Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

2012 Jun 5
Effect of a single pool dive on pulmonary function in asthmatic and non-asthmatic divers
Ivkovic D, Markovic M, Todorovic BS, Balestra C, Marroni A, Zarkovic M.

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single, shallow, swimming pool scuba dive on pulmonary function in divers with asthma as compared to controls. Opinions concerning the risks of diving with asthma are still contradictory and inconclusive in the diving community.

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2012 Jun 1
The ‘normobaric oxygen paradox’: does it increase haemoglobin?
De Bels D, Theunissen S, Devriendt J, Germonpre P, Lafere P, Valsamis J, Snoeck T, Meeus P & Balestra C.

Background: A novel approach to increasing erythropoietin (EPO) using oxygen (O2) (the 'normobaric oxygen paradox') has been reported in healthy volunteers. We investigated whether the EPO increase is sufficient to induce erythropoiesis by comparing two protocols of O2 administration. Methods: We compared the effect of daily versus alternate days 100% O2, breathed for 30 minutes, on haemoglobin concentrations during a 12-day period. Nine subjects underwent the two protocols six weeks apart.

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2012 Jan 1
Dive Computer Use in Recreational Diving: Insights from the DAN-DSL Database
Balestra C.

Data from the DAN Europe Diving Safety Laboratory (DSL) suggest that approximately 95% of recreational diving is carried out today using a dive computer. The most widely dived computers/algorithms, irrespective of brand, use the Bühlmann ZHL-16 or the Wienke RGBM algorithm, with roughly a 50/50 distribution across the DSL population. The vast majority of the 167 recorded decompression sickness (DCS) cases occurred without any significant violation of the respective algorithm’s limits, i.e., most occurred while using gradient factors that were well below the maximum allowed by the algorithm.

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2012 Jan 1
P-1359 - The impact of foot reexology on sleep induction in patients suering from sleeping disorders
Véron R, Balestra C, Berlémont C, Lanquart JP & Jurysta F.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the impact of foot reflexology (FR) on sleep architecture in patients suffering from sleeping disorders. Aims: Try to improve sleep quality in patients with sleep disorders using the foot reflexology.

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2011 Jun 15
Passive flooding of paranasal sinuses and middle ears as a method of equalisation in extreme breath-hold diving
Germonpré P, Balestra C, Musimu P.

Breath-hold diving is both a recreational activity, performed by thousands of enthusiasts in Europe, and a high-performance competitive sport. Several 'disciplines' exist, of which the 'no-limits' category is the most spectacular: using a specially designed heavy 'sled,' divers descend to extreme depths on a cable, and then reascend using an inflatable balloon, on a single breath. The current world record for un-assisted descent stands at more than 200 m of depth. Equalising air pressure in the paranasal sinuses and middle-ear cavities is a necessity during descent to avoid barotraumas. However, this requires active insufflations of precious air, which is thus unavailable in the pulmonary system. The authors describe a diver who, by training, is capable of allowing passive flooding of the sinuses and middle ear with (sea) water during descent, by suppressing protective (parasympathetic) reflexes during this process. Using this technique, he performed a series of extreme-depth breath-hold dives in June 2005, descending to 209 m of sea water on one breath of air.

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