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# How to calculate oxygen toxicity in scuba diving

#### Bydreamtravel

Feb 14, 2024

## How to Calculate Oxygen Toxicity in Scuba Diving

Oxygen toxicity is a serious diving hazard that can occur when a diver breathes oxygen at too high a partial pressure for too long. Oxygen toxicity can cause a variety of symptoms, including seizures, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, oxygen toxicity can be fatal.

The maximum partial pressure of oxygen that a diver can safely breathe depends on a number of factors, including the depth of the dive, the duration of the dive, and the diver’s individual susceptibility to oxygen toxicity.

The following formula can be used to calculate the maximum partial pressure of oxygen that a diver can safely breathe:

“`
Maximum PO2 = (1 – (Depth / 33)) 1.4
“`

where:

Maximum PO2 is the maximum partial pressure of oxygen in atmospheres absolute (ATA)
Depth is the depth of the dive in feet
33 is the depth in feet at which the partial pressure of oxygen is 1 ATA
1.4 is a safety factor

For example, a diver who is planning to dive to a depth of 60 feet for 60 minutes would have a maximum PO2 of:

“`
Maximum PO2 = (1 – (60 / 33)) 1.4 = 1.2 ATA
“`

This means that the diver could safely breathe oxygen at a partial pressure of up to 1.2 ATA for 60 minutes.

## Symptoms of Oxygen Toxicity

The symptoms of oxygen toxicity can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Mild symptoms of oxygen toxicity include:

Nausea
Vomiting
Dizziness
Confusion
Twitching
Seizures

Severe symptoms of oxygen toxicity can include:

Unconsciousness
Respiratory arrest
Cardiac arrest

## Treatment for Oxygen Toxicity

The treatment for oxygen toxicity is to stop breathing oxygen and to breathe air or another gas that contains a lower partial pressure of oxygen. In severe cases, the diver may need to be given oxygen by a ventilator.

## Prevention of Oxygen Toxicity

The best way to prevent oxygen toxicity is to avoid breathing oxygen at too high a partial pressure for too long. Divers should follow the following guidelines to reduce their risk of oxygen toxicity:

Use a dive computer to monitor the partial pressure of oxygen in your breathing gas.
Plan your dives carefully and stay within the safe limits for oxygen exposure.
Take breaks from breathing oxygen during long dives.
Avoid diving with a high partial pressure of oxygen if you are pregnant or have a history of seizures.

## Conclusion

Oxygen toxicity is a serious diving hazard that can be avoided by following the guidelines in this article. Divers should be aware of the symptoms of oxygen toxicity and know how to treat it. By following these guidelines, divers can reduce their risk of oxygen toxicity and enjoy safe and enjoyable dives.

[NOAA Diving Manual](https://www.ndc.noaa.gov/training/manuals/diving-manual/pressure-related-hazards)

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