Sea Legs: sharpened Romberg test after three days on a live-aboard dive boat

Gibbs, Clinton R., Commons, Katherine H., Brown, Lawrence H., and Blake, Denise F. (2010) Sea Legs: sharpened Romberg test after three days on a live-aboard dive boat. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, 40 (4). pp. 189-194.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://www.spums.org.au/page/journal-inf...

Abstract

Introduction: The sharpened Romberg test (SRT) is commonly used by diving and hyperbaric physicians as an indicator of neurological decompression illness (DCI). People who spend a prolonged time on a boat a sea experience impairment in their balance on returning to shore, a condition known as mal de debarquement ('sea legs'). This conditioning of the vestibular system to the rocking motion of the boat at sea may impact on the utility of the SRT in assessing a diver with potential DCI after a live-aboard dive trip. Aim: To assess the impact 'sea legs' has on the SRT after three days on a live-aboard dive trip.

Methods: Thirty-nine staff and passengers of a three-day, live-aboard dive trip performed a SRT before and after their journey, with assessment of potential variables, including middle-ear barotrauma, alcohol consumption, sea-sickness and occult DCI.

Results: There was no statistically significant impact on SRT performance, with 100% completion pre-trip and 35 out of 36 divers (97.2%) post-trip. There were trends towards more attempts being required and time needed for successful SRT post-trip, but these were not statistically significant. There was a small, but noteworthy incidence of middle-ear barotrauma, with seven people affected pre-trip, and 13 post-trip. There was a higher incidence in student divers. Middle-ear barotrauma did not appear to have a direct impact on SRT performance.

Conclusions: There was no significant impact on SRT performance resulting from 'sea legs' after three days at sea. Recreational divers, especially dive students, have substantial incidence of middle-ear barotrauma.

Item ID: 15775
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: decompression illness, sharpened Romberg Test, motion sickness
Related URLs:
ISSN: 1833-3516
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2011 04:50
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110305 Emergency Medicine @ 60%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 30%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150699 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 30%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 10%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
Downloads: Total: 6
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page