Dr Derek Covington is an anesthesiologist and an avid technical and closed circuit rebreather (CCR) diver based in the USA.
He is currently pursuing a fellowship specializing in undersea and hyperbaric medicine at the University of California - San Diego (UCSD). In addition to clinical activities related to diving, he is also involved with diving medicine research.
Recently a team in Italy published an article detailing an experiment that utilized an ingenious underwater echocardiographic setup to examine the real-time effects of immersion and open-circuit SCUBA equipment on the heart. They found that divers demonstrated diastolic dysfunction (or impaired relaxation of the heart in between beats) not only during immersion, but also, quite interestingly, after the dive. The article is entitled "Cardiovascular changes during SCUBA diving: an underwater Doppler echocardiographic study" and is published in the journal Acta Physiologica.
The study intrigued Dr Covington hence he contacted Dr. Marabotti in Italy to see if he would like to tailor two similar experiments involving different breathing gases (enriched air nitrox / trimix) and another using CCRs. Fortunately, he agreed. As a result a study has been scheduled in early 2016 at Y40 in Italy. (The deepest pool in the world.)
Dr Covington is therefore looking for both open circuit and CCR divers to participate in this study. If you are interested in taking part, please email him via the above link to receive additional information regarding the study as well as the consent.
The open circuit portion of the study is scheduled for Monday 29 February with the CCR portion of the study behind conducted on Monday 7 March 2016.