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M11 – Intoxication, Hypothermia and Drowning


Intoxications are caused by the inhalation of gases in such concentrations that they are harmful to the body.


Hypothermia is considered when the inner temperature of the body is less than 35°C. When the diver exposes himself to conditions in which the loss of body heat is greater than the production, the body temperature drops and goes into hypothermia. Except in warm tropical waters, most divers need an isothermal suit to maintain the balance between loss and heat production. In moderate climates, such as ours, a wet suit is sufficient, but in cold waters such as northern Europe, it is essential to resort to a dry suit.

Cooling occurs because water is a good conductor of heat, possessing a high calorific capacity. Water conducts heat 25 times faster than air.


Drowning means death by asphyxiation after submersion in a liquid environment. There are situations in which the victim recovers, even temporarily, from the submersion episode. However, victims revived after submersion but who die within the next 24 hours continue to be considered drowning victims.


  1. Recognize carbon dioxide intoxication.
  2. Apply first aid to a victim of carbon dioxide intoxication.
  3. Recognize carbon monoxide intoxication.
  4. Apply the first aid to a victim of carbon monoxide intoxication.
  5. Recognize the signs of narcosis.
  6. What are the procedures to prevent the onset of narcosis.
  7. Recognize the signs of the various manifestations of hypothermia.
  8. Apply first aid to a victim of hypothermia.
  9. Recognize the signs of a pre-drowning victim.
  10. Apply first aid to a pre-drowning victim.