[Lung function testing in children before and after an age-adapted SCUBA dive in a swimming pool]

Pneumologie. 2011 May;65(5):308-13. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1256152. Epub 2011 Feb 3.
[Article in German]


Background: The number of children that SCUBA dive is increasing. Airway narrowing while SCUBA diving can cause dangerous complications like pulmonary barotrauma and arterial gas embolism. Statistics show that children are at an increased risk. Since data are scarce, the goal of this study was to gain new knowledge about acute lung function changes in children while SCUBA diving.

Material and methods: 41 children aged 8 - 14 years underwent lung function testing (spirometry and residual volume measurement) before and after a single age-adapted SCUBA dive in a swimming pool.

Results: A significant reduction of the dynamic expiratory lung function parameters FEV (1) (p < 0.01), FEV (1)/VC (p < 0.05), MEF 75 % (p < 0.05), MEF 50 % (p < 0.01) und MEF 25 % (p < 0.05) was measured. No statistically significant change of the residual volume was found. A decrease of FEV (1) > 10 % (12 % - 21 %) was found in 5 children (12.2 %).

Conclusion: The majority of the children (87.8 %) did not show any relevant lung function changes. Five children had a considerable reduction of FEV (1). Signs indicate the importance of bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR) as a key factor. Children with asthma or BHR should not SCUBA dive. A detailed medical examination is recommended (including an unspecific bronchial provocation test) before starting to dive.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adolescent
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Child
  • Diving / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Swimming Pools