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Lung Diffusing Capacity in Dutch Special Operations Forces Divers Exposed to Oxygen Rebreathers over 18 Years

1
Royal Netherlands Navy Diving and Submarine Medical Center, 1780 CA Den Helder, The Netherlands
2
Department of Anesthesiology, Amsterdam University Medical Center, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Amsterdam University Medical Center, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John T. Hancock
Oxygen 2022, 2(2), 40-47; https://doi.org/10.3390/oxygen2020005
Received: 1 March 2022 / Revised: 24 March 2022 / Accepted: 25 March 2022 / Published: 31 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Oxygen)
Exposure to hyperoxic conditions can induce pulmonary oxygen toxicity (POT). Divers of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) use oxygen rebreather systems during dives, and therefore are frequently exposed to hyperoxic conditions. Few studies have reported on POT in this population. This study reports on long-term pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and diffusing capacity in SOF divers to test the hypothesis that these measures of pulmonary function do not change clinically significantly during their career. The Royal Netherlands Navy performs yearly medical assessments of its military divers. All PFT and diffusing capacity data of SOF divers between the years 2000 and 2020 were analyzed using generalized estimating equations. The study included 257 SOF divers (median age, 27; interquartile range, 24–32), with 1612 dive medical assessments and a maximum follow-up time of 18.8 years. Alveolar volume (VA) and the diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (TLCO) were significantly lower at baseline in smokers. Although these parameters were within the normal range, they declined over time and were significantly associated with age and years of diving. Smoking additionally affected TLCO and the transfer coefficient for carbon monoxide (KCO). TLCO and KCO were reduced by years of diving with oxygen rebreathers, albeit over clinically insignificant ranges, but smoking increased these changes by factors of 10 and 15, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: long-term health effects; pulmonary function testing; TLCO; DLCO; hyperoxia long-term health effects; pulmonary function testing; TLCO; DLCO; hyperoxia
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MDPI and ACS Style

den Ouden, T.H.B.; Wingelaar, T.T.; Endert, E.L.; van Ooij, P.-J.A.M. Lung Diffusing Capacity in Dutch Special Operations Forces Divers Exposed to Oxygen Rebreathers over 18 Years. Oxygen 2022, 2, 40-47. https://doi.org/10.3390/oxygen2020005

AMA Style

den Ouden THB, Wingelaar TT, Endert EL, van Ooij P-JAM. Lung Diffusing Capacity in Dutch Special Operations Forces Divers Exposed to Oxygen Rebreathers over 18 Years. Oxygen. 2022; 2(2):40-47. https://doi.org/10.3390/oxygen2020005

Chicago/Turabian Style

den Ouden, Tom H.B., Thijs T. Wingelaar, Edwin L. Endert, and Pieter-Jan A.M. van Ooij. 2022. "Lung Diffusing Capacity in Dutch Special Operations Forces Divers Exposed to Oxygen Rebreathers over 18 Years" Oxygen 2, no. 2: 40-47. https://doi.org/10.3390/oxygen2020005

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