Joined: 11 Dec 2005
|Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:29 am Post subject: Flying after SCUBA diving
|The necessity to wait a specific time between diving in flying is all based on the theory of nitrogen elimination. When we scuba dive we absorb nitrogen and it takes more time to off-gas because it's absorbed in tissues that are slower to circulate. It takes up to 24 hours to off-gas nitrogen from one scuba dive. To reduce the chances of suffering from decompression sickness (DCS) one must follow the guidelines and not fly for the suggested time.
NAUI recommends the following:
- Up to 2 hours of bottom time in the last 2 days ... 12 hours before you fly
- Multiple dives on multiple days ... 24 hours before you fly
- Decompression dives ... 48 hours before you fly
Other agencies may have more or less conservative guidelines.
PADI recommendations are:
- Single dives ... minimum preflight surface interval of 12 hours is suggested
- Repetitive dives or Multiday dives ... minimum preflight surface interval of 18 hours is suggested
- For dives requiring decompression stops ... minimum preflight surface interval of greater than 18 hours is suggested
However these recommendations cannot guarantee that DCS will never occur. These guidelines represent the best estimate presently known for a conservative, safe surface interval for the vast majority of divers. There always may be an occasional diver whose physiological make up or special dive circumstances result in DCS despite following the recommendations.
Flying after dive recommendations change as we learn more about how pressure changes affect the body. Stay current and follow the most current recommendations. You are responsible for your own dive safety and behavior.