Doppler echo, detect silent bubbles in diving

by spotmydive

In diving, Any phase of decompression generates bubbles called silent vascular bubbles or micro-bubbles. The latter, when formed in limited quantities, are, most of the time, not pathogenic. For air diving, these bubbles are composed of nitrogen. This discovery was made in 1968 by SPENCER who updated these silent bubbles using a Doppler system. Doppler involves using a probe that emits ultrasound to explore blood flow. This type of detection allowed to validate or correct certain decompression procedures such as the ascent rate, the time and the depth of the bearings.

Becoming silent bubbles

These gas bubbles are accumulated in the lungs, which is a real filter. They are evacuated at this level by diffusion between the pulmonary capillaries and the alveoli …

Risks of micro bubbles in scuba diving

These bubbles are a vector of risk. During a too fast ascent or when decompression stops are inappropriate for the physiology of individuals, the number and / or size of microbubbles may increase, resulting in bubbles potentially causing a gas embolism. These bubbles can also be found in the general blood circulation in the case of a specific cardiac or pulmonary physiological characteristic so-called right-left shunt, but also as a result of exceeding the capacity of the pulmonary filter. The diver is at risk of decompression sickness.

How to prevent a high level of micro bubbles?

– It is necessary: To plan your dives thanks to the tables of diving or thanks to your dive computer,

– Control your ascent speed,

– Respect decompression stops recommended by tables or computer manufacturers,

– Avoid all efforts during the ascent.

O’DIVE, A New Tool for Prevention and Control

After 8 years of research and analysis of hundreds of thousands of dive profiles, the Azoth System company has developed a sensor connected to an application that allows to measure the microbubbles rate of gas detected by ultrasound in the diver’s venous system after the dive. The results, accessible on the application, indicates to the diver, taking into account his personal physiology, if the decompression procedures that he uses are adapted to his practice. The objective of O’DIVE is therefore to help the diver to objectify his choice of procedures and guide him towards decompression strategies to advance his practice and his safety.