Beating the Bends: The Diver's Guide to Avoiding Decompression Sickness
From the ForewardWhen I go diving I have two goals: Number one, I want to avoid an accident. Number two, I want to have fun.
Having fun is the easy part.
Avoiding injury can be easy too - as long as we know what to look for. Perhaps more than any other reason, that's why Alex Brylske wrote this book. Beating the Bends provides a wealth of life-saving information in a succinct and easy-to-understand format.
The root of most diving dangers is ignorance. Even though basic scuba courses introduce much of the information divers need to know, there's still a lot to be learned. Experience shows that too many of us consider the dive training process complete when we receive a certification card. That is a mistake that can have serious consequences.
Decompression sickness (DCS) is one subject, in particular, that is not completely addressed during the initial certification corse. Granted, many - but certainly not all - divers understnad that DCS is a function of pressure and nitrogen gas absorption. Some also know that dive tables and dive computers contain data that can be used to help avoid DCS (although practical experience shows that most divers have difficulty using the tables or don't completely understand the read-outs of their computers.) An even small group comprehends the correlation between ascent rates, safety stops, and avoiding diving injuries.
In other words, most scuba divers venture into the water with a less-than-adequate understanding of DCS and how to avoid it - perhaps the most fundamental of dive safety issues.
To be safe divers, we must not only memorize dive safety guidelines, but also understand how they have been developed. More importantly, we must incorporate them into our dives to the extent that they become second nature.
From the Foreward by Sean Combs, Past Editor of Dive Training Magazine
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: SCUBA - Some Come Up Bubbling A lot: A Primer on Decompression Sickness
Chapter 2: If You Want a Guarantee, Buy a Washing Machine: An In-depth Look at Dive Tables
Chapter 3: It Doesn't Matter What Tables You Don't Use: A Review of Dive Tables Procedures
Chapter 4: Turning on a Computer Shouldn't Mean Turning off Your Brain: Using Dive Computers Properly
Chapter 5: The Recipe for Absolute Decompression Safety - Don't Dive: Reducing the Risk of Decompression Sickness
Chapter 6: Bent?...Nah, It's Just a Strained Muscle: Dealing with Decompression Sickness