Responses of fetal sheep to simulated no-decompression dives

M. K. Stock, E. H. Lanphier, D. F. Anderson, L. C. Anderson, T. M. Phernetton, J. H. Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The effect of simulated standard no-decompression dives to 60 and 100 ft of seawater was tested in 12 near term sheep carrying 16 fetuses. In the immediate postdive period there were no significant changes in fetal blood pressure or fetal placental or renal blood flow, but the maternal blood pressure was elevated and the maternal placental blood flow was depressed. Six surgically prepared fetuses were dived to 100 ft. Five died within 20 min of ascent and the sixth suffered severe cardiac arrhythmia and hypotension. At autopsy all fetuses were observed to have massive bubbling in the arterial system and heart. Five fetuses were dived to 100 ft without surgery. Two were alive 3 h later and no bubbles were present at autopsy, and three were born alive at term. With the 60-ft dives, three fetuses were subjected to surgery and all suffered massive bubbling. Two fetuses were dived to 60 ft without surgery; one was alive after 3 h and the other was born alive at term. We conclude that surgery and monitoring result in the formation of postdive gas bubbles that would not otherwise appear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-780
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology


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