Increased safety in freediving by preventing blackout

Identifying physiological markers that can be used to predict hypoxic “blackout” in freedivers

Carlos Negrete på väg mot ytan efter ett dyk till 45 meter, möts upp av säkerhetsdykare.

The main goal of the project is to identify physiological markers that can be used to predict hypoxic “blackout” in freedivers, so that divers can be made more aware of when a dive should be interrupted in order to safely return to the surface. A second goal is to determine when a diver is rested enough to safely dive again.

In the course of this project we will attempt to perform experiments both in the field and in the controlled setting of a laboratory with the different groups of freedivers. In the lab it will be possible to investigate a wide range of physiological parameters that are known to be important during breath-holding and freediving.

However, in order to investigate these physiological parameters during actual freediving in the water it is important to point out the fact that there are almost no commercially available methods to perform these measurements due to pressure related complications.

This project therefor aims to use newly developed devices capable of measuring a few of the physiological parameters that are known to be important during freediving. By combining both the results from the lab and from the field we will attempt to identify the most crucial factors involved in blackout.