Accession Number : ADA956126

Title :   The Use of Hydrogen-Oxygen Breathing Mixtures for Deep Ocean Diving,

Corporate Author : TEXAS A AND M UNIV COLLEGE STATION HYPERBARIC LAB

Personal Author(s) : Fife, William P.

Report Date : 10 DEC 1978

Pagination or Media Count : 91

Abstract : Simulated dives were made with dogs to a depth equivalent to 1000 feet of Sea water (305 meters). Sixteen of these animals breathed a non-explosive hydrogen-oxygen mixture (hydrox) containing no more than 3% oxygen, while 12 breathed gas mixtures containing helium in place of hydrogen. In a number of dives, animals were exposed to hydrogen continuously for between 96-100 hours, 48 of which was spent at 1000 FSW. Extensive pre- and post-dive blood enzyme and hematological studies were carried out. In addition lung, brain and liver biopsies were carried out on selected animals. all such studies showed no significant abnormalities. One dive employing helium and one dive employing hydrogen proved fatal. In both instances, these fatalities were due to volatile hydrocarbons present in a cylinder of contaminated oxygen. All other animals survived the exposures. Indeed, some animals made more than one dive. Three of these animals still appear normal after 3 to 5 years post-dive. EEG studies showed no residual post-dive abnormalities and no evidence of High Pressure Nervous Syndrome while at 1000 FSW, although transient EEG abnormalities were noted during hypoxia. Techniques were developed for mixing hydrogen and oxygen in a non-explosive manner. The techniques developed for the use of hydrox appear to be reasonably safe. For the past eleven years, this laboratory has carried out over 645O hours of hydrox exposure on animals including mice, rats, dogs, and man, and has mixed approximately 200 cylinders of hydrox without an accident related to the use of hydrogen.

Descriptors :   *HYDROGEN, *RESIDUALS, *RESPIRATION, ACCIDENTS, ANIMALS, BIOPSY, BLOOD, BRAIN, DOGS, ENZYMES, HELIUM, HYDROCARBONS, HYPOXIA, LIVER, LUNG, OXYGEN, SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS, TRANSIENTS, BLOOD PRESSURE.

Subject Categories : Life Support Systems

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE