Essay on The Mammalian Diving Reflex

Essay on The Mammalian Diving Reflex

Length: 1762 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Cold, bitter, chilled, frozen, frosty, nippy, and frigid. These words conjure thoughts of being stuck in the middle of a blizzard, being miserable, losing feeling in your hands and feet and shivering uncontrollably and eventually death. However if you add any of those adjectives with the word water you suddenly are talking about sustaining ones life instead of making it miserable.
Cold water is the key aspect in the phenomenon called the mammalian diving reflex. This reflex has been beneficially used for thousands of years by whales, dolphins, seals and other mammals that inhabit the frigid waters of the world. The diving reflex slows heart rate and causes peripheral vasoconstriction to keep blood and oxygen to the brain and other vital core organs. This reflex allows these mammals to conserve oxygen and stay submerged over longer periods of time, providing them more time for finding food, protection and travel.
This reflex is also present in humans, although not to the same intense degree as seen in cold water native mammals, and not for the same reasons. Only in recent years have this reflex and the benefits it can provide in the survival of cold water drowning been observed and researched in humans. The focus of this paper is three-fold: first to explain the physiological process that is the mammalian diving reflex and how it is triggered; next the role the mammalian diving reflex plays in the survival of potential cold-water downers; thirdly, how doctors are using this reflex in the practice of modern medicine.
The physiology behind the mammalian diving reflex is two-fold, the first being the triggering of the reflex. In the article Mechanism of the Human Diving Response, Brett Gooden observed that, “the res...

... middle of paper ... April 15, 2011.
Dugdale, David C. MD. 2010. Aging Changes in the Nervous System. Medline Plus. Retrieved from April 18, 2011.
Gooden, Brett A. 1994. Mechanism of the Human Diving Response. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, Vol. 29 Issue 1 pg 6-16.
Iyer, Anand. 2007. No one is dead until warm and dead. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, vol. 134: 1042-1043.
Khan, M. Faisal M.D. No Date. New Hypothermia Technique Protects Heart Attack Patients. Memorial Hermann. Retrieved from April 18, 2011.
Stark, William S. Ph.D. 2004. Human Diving Response. Department of Biology, saint Louis University. Retrieved from April 18, 2011.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on A Reflex Pathway And The Reflex Arc

- A reflex pathway, or a reflex arc, is a neural pathway that is involved in the activation of a reflex. Reflexes are reactions that respond to stimuli. They usually happen without the sensory neurons having to pass directly through the brain. Therefore, reflexes are called involuntary reactions since they happen without a command. This allows the reflex action to occur quickly because the electrical signal can be sent to the spinal cord immediately without needing to go through the brain. The brain receives sensory input as the action occurs, but not before....   [tags: Nervous system, Brain, Reflex arc]

Powerful Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Recreational vs. Technical Diving Essay

- After two years of recreational diving I have learned some of the ins and outs of the dive community. Diving has become such an enjoyable experience for me that I have decided to make a career change and work towards my dream of being a commercial diver. Before making such a life altering decision, it is important to understand the differences between the two in order to further understand the depth of my decision. In this essay, I will compare portions of recreational diving to its equivalent in technical diving....   [tags: Diving]

Powerful Essays
1425 words (4.1 pages)

The Human Body Conserves Oxygen When Submerged During Cold Water By Utilizing The Diving Reflex

- The purpose of this experiment is to demonstrate how the human body conserves oxygen when submerged in cold water by utilizing the diving reflex. This is determined by measuring heart rate at rest, apnea, and three different temperatures of cool water. As the face becomes exposed to cool temperatures of water, the diving reflux will activate, lowering the heart rate. We expect to see progressively lowered heart rates as the face is submerged in colder temperatures of water. Certain air-breathing animals have the ability to sustain life for extending periods of time while submerged in water....   [tags: Heart rate, Blood, Pulse, Cardiology]

Powerful Essays
706 words (2 pages)

