This colourless, tasteless gas that we all breathe and take for granted, along with food and water, is of fundamental importance to life. Without oxygen we, as humans, wouldn’t survive.
Oxygen derives it’s name from the Greek words ‘oxys’ meaning ‘acid’ and ‘gonos’ meaning ‘producer’. Oxygen is the most abundant chemical element by mass in the Earth’s biosphere (air, land and sea) and the third most abundant chemical element in the universe.
You may remember from your PADI diver courses that air contains 21% oxygen but did you know that oxygen accounts for two thirds of the mass of the human body and nine tenths of the mass of water!
The importance of oxygen when you go diving
When you exhale, the air you exhale still contains has a 16-17% oxygen content. That means your body is only using about a quarter of the oxygen inhaled which is why rescue breaths (mouth to mouth or mouth to pocket mask) can supply an injured diver with enough oxygen to support life.
The efficiency and effectiveness can be increased with the addition of emergency oxygen. Why does oxygen help you might ask? In general, injuries/illnesses specific to scuba diving, interrupt the amount of oxygen in the blood and the rate of blood flow.
By increasing the concentration of oxygen breathed by a diver suffering from something like Decompression Sickness (DCS), emergency oxygen can increase the chances of survival of damaged tissues or tissues with a poor blood supply. Your assistance on site could make a real difference and even save a life.
Matt Clements – “I am a passionate diver and go diving whenever I get chance. I signed up for the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course because I wanted to know what to do and be able to help another diver/buddy if they were in trouble. The course showed me not only why oxygen is important in a diving emergency but also how to set up an oxygen units with different delivery systems. Although I hope to never have to use these skills I am confident now I could help a diver if they needed it.”
PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course
The PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course consists of a manual and one classroom session. You will gain the skills knowledge and skills to recognise diving illnesses treatable by emergency oxygen, properly setup equipment and administer emergency oxygen
Being the best buddy you can be means being prepared – especially in a time of need. To make sure you are ready to assist a diver in distress click the following link to find out more and/or to sign up – PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course