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Medical Students Took Part in an Open Lesson and Demonstrative Diving on the Eve of 20th May - European Maritime Day

Demonstrative diving in the Black Sea with an open lesson on Maritime Medicine and Maritime Pathophysiology for international and Bulgarian students of MU-Varna was conducted on the occasion of the European Maritime Day.

The photographer Orlin Tsanev, a scuba diver and instructor for 12 years, and Dimitar Dimitrov, a first-year student at MU-Varna, took a dive into the waters of the Black Sea, and Assist. Prof. Dr. Krasimir Hristov from the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology measured the changes of their physiological indicators. Meanwhile, Bulgarian and international students, who have been studying Maritime Medicine and Maritime Physiology, together with their lecturer Ch. Assist. Prof. Dr. Dimitar Stavrev conducted an open class.

This initiative launched the events of the festival "Sea and Health", which are organized and held on the initiative of Medical University - Varna, under the patronage of the Mayor of Varna Ivan Portnih and the Rector of MU-Varna Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov. The events are dedicated to 20 May – the European Maritime Day and in support of Varna – 2017 European Youth Capital Project.

"The aim of this event is to examine the alteration of some of the indicators of the diver’s organism while performing scuba diving. Acceleration of the pulse, a slight increase in the respiratory capacity and a slight drop in the oxygen content of blood were recorded. Since the diver is healthy, all recorded changes are within the normal range," commented Prof. Dr. Krasimir Hristov from the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology at MU-Varna. Scuba diving is not so harmless and it should not be practised without prior preparation. At a depth of 15 meters there are no problems for the diver regarding the time spent underwater. However, after the 15th meter, the depth, the work performed underwater and the decompression time are of great importance. Practically, in the human body with the increased pressure of the inhaled gas, there is pressure equalization in the apparatus and the environment. The longer time a person stays in the water, the more inert gases, in this case nitrogen, are dissolved in the blood. Since these are parasitic gases because they are not involved in the exchange, gas bubbles are formed due to the sharp pressure decrease. This is called decompression sickness.
"Now I feel more relaxed than before entering the water. Definitely, I am thinking of the opportunity to deal with Maritime Medicine quite seriously," said the medical student from MU-Varna Dimitar Dimitrov.

Training in Maritime Medicine in our country is conducted only at MU-Varna in the form of an elective course for 4th and 5th-year medical students, and it involves lecturers from various fields of Maritime Medicine. Subjects such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, poisoning caused by marine animals, maritime toxicology, diving medicine, maritime psychology, sea-therapy and thalassotherapy, telemedicine are being taught there.
The practical exercises, conducted at the Naval Base, the Naval Academy and the Naval Hospital, are really of particular interest for the students. Moreover, sea voyages with the rescue ship of BRC are also organized.

The European Union officially declared 20th May to be the European Maritime Day in 2008.