Essay on On Dumpster Diving By Lars Eighner

- In the text “On Dumpster Diving”, by Lars Eighner is about a man who speaks of being a homeless man joined by his pet, named Lizbeth. Not exclusively does he clarify his procedures living out of dumpsters, yet in addition the lessons he has learned as a scavenger. Above all I think the genuine message he was attempting to get cross over is that we waste more than we think we do, and it's in our nature as humans. He had built up a great deal of involvement in recognizing on what was protected to eat and what wasn't....   [tags: Dumpster diving]

Powerful Essays
960 words (2.7 pages)

Scuba Diving Snorkeling Diving Scuba Snorkeling Essay

- Scuba Diving Scuba diving is a really interesting and exciting activity to do if someone loves the ocean as much as I do. My boyfriend Justus and I traveled to the beautiful Florida Keys for a week and a half last summer. When we got to the keys we had already planned on going scuba diving. We bought our tickets before we even left the state of Indiana. We were both super excited to experience something we had never done before. The morning of our scuba diving trip we had to go meet our scuba diving instructor for him to go over rules....   [tags: Scuba diving, Underwater diving, Debut albums]

Powerful Essays
1193 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Scuba Diving For The First Time

- I remember when I went scuba diving for the first time. It was the summer of 2002. My Dad, his two friends Mark and Bob, and I went on a scuba diving trip to San Carlos, Mexico with a group of scuba divers from June 21st-29th. It was June 22nd, a beautiful day. The temperature was at about 90 degrees and it was very sunny. I was on big nice scuba diving boat along with the other eight divers on the trip and captain and co-captain. The boat was headed to an island about two hours away called "Seal Island"; it was called that because of all the sea lions that inhabit it....   [tags: Scuba diving, Underwater diving, Scuba set]

Powerful Essays
824 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Reflex by Dick Francis

- Reflex is a classic book written by Dick Francis. This is the twenty-second book he has written. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the novels he has written. This book is based on the life of a Photographer. The photographer’s name is Philip Nore, the book deals with the trauma a jockey has and how hectic his life is. In the first 50 pages of the book it deals with Philip being approached by his grandmother; (who he hates) and being asked by her to find her granddaughter. It also reveals that George Millace, a recently passed away photographer, has a secret black-mailing mystery and it is Philip’s job to uncover the Mystery....   [tags: Reflex, Dick Francis]

Free Essays
390 words (1.1 pages)

Essay on The Art of Diving in Britain

- 33 feet up, looking down at the water, trying to determine if this trick will make or break a diver from the rest of his or her career is a heart pounding experience. He jumps, spins, flips, and then hurdles 62 miles per hour toward the unforgiving water head first. The loud splash the diver makes as he enters the water perfect. He disappears into the dark obis of the water for what feels like forever, as he mentally prepares himself for either applause or boos. He finally has no choice but to come up....   [tags: Diving, British Athletes, Sports]

Powerful Essays
1008 words (2.9 pages)

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Essay

- The Butterfly Diving Bell sits on my bedside table . It was a busy day when I finished and I'm struggling with how to express my appreciation for the best of the author , Jean - Dominique Bauby . As a beautiful French dessert , each crafted wonderful phrases should be savored. Posted by Bauby bears a sense of humor combined with depression that required for reading and slow digestion . He must have been a Morrissey fan . For those who are not familiar with Mr. Bauby , he was a former general editor of Elle magazine Parisian version ....   [tags: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly]

Free Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

Olympic Diving and Olympic History Essays

- Anything related to the Olympics sports in today’s modern era dates clear back to 776 BC; however, some sports that are in the twenty-first-century Olympic Games have only just started. A sport like diving reached the Olympic level in 1904 at the Summer Olympic Games. Both springboard and platform diving have had an interest in my life, since, indeed I am a diver myself. As diving had began to evolve from just a simple “swan dive” to a 109 B (Forward 4 and ½ somersaults, pike). Not only has the difficulty tremendously increased in this sport, but it has been one of the most watched sports in the Olympics games since it took off in 1904....   [tags: Olympic Games, Olympic History, Diving]

Powerful Essays
1029 words (2.9 pages)