Talking to Derek Marshall about his life changing Decompression injury.

Over a brew Derek tells me how a relatively easy dive up in Scapa Flow ended in disaster and him being put in the chamber.

We start our brew by discussing his fantastic beard, and my envy of it. Then move on to how Derek progressed as a diver to the point he was on the build up to diving a twinset with his regular buddy in Scapa Flow before he noticed he wasn't feeling right. This was later found out to be a bend linked to a PFO.

🔴 What is it?
A patent foramen ovale, sometimes known as a persistent foramen ovale or PFO, is a small hole between the atria of the heart. It is required during intrauterine development of a foetus and should close shortly after birth. In 20-25% of the population this does not occur and the small hole remains open or ‘persists’. It is very common (1 in 4 approximately) and rarely causes any problems throughout life however can become problematic when considering SCUBA diving.

🔴 What’s the problem with scuba diving with a PFO?
During scuba diving inert gases (usually nitrogen) build up in the tissues. Occasionally, these bubbles can cause Decompression Illness.

🔴 There are two types of Decompression Illness (DCI): Decompression Sickness and Arterial Gas Embolism.
Arterial Gas Embolism happens when a bubble of inert gas escapes and lodges into a smaller blood vessel causing the blood supply to be interrupted. This can happen anywhere in the body but most commonly occurs in the blood supply of the brain causing stroke like symptoms.
If you have a PFO, an Arterial Gas Embolus is more likely as the hole in the heart can act as a “bypass” mechanism for bubbles into the arterial blood system. Therefore, making it more likely that you will get Decompression Illness. 

Grab yourself a brew and listen to this interesting story.

🔴 This week we cover:
His Beard:
Yorkshire Divers:
Scapa Flow:
His charter:
Decompression Theory:
Stromness Chamber:
His Facebook:
His Instagram:

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🔴 Affiliations and recommendations:
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Northern Diver: 
Olympus Cameras: 
Mojo Europe: 
Gear Aid: 
Go Tec Dive:

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✅ “Fancy a brew?” a Scuba Diving inspired chat over a brew about life, adventure, mental and physical resilience and determination to succeed in the sport we love.

✅ The podcast where I’ll be talking to those who influenced me as a diver, about their incredible experiences and how they found mental and physical resilience, whilst devoting their lives to Scuba Diving. These will (hopefully) be insightful and exciting discussions about people taking on scuba diving and its challenges, and how they came out the other side stronger through finding inspiration in connecting with nature’s underwater world.

✅ The music I used in my video: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence 

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