Medical Questions

Patent Foramen Ovale and diving

After having had two incidents with mild DCS symptoms I had a PFO test done and my doctors have found a small one. I have the objective to continue diving – most probably on low bubble profiles, following recommendations of diving medics. What do you recommend?

Answer from DAN experts: 

The advice you probably have been given on low bubble diving, should include no-decompression diving on Nitrox while keeping your computer in "air" mode (and obviously taking into account the pO2 limitations imposed by the Nitrox mix), and would prevent you from having other incidents of cutaneous DCS. Avoiding strenuous exercise in the 1-2 hours after the dive and limiting the number of repetitive diving days without a "break" are also useful. Of course, should symptoms appear again, the rapid administration of 100% oxygen remains the cornerstone of first aid treatment.

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