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Health A Sista Out Group

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Micah Fomichev
Micah Fomichev

Narcosis [TOP]

The well-known correlation between the hydrophobicity of narcotic chemicals and the exposure concentration needed to produce an effect indicates that a lipid phase in the aquatic organism is the most likely target. The molar concentration in aquatic organisms at death is found to be approximately constant for different narcotic chemicals, varying from 2 to 8 mmol/kg organism. Because the proportion of lipid is known, the lethal in vivo membrane burden can be calculated to be 40 to 160 mmol/kg lipid. The exact mechanism underlying narcosis is still unknown. However, disturbance by narcotic chemicals in model membrane systems has been investigated, attention having been paid to disturbance of phospholipids and proteins, and of the interaction between the two groups. Model membrane burdens of different chemicals have been shown to be approximately constant for a particular effect. Different effects are found at different membrane concentrations. In the present review, the toxicity of narcotic chemicals to aquatic organisms is discussed, the possible mechanisms underlying narcosis are reviewed, and a comparison is made between membrane burdens that are lethal in vivo and membrane burdens that cause an effect in in vitro systems.


Many other chemicals that you would not suspect can also cause narcosis. For example, even though nitrogen gas comprises 78% of the air we breathe and is considered chemically inert (unreactive) it can cause narcosis under certain conditions.

While nitrogen narcosis is a temporary condition, it can have serious health consequences. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of nitrogen narcosis and what to do if you or someone else experiences them.

In most cases, nitrogen narcosis clears up once you reach shallower water. But symptoms like confusion and poor judgement can make this hard to do. With a little preplanning and awareness, you can continue diving safely and reduce your risk of nitrogen narcosis and its potential complications.

Next comes a feeling of euphoria. Divers compare the feeling to mild intoxication or getting the happy gas (nitrous oxide) at the dentist, but nitrogen narcosis affects everyone a little differently. Some divers, myself included, feel anxious and pessimistic instead of elated.

Narcosis occurs on long and deep dives thanks to the increased pressure at depth. The consensus is that nitrogen is the largest culprit, however, CO2 may play a large role in freediving narcosis as well.

Nitrogen narcosis happens to freedivers and SCUBA divers alike. It is more common for SCUBA divers, since they spend more time at depth. However, it is a concern for freedivers as well, especially for deeper divers.

My conclusion is that pure CO2 narcosis is absolutely possible. I can get pure CO2 narcosis from STATIC APNEA during a dry static CO2 table. Once I pass 10.0% CO2, then the symptoms I get are very similar to the type of narcosis I would get on 80m+ dives with fluid goggles and brain freeze and blackness.

Walid is also an instructor trainer and coach with tons experience in all disciplines. You can reach out to him for coaching on narcosis, equalization techniques, strength training for freediving and much more.

Walid has noticed that narcosis really affects him during the ascent, and this could potentially be due to the increase in CO2 production in the body at depth. Walid thinks that this is one of the major differences in SCUBA vs. freediving: NARCOSIS IS EXPERIENCED MAINLY DURING THE ASCENT!

Darkness also affects him negatively. He now trains with fluid goggles rather than just a noseclip in order to see and remain lucid underwater. When he uses fluid goggles narcosis is far more manageable.

We also know that narcosis really affects deep freedivers during the ascent and even at the surface. Training to adapt to this and focusing on a good surface protocol is challenging, but necessary for deep freediving.

For deep dives, some people use mixes of oxygen, helium, and nitrogen (a trimix) or of just oxygen and helium (a heliomix) to reduce or eliminate the chance of nitrogen narcosis. Scuba enthusiasts also emphasize the importance of looking out for your dive buddy for signs of impairment, and ascending in the event of these symptoms.

Even though we learn that narcosis begins from 30m(100ft), this is not so with all divers. Each diver is different and not everyone is narced once past 30m (100ft). As with alcohol, some divers are affected before, others later, in different ways and intensities. It depends mainly on the physiology of each diver. But no one escapes narcosis once crossed the border of 40m(130ft). That is one of the reasons why the maximum depth established for recreational diving is 40 metres (130 ft) in most countries.

