Advice from the Dive Docs

At Last!  Scientific Proof that It's
OK To Hold Your Breath! 

(As long as you do it safely!)


This month we learn about a new medical study conducted by John R. Feiner, M.D., Transplant Surgeon and Professor of Clinical Anesthesia at UCSF and a leader of the Hypoxia Lab, which is a leading center for the study of hypoxia in humans.

Doc Feiner also just so happens to be a PFI Safety Supervisor who volunteers his time and skills as a safety at PFI's Deja Blue competitions. 

As we learn in any PFI freediving class, extended periods of oxygen deprivation can produce a whole host of physiological issues including acidosis, energy failure, cell stress, and eventually cell death. But what has not been studied in as much depth is whether and to what extent short periods of hypoxia, such as those encountered by freedivers, affects our bodies negatively.  

Doc Feiner and his colleagues have just authored an extensive scientific and peer-reviewed study soon to be published in the medical journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.  A cheif finding:  "brief profound hypoxia (here defined as SaO2 50%-70% for approximately 10 minutes) is not associated with cardiovascular compromise and is tolerated by healthy humans without apparent ill effects."

That's good news for freedivers for sure! Thank you Doc Feiner for all your work to understand what's going on in our bodies while we practice this sport we love!

To read the abstract of this article at the National Institutes of Health website, CLICK HERE