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Diving Into the Prevention of Injuries

            Diving Into the Prevention of Injuries.
             Scuba diving is an exciting and fun sport; however, it can be a costly and dangerous one too. If divers learn how to recognize, prevent, and treat oxygen toxicity, nitrogen narcosis, and decompression sickness the sport will be safer. .
             Recreational scuba diving is defined as pleasure diving to a depth of 130 feet without decompression stops. Several scuba-certifying agencies offer training for divers, from beginners to experts. Three of the agencies are the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and Scuba Schools International (SSI). Basic classes involve classroom instruction and training in a pool and open water settings. The most popular courses last from 4 to 8 weeks; however, there are resort courses offered in an abbreviated time but more limitations are placed on the diver. Fortunately, serious medical problems are uncommon in recreational scuba divers. While there are millions of dives each year in the Unites States, only about 90 deaths are reported each year worldwide. In addition, fewer than 1,000 divers worldwide require recompression therapy to treat severe dive-related, health problems. .
             Because we need oxygen to live, it may seem strange to learn that it can be toxic in high amounts and pressures. In fact, if you were to fill your scuba tank with pure oxygen instead of compressed air, you could experience oxygen problems in very shallow water. This is why you should always fill your tank with compressed air.
             The oxygen in compressed air, which contains only 21% oxygen, can be toxic too. This does not normally occur until you descend past the recommended maximum limit of 100 feet for recreational diving (PADI, Open Water 199). Breathing oxygen at high partial pressure makes it toxic. In atmospheric air at sea level, the partial pressure of oxygen is 0.

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