study revealed that this is due to the fact that WonTon spelled backwards is Not Now.


There's a big controversy on the Jewish view of when life begins. In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until after it graduates from medical school.


Q: Why don't Jewish mothers drink?

A: Alcohol interferes with their suffering.


Q: Have you seen the newest Jewish-American Princess horror movie?

A: It's called Debbie Does Dishes.


Q: Why do Jewish Mothers make great parole officers?

A: They never let anyone finish a sentence.


Q: What's a Jewish American Princess' favorite position?

A: Facing Bloomingdale's


When the doctor called Mrs. Liebenbaum to tell her that her check came back, she replied, "So did my arthritis."


A man calls his mother in Florida. "Mom, how are you?"

"Not too good", says the mother. "I've been very weak."

The son says, "Why are you so weak?"

She says, "Because I haven't eaten in 38 days."

The man says, "That's terrible! Why haven't you eaten in 38 days?"

The mother answers, "Because I didn't want my mouth to be filled with food if you should call."


A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he's been given a part in the school play.

"Wonderful! What part is it?" replies his mother.

The boy says, "I play the part of the Jewish husband."

The mother scowls "That's terrible. Go back and tell the teacher you want a speaking part."


Q: Where does a Jewish husband hide money from his wife?

A: Under the vacuum cleaner.


Q - How does a Jewish mother change a light bulb?

A -(Sigh) Don't bother, I'll sit in the dark, I don't want I should bother anybody.


Did you hear about the bum who walked up to the Jewish mother on the street and said, "Lady, I haven't eaten in three days."

"Force yourself" she replied.


Q: What's the difference between a Rottweiler and a Jewish Mother?

A: Eventually, the Rottweiler lets go.


Jewish telegram: "Start worrying. Details to follow "

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Nominated as the best short joke this year . . .

A three-year-old boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath. "Mom", he asked, "are these my brains?"

"Not yet," she replied.



Football FINALLY makes sense.......... A guy took his blonde girlfriend to her first football game. They had great seats right behind their team's bench. After the game, he asked her how she liked the experience.

"Oh, I really liked it," she replied, "especially the tight pants and all the big muscles, but I just couldn't understand why they were killing each other over 25 cents."

Dumbfounded, her date asked, "What do you mean?"

"Well, they flipped a coin, one team got it and then for the rest of the game, all they kept screaming was: 'Get the quarterback! Get the quarterback!' I'm like...Helloooooo? It's only 25 cents!!!!


Boudreaux and the Froggie

Boudreaux been fish'n down by de bayou all day an he done run outta night crawlers.

He be bout reddy to leave when he seen a snake wit a big frog in his mouf. He knowed dat dem big bass fish like frogs, so he decides to steal dat froggie.

Dat snake, he be a cotton moufed water moccasin, so Boudreaux had to be real careful or he'd get bit.

He snuk up behine de snake and grabbed him roun de haid.

Dat ole snake din't lak dat one bit. He squirmed and wrapped hisself roun Boudreaux's arm try'n to get hisself free. But Boudreaux, him, hada real good grip on his haid, yeh. Well, Boudreaux pried his mouf open and got de frog and puts it in his bait can.

Now, Boudreaux knows dat he cain't let go dat snake or he's gonna bite him good, but he had a plan. He reach into de back pocket of his bib overhauls and pulls out a pint a Tennessee hillbilly moonshine likker. He pour some drops into de snakes mouf.
Well, dat snake's eyeballs roll back in his haid and his body go limp. Wit dat, Boudreaux toss dat snake into de bayou, den he goes back to fish'n.

A while later Boudreaux dun feel sumpin tappin' on his barefoot toe.

He slowly look down and dere be dat cotton moufed water moccasin, wif two more frogs.