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General Course Information for PMTX 1022X: Medical Aspects of Diving

Course: PMTX 1022X - Medical Aspects of Diving
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description:

Initial instruction on basic anatomy and physiology of the body related to diving, particularly the systems affected by hyperbaric or hydrostatic pressure. Learn to recognize, prevent, and provide care for the following diving maladies: decompression sickness, near drowning, squeezes and barotraumas, hypothermia, hyperthermia, hypoxia, anoxia, dyspnea, CO2 toxicity, CO poisoning, oxygen toxicity, nitrogen narcosis; and over inflation conditions of: pneumothorax, emphysema (subcutaneous and mediastinal), and arterial gas embolism.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe and explain the normal function of the following human systems affected by diving and hyperbaric exposures: Skin, Respiratory, Cardiovascular and Lymphatic, Nervous, Blood, and Sensory (Ears), and musculoskeletal.
  • Explain the physiological problems associated with breathing gases: asphyxia, hypoxia/anoxia, hypercapnia, hyperventilation, shallow-water blackout, carbon monoxide poisoning, nitrogen narcosis and oxygen toxicity (CNS and Pulmonary).
  • Explain the mechanical effects of pressure on the human body and the problems associated with barotrauma or squeeze: ears, sinuses, face, body, eyes, dental, and lung.
  • Describe the mechanism of injury, symptoms, treatment, and methods of prevention of the various pulmonary over-inflation syndromes (Arterial Gas Embolism, Pneumothorax, Mediastinal Emphysema, and Subcutaneous Emphysema).
  • Explain the bubble theory which explains how decompression sickness develops in relationship to ongassing, off gassing, saturation of tissues, and supersaturation.
  • Describe the mechanism of injury, symptoms, treatment, and methods of prevention of Decompression Sickness (DCS) (Type I and Type II).
  • Explain the concept of recompression to treat decompression sickness and how hyperbaric oxygen is a better treatment than recompression alone.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use a given set of Treatment Flow Tables used for selecting treatment tables and be able to select the proper treatment table based on a given scenario and select a USN standard treatment table.
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete a treatment chart on a hyperbaric recompression treatment involving decompression sickness, arterial gas embolism, or reoccurrences.
  • List the symptoms of CNS oxygen toxicity and describe the proper rules for resolving CNS oxygen toxicity symptoms during a hyperbaric recompression treatment or surface decompression procedure.
  • Explain how to use the air treatment tables 1A, 2A, 3, or 4 if oxygen is not available on a chamber.
  • Explain how to manage and handle a diver if decompression sickness occurs during ascent, at a water stop, during surface interval, or during surface decompression.
  • Explain how to properly transport a diver stricken with decompression illness to a chamber if a chamber is not on site.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct a quick neurological examination to determine if a diver has any serious symptoms of decompression illness.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures