These papers are more general reviews of the topics listed and have been selected based on searches of the Rubicon Research Repository (RRR) and questions found in online forums. They are meant to serve as a starting point for anyone interested in the contents of our collection. This is by NO means an exhaustive search or list of categories. We will continue to build on this resource as we have time so please check back with us.
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Also check out the Wikipedia In-water recompression article, we recently added images and references.
Treatment of decompression sickness (DCS) utilizing the US Navy Treatment Table 6 with oxygen at 18m is a standard of care (1). Significant delay to treatment, difficult transport, and facilities with limited experience may lead one to consider on site treatment (2). Surface oxygen for first aid has been proven to improve the efficacy of recompression and decreased the number of recompression treatments required when administered within four hours post dive (3). In-water recompression (IWR) to 9 m breathing oxygen is one option that has shown success over the years (4, 5, 6). IWR is not without risk and should be undertaken with certain precautions (4, 7, 8, 9).
Six IWR treatment tables have been published in the scientific literature. Each of these methods have several commonalities including the use of a full face mask, a tender to supervise the diver during treatment, a weighted recompression line and a means of communication. The history of the three older methods for providing oxygen at 9m (30 fsw) was described in great detail by Drs. Pyle and Youngblood (4). The fourth method for providing oxygen at 7.5 m (25 fsw) was described by Pyle at the 48th Annual UHMS Workshop on In-water Recompression in 1999 (8). More recent is the development of the Clipperton and Clipperton-(a) methods for use on a scientific mission to the atoll of Clipperton, 1,300 km from the Mexican coasts. The Clipperton method involves recompression to 9m (30 fsw) while the Clipperton-(a) rebreather method involves a recompression to 30m (98 fsw) (10).
Brief History and Risks (9, 11)
The Royal Australian Navy School of Underwater Medicine was charged to supervise the then, non-sanctioned, practice of IWR. This charge was in response to the very long delays that were associated between the presentation of DCS and recompression treatment. Dr Edmonds also described the debates about underwater oxygen treatment for DCS that are not unlike current concerns.
* Inappropriate cases for treatment
* Oxygen Toxicity
* Emergency Termination of Treatment
* Adequacy of Equipment in Remote Areas
* Operator Expertise and Training
* Safety of the Diving Attendant and the Boat Tenders
* Requirement for Medical Supervision
* Transport Availability
* Misuse of Equipment
* Pulmonary Barotrauma Cases
1. Moon RE. (2000) Recompression treatments should be to a pressure equivalent to 18 m depth. SPUMS Journal Volume 30 Number 3. RRR ID: 5865 (NOTE: Part 2 of 5 part Pro Con Debate at the 1999 SPUMS meeting.)
2. Brubakk, AO. (2000) On-site recompression treatment is acceptable for DCI. SPUMS Journal Volume 30 Number 3. RRR ID: 5871 (NOTE: Part 5 of 5 part Pro Con Debate at the 1999 SPUMS meeting.)
3. Longphre, Denoble, Moon, Vann, and Freiberger. (2007) First aid normobaric oxygen for the treatment of recreational diving injuries. Undersea Hyperb Med. Jan-Feb;34(1):43-9. RRR ID: 5514
4. Pyle and Youngblood. (1997) In-water Recompression as an emergency field treatment of decompression illness. SPUMS Journal Volume 27 Number 3. RRR ID: 6083 (NOTE: A version of this paper was originally published in aquaCorps 1995; Number 11, UNDERGROUND XPLORERS:35-46 without references.)
5. Pyle, RL. (1997) In-water Recompression (Letter to Editor). SPUMS Journal Volume 27 Number 3. RRR ID: 6076
6. Farm, Hayashi, and Beckman. (1986) Diving and decompression sickness treatment practices among Hawaii’s diving fishermen. Sea Grant Technical Report UNIHI-TP-86-01. Honolulu: Sea Grant. Sea Grant Library: UNIHI-TP-86-01
7. Knight, J. (1984) In-water oxygen recompression therapy for decompression sickness. SPUMS Journal 14(3):32-34. RRR ID: not established, check back for updates
8. Kay E, Spencer MP (eds). In Water Recompression. 48th Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society Workshop. UHMS Publication Number RC103.C3. Kensington: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society; 1999; 108 pages. RRR ID: 5629
9. Edmonds, C. (1979) Underwater oxygen treatment of decompression sickness. SPUMS Journal 9(1):17-26. RRR ID: 6221
10. Blatteau JE, Jean F, Pontier JM, Blanche E, Bompar JM, Meaudre E, Etienne JL. (2006) [Decompression sickness accident management in remote areas. Use of immediate in-water recompression therapy. Review and elaboration of a new protocol targeted for a mission at Clipperton atoll] Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. Aug;25(8):874-83. Epub 2006 Jul 21. Review. French. PMID: 16860525, Thanks to Cristiana Jones for translating this for us.
11. Edmonds, C. (1995) Underwater oxygen treatment of decompression sickness: A review. SPUMS Journal 25(3):17-26. RRR ID: 6428
Australian In-water Recompression Table
Hawaiian In-water Recompression Table
The Hawaiian IWR Table with Pyle modifications can be found in the proceedings of the DAN 2008 Technical Diving Conference (In Press) or through download from DAN here.
US Navy In-water Recompression Table
Pyle In-water Recompression Table
Clipperton In-water Recompression Tables
Elliott, D. (1997) Treatment of decompression illness following mixed gas recreational dives. SPUMS Journal Volume 27 Number 2. RRR ID: 6060
Knight, J. (2000) In-water Recompression (Workshop Review). SPUMS Journal Volume 30 Number 1. RRR ID: 5832
Mitchell SJ, Doolette DJ, Wachholz CJ, Vann RD (eds.). 2005. Management of Mild or Marginal Decompression Illness in Remote Locations Workshop Proceedings. Durham NC: Divers Alert Network. 240 pages. RRR ID: 5523
Knight, J. (1987) Diver rescue, decompression sickness and its treatment underwater using oxygen. SPUMS Journal 17(4):147-154. RRR ID: not established, check back for updates
Sullivan and Vrana. (1992) Trial of in-water oxygen recompression therapy in Antarctica. SPUMS Journal 22(1):46-51. RRR ID: not established, check back for updates
Author anonymous. (1978) A treasured incident. SPUMS Journal Volume 8 Number 1. RRR ID: 6165 NOTE: Incident report, in-water recompression on air, depth 100 fsw.
Edmonds C. In-water oxygen recompression: A potential field treatment option for technical divers. aquaCorps 1993; 5:46-49. RRR ID: Not available
Hayashi, E.M. 1989. Emergency medical care: In the tropics. Diving for Science … 1989. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences Ninth Annual Scientific Diving Symposium, American Academy of Underwater Sciences, Costa Mesa, CA, pp. 153-160. RRR ID: not established, check back for updates
Brubakk and Arntzen. (2001) The effect of in-water decompression profile on bubble formation following surface decompression with oxygen. RRR ID: 1046 Note: UHMS abstract, no paper available
Gold, Geater, Aiyarak, Juengprasert, and Chuchaisangrat. (1999) Indigenous fisherman divers of Thailand: in-water recompression. RRR ID: 774 Note: UHMS abstract, no paper available
Smith, Hardman, and Beckman. (1994) Immediate in water recompression – Does it make a difference in the pathology of central nervous system decompression sickness? RRR ID: 5632 Note: UHMS abstract, no paper available