Decompression theory & physiology

Published by rdevanney on

A decompression theory lecture room has an old diver's helmet on display

Decompression theory & physiology


Decompression theory & physiology are both subjects that technical divers should at least have a basic knowledge of. Whilst there is a lot more to learn, there has been a huge increase in our understanding of how diving affects the human body, compared with the 1960s for example. Numerous recent studies have made the diving community rethink how it does things. Examples of this include the use of deep stops, exercising before diving, and pre-breathing oxygen before a dive.


Dr Simon Mitchell has done a huge amount to educate tech divers about decompression research and diving physiology. As well as being a diving doctor, he’s also an avid technical diver and regularly undertakes deep CCR dives. His presentations are really worth spending the time to watch. They are quite long but very well explained, and provide a fantastic overview for the average diver.


There are also a lot of good videos out there on diving physiology. Dr Neal Pollock is particularly active with presentations. He’s also a technical diver. His BSAC conference presentation on decompression stress is really interesting, and most divers will find it to be pretty eye-opening, as it challenges a lot of long-held beliefs about the generally accepted “rules” of diving.


Another interesting presentation at the 2016 BSAC conference, was on Immersion Pulmonary Edema by Dr Peter Wilmshurst. This is a poorly understood condition and is sadly something that appears to affect divers more than initially thought. Cold water divers in particular should gain an understanding of the early signs, which can easily be confused for something else. You can find it in the playlist, below.

Whilst I have curated the content below, I am not in control of it in any way. Unfortunately, if the uploader decides to delete it from youtube, it will still be in the playlist but cannot be played. I will try and keep the playlists up to date and source alternative videos in such cases.

If you come across any other good clips on youtube, please let me know.

Decompression theory presentations

Diving physiology presentations

DAN education series

Diving documentaries

thetechnicaldiver articles