Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
June 2006 Vol. 32, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Does Dehydration Increase the Risk for DCS?

from the June, 2006 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dehydration is often considered a contributor to decompression sickness (DCS), because hydration may enhance inert gas removal or increase surface tension of the blood. However, itís not been studied.

Now, in a study with pigs published in the Journal Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine by Fahlman and Dromsky at the Naval Medical Research Center, they have shown that there is an increased risk for DCS due to dehydration.

Dehydration increased the overall risk of severe DCS and death. It increased the risk of cardiopulmonary DCS, and showed a trend toward increased central nervous system DCS. In addition, dehydrated subjects manifested cardiopulmonary DCS sooner and showed a trend toward more rapid death.

Male Yorkshire pigs were compressed on air to 110 ft of seawater for 22 hours and brought directly to the surface at a rate of 30 fsw/min. The hydrated group was allowed access to water during a simulated saturation dive. The dehydrated group received intravenous diuretic medication and were not allowed access to water throughout the dive.

Of the 31 hydrated pigs, nine had cardiopulmonary DCS, eight central nervous system CNS, and four died. In the dehydrated group of 26, nineteen had cardiopulmonary DCS, six had CNS, DCS, and nine died.

The researchers concluded that in this study, hydration status at the time of decompression significantly influenced the incidence and time to the onset of DCS.

For the diver this means drink plenty of water before and between dives. That it increases your need to urinate is no excuse not to hydrate yourself. The early signs of dehydration include a flushed face, dizziness made worse when youíre standing, weakness, dry mouth, or cramping in the arms and legs.

Check the color of your urine to detect if youíre adequately hydrated. The darker yellow it is, the more likely youíre dehydrated.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2023 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.