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Course Outline

Physiology is defined as “the biological study of the functions of living organisms and their parts.” To be a qualified diver, you need to understand how being underwater affects your body. If you have questions regarding any of the following points that you feel may affect you, seek professional medical advice from a diving doctor—a physician who is trained in diving medicine.

In the “Physics” unit, you learned about several issues but, most importantly, the impact of increased water pressure on the gases you breathe underwater. You will now learn about the effects these changes can have on your body.

The following are the unit objectives.

  • Describe the respiratory and circulatory systems in the body and special concerns for divers
  • Describe the effects of various gases that divers inhale and exhale
  • Define the effects of temperature change on the body including the effects of hypothermia and hyperthermia
  • Explain the effects of pressure-related changes on the diver
  • Explain the terms nitrogen narcosis, decompression sickness (DCS), and decompression illness (DCI)
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