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Thread: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

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    www.AddHelium.com Add Helium has a spectacular aura about Add Helium has a spectacular aura about Add Helium has a spectacular aura about Add Helium has a spectacular aura about Add Helium has a spectacular aura about Add Helium's Avatar
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    Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    “It is a beautiful sunny day. The ocean is calm and there is no current. In short: a perfect day to plunge into the sea and dive the Spiegel Grove. The water is comfortable at 81 degrees and the visibility is over 100 ft. We are a team of four divers on rebreathers and it is going to be an easy dive.


    About 35 minutes into the dive, I start coughing. First it only happens intermittently but over time, the coughing increases. I am beginning to notice mild wheezing when I breathe out. Because it feels harder to exhale, I reassess my loop volume, but everything checks out fine. I am less interested in the dive now and am becoming more interested in what is happening to me.

    With my next cough, I get a slight metallic taste in my mouth. My chest feels tighter and the wheezing is worse. Not wanting to alarm my buddies, I am signaling that I am going up but that I am okay. I make it out of the wreck and swim toward the up-line. Breathing is more and more laborious. I bail to open-circuit just in case there is something wrong with my unit. Breathing from the regulator, however, is not relieving my symptoms. I am constantly coughing and with it, bring up metallic tasting liquid. Putting all of my signs and symptoms together, I conclude that I am in pulmonary edema.

    Read more...
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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    "...it has been reported in military combat swimmers, triathletes, snorkelers, open circuit divers and CCR-diver..."

    Did NOT know that fact!

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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    I believe I have experienced it twice, the last time was late last year. I noticed that I was wheezing and coughing. I originally thought I had aspirated some water but later came to the conclusion that wasn't the problem. I don't remember doing anything different on either dive, neither were deco dives. I didn't notice the other symptoms but I was getting worried. I'll have to remember to cut down on exertion also. Good article, I'll have to remember this if it should happen again.

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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    I am glad the article is well received. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

    Claudia R

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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    Great job with the article, Claudia. Thanks for sharing your experience and making a lot of divers out there aware of this condition.

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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    Thank you very much. All news to me. Such a well done article with pertenant illustrations is a gift to the rest of us, thank you for taking the time Claudia.

    I hope this is not off topic, but I have thoughts on waving off ones buddies when having a minor problem. A recent event where a buddy had a problem that turned into two problems and could have became a full fledged incedent, has me reviewing my policy on thumbed dives. I now accompany my buddy up, and out, no matter what, if a dive is thumbed.

    For me there are too many constraints to underwater communications to consider a special signal for IPE. A recent event where a dive companion suffered a DCI hit has reminded me that one of the greatest dangers when dealing with any diving issue is denial. It may be that the one in difficulty is the least capable of determining just how serious an issue is or can quickly become. I now plan to be in the face of a buddy with a problem, and plan to demand the same from my buddies.

    Peter

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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    Very good article indeed..
    Thanks Claudia..

    I was not aware of this before at all..
    Should be included in all scuba classes !

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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitrogenius  View Original Post
    Very good article indeed..
    Thanks Claudia..

    I was not aware of this before at all..
    Should be included in all scuba classes !
    The phenomena of IPE is considered (was considered) a rare event. Looking at the recent reports that are coming in from multiple forums, I suspect that it is not so rare at all. When it happened to me, I was shocked that it could. After all, I am a very fit diver. Post-testing confirmed that my heart is functioning flawlessly and that I very well conditioned. Yet, it did not matter!

    The more aware we as divers are, the better our survival.

    Claudia R.

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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    If you suffer an episode of IPE does this mean you can/ should not dive again?

    We had an OC diver in our club suffer from IPE last year, it was a very scary experience not knowing what was happening to him. He recovered and was advised by our local hyperbaric specialist not to dive again.

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    RBW Member dreamdive has disabled reputation dreamdive's Avatar
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    Re: Do you know about Immersion Pulmonary Edema? You should...

    Difficult to answer.

    First, it would be prudent to make sure that it was true IPE and not pulmonary edema from a cardiac cause or other underlying medical condition. An echo and stress test can be useful.

    Second, I have heard that once it happens to a person the first time, it can happen again (I don't have data on it though). But my take on this is: since it can happen to anybody anytime, should we all stop diving? It's a personal decision were risks vs. benefits has to be weighed.

    If overhydration and cold water aggravate the possibility of IPE, I decided (personal decision) to remain in warmer climates and have plenty of coffee in the morning. I do make sure that I hydrate well after the dive(s) of the day.

    It's a very personal choice.

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