The first symptoms of nitrogen narcosis are subtle, "A lot of people have narcosis but don't ever know it because they're never called upon to do anything but breathe. It's when something happens that requires a response that they get in trouble," says Hal Watts, who has trained thousands of deep divers at Forty Fathom Grotto in Ocala, Fla.

10 Tips to Avoid Nitrogen Narcosis1. Take a course in deep diving from a qualified instructor. You'll learn warning signs of narcosis and skills in coping with it, and you'll gain confidence. Nitrogen narcosis can build on anxiety.

A 72-year-old Caucasian man with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was admitted to the emergency department because of worsening dyspnea and an oxygen saturation of 81% measured by pulse oximetry. Oxygen was administered using a non-rebreathing mask with an oxygen reservoir bag attached. For fear of removing the hypoxic stimulus to respiration the oxygen flow was inappropriately limited to 4L/minute. The patient developed carbon dioxide narcosis and had to be intubated and mechanically ventilated.

Commonly referred to as nitrogen narcosis, it is now often referred to by the more accurate name of inert gas narcosis. It has been found that other gasses than nitrogen can cause the narcosis effect.

Inert gas narcosis theoretically affects all divers descending below 66 feet (20 meters), though the severity of the narcosis varies greatly from diver to diver. And even from dive to dive. For reasons not entirely understood.

However, due to the feeling of euphoria and elation often caused by the narcosis, the affected diver may not be able to make the assessment that they are affected. Therefore they will not themselves make the decision to decrease their depth.

If you ever dive to depths where you think nitrogen narcosis is affecting you, a simple test would be to see how easily you can add single digit numbers in your head. You would be surprised even at relatively moderate depths.

Anyone who has strapped on dive gear and ventured into the water using compressed air at depths out of the ordinary (more than 100 feet) has suffered from the effects of Nitrogen Narcosis. Symptoms such as dizziness, anxiety, a feeling of euphoria, reasoning, memory recollection problems, as well as an overwhelming sense of well-being are all potential side effects of visiting the abyss, but once back on the surface the effects of nitrogen narcosis goes away almost immediately.

Deepwater fishes are few and far between in the marine aquarium trade, and when infrequently available, they normally fetch very large sums of money. Two of the most expensive Angelfish species include the barber pole colored Centropyge boylei and the bright yellow Centropyge narcosis. Both species are incredibly rare in the aquarium trade due to their restricted range, remote habitats and extreme depths where they reside.

The one downside to maintaining Centropyge narcosis with fleshy stony corals was its fondness for sessile corals such as Fungiids, where it would frequently pick at Cycloseris and Fungia species, as well as some Chalice Corals such as Echinophyllia, Echinopora, and Mycedium species on occasion in the conditioning aquarium. All of the Chalice fared well and were healthy enough to overcome the infrequent irritation from the Angelfish, but some of the Fungiids still have yet to fully recover to this day as they were the preferred target.

Throughout their training, scuba divers are made aware of the many risks that come with deep water diving. These can vary from malfunctioning equipment to something as serious as a fatal health condition. In this article, we shall discuss one of the more uncommon but very real threats that come with scuba diving: nitrogen narcosis.

Nitrogen narcosis should not be confused with decompression sickness or the bends, which takes place when inhaled nitrogen forms bubbles in the blood and tissues and were not effectively eliminated through exhalation because the diver stayed underwater too long or ascended too fast. These small bubbles can block blood flow to certain parts of the body, potentially leading to irreversible tissue damage and even death.

When nitrogen narcosis strikes, nitrogen can start acting like an anesthetic and reduce your mental powers to those of a staggering drunk. Complex thought can become variably harder, and the head can feel extremely cloudy. It will be hard to think of multiple things at the same time, which can be a real problem since diving is a multitasking activity that involves monitoring and dealing with many things at the same time, like buoyancy, depth, tank pressure, your buddy, etc.

Divers have been known to do some pretty amusing things while experiencing nitrogen narcosis. They typically act as if they were drunk on alcohol or high on stimulating drugs. Affected divers will sometimes chase fish, hear fish sing or talk, and so on.

The effects of nitrogen narcosis are completely reversible. The first step typically involves the diver simply ascending to a shallower depth at a safe rate and allowing the pressure of the nitrogen to decrease. 041b061a72


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