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Nitrogen Narcosis Mitigation
zaheer2alvi - 8/14/2007 7:55 AM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 0
Some diving organisations teach their divers to frequently check their mental state while immersed using the "thumbs test". The two companions regularly show each other their fingers. One shows a number of fingers (e.g. 2), and then the other must respond by showing back one more or one less (i.e. 3 or 1), depending on previous agreement. If either of them botches the arithmetic, they should suspect narcosis. Because of similar and additive effects, divers should avoid sedating medications and drugs, such as marijuana and alcohol before any dive. In addition to dehydration increasing the risk for decompression illness, a hangover, combined with the reduced physical capacity that goes with it, makes nitrogen narcosis more likely. Experts recommend total abstinence from alcohol at least 24 hours before diving, and longer for heavy drinking. Abstinence time needed for marijuana is unknown, but due to the much longer half-life of the active agent of this drug in the body, it is likely to be longer than for alcohol.