18-4 Change A
U.S. Navy Diving ManualVolume 4
Treatment of Nonconvulsive Symptoms. The stricken diver should alert his dive
buddy and make a controlled ascent to the surface. The victims life preserver
should be inflated (if necessary) with the dive buddy watching him closely for
progression of symptoms.
Treatment of Underwater Convulsion. The following steps should be taken when
treating a convulsing diver:
Assume a position behind the convulsing diver. The weight belt should be left
in place to prevent the diver from assuming a face down position on the
surface. Release the victims weight belt only if progress to the surface is
Leave the victims mouthpiece in his mouth. If it is not in his mouth, do not
attempt to replace it; however, if time permits, ensure that the mouthpiece is
switched to the SURFACE position.
Grasp the victim around his chest above the UBA or between the UBA and his
body. If difficulty is encountered in gaining control of the victim in this
manner, the rescuer should use the best method possible to obtain control. The
UBA waist or neck strap may be grasped if necessary.
Make a controlled ascent to the surface, maintaining a slight pressure on the
divers chest to assist exhalation.
If additional buoyancy is required, activate the victims life jacket. The rescuer
should not release his own weight belt or inflate his own life jacket.
Upon reaching the surface, inflate the victims life jacket if not previously
Remove the victims mouthpiece and switch the valve to SURFACE to
prevent the possibility of the rig flooding and weighing down the victim.
Signal for emergency pickup.
Once the convulsion has subsided, open the victims airway by tilting his head
10. Ensure the victim is breathing. Mouth-to-mouth breathing may be initiated if
11. If an upward excursion occurred during the actual convulsion, transport to the
nearest chamber and have the victim evaluated by an individual trained to
recognize and treat diving-related illness.
Oxygen Deficiency (Hypoxia). Oxygen deficiency, or hypoxia, is the condition in
which the partial pressure of oxygen is too low to meet the metabolic needs of the
body. Chapter 3 contains an in-depth description of this disorder. In the context of