Image_1_Evaluation of Divers’ Neuropsychometric Effectiveness and High-Pressure Neurological Syndrome via Computerized Test Battery Package and Questionnaires in Operational Setting.JPEG
Introduction: When divers are compressed to water depths deeper than 150 meter sea water (msw), symptoms of high-pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS) might appear due to rapid increase in pressure on the central nervous system during compression. The aim of this study was to first operate a new computerized tool, designed to monitor divers’ wellbeing and cognitive function, and to record the results. The second aim was to evaluate the feasibility and validity of the Physiopad software and HPNS questionnaires as a new tool for monitoring divers wellbeing in an operational setting, including sensible visualization and presentation of results.
Methods: The Physiopad was operated onboard Deep Arctic (TechnipFMC Diving Support Vessel). The diving work was performed between 180 and 207 msw. The data from 46 divers were collected from the HPNS questionnaires, Hand dynamometry test, Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency test (CFFF), Adaptive Visual Analog Scale (AVAS), Simple Math Process (MathProc test), Perceptual Vigilance Task (PVT), and Time Estimation Task (time-wall).
Result: Diver’s subjective evaluation revealed different symptoms, possibly also HPNS related, which lasted from 1 to 5 days in storage, with the common duration being 1 day. The results from Physiopad battery testing showed no signs of significant neurological alteration.
Conclusion: The present study showed that there was no association between subjective measurements of HPNS and neuropsychometric test results. We also confirmed the feasibility of using the computerized test battery to monitor saturation divers at work. The HPNS battery and Physiopad software could be an important tool for monitoring diver’s health in the future. This tool was not used during the Bahr Essalam project to operationally evaluate any HPNS effect on divers as data analysis was performed post-project.
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