If you are a diver you may know that nitrogen can have many effects on our body as we scuba dive, as we go deeper one of these concerns is nitrogen narcosis. This cognitive impairment happens as we breathe inert nitrogen gas at depth which has an anesthetic effect. Narcosis can effect individuals differently, with a wide range of possible symptoms occurring at varying depths (typically deeper than 30 meters). Though narcosis alone is not harmful, and subsides on ascending, decreased mental clarity and function while at depth can lead to scuba diving accidents.
This is why we run narcosis awareness dives in our hyperbaric chamber for public groups. With a hyperbaric physician on site, participants are taken down to 160ft/49m for 10 minutes where they can talk with the group and assess their symptoms. Following the DCIEM diving tables, we make a deco stop on the way up before ending the dive. Afterwards the group receives a talk on narcosis and dive safety from our Director, Sherri Ferguson. Completing the dive in the chamber allows for divers and non-divers to experience narcosis at depth in a fun, dry and safe environment.