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Hanna van Waart

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Hanna van Waart - diving.jpg

Hanna is an Exercise Scientist with the University of Auckland department of Anaesthesiology, where she is doing research in diving medicine. She is also an avid diver with experience in many environments, ranging from beautiful reefs, to deep wrecks, to ‘dry’ and ‘dive’ caves.

Hanna started diving in 2010. Since her first breath under water she knew that her world had just become twice as big. Although she was still blissfully unaware how much diving would become part of her life.

She became a cave diver through NACD, subsequently diving caves in Mexico, France, Germany, Swiss, Croatia, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Being fascinated by caves, she quickly dipped into speleology as well. ‘Dry caving’ (really no such thing as dry caves) in many countries. She is part of the Cave Search and Rescue group of New Zealand, and part of the Cave Sump Rescue Search and Rescue group. Hanna loves exploring deep reefs and wrecks, for which she certified with GUE for Technical Diver Level 2. She also dives the JJ rebreather to allow bubble free exploration.

Apart from being a diver, Hanna is also a scientist. She feels very lucky to be able to combine those passions into research in diving medicine. Hanna is involved in a lot of diving research projects involving rebreathers, full face masks and gas narcosis. She works with Simon Mitchell, Nicholas Gant and Xavier Vrijdag. The focus of each research project is to answer questions that are relevant to divers. So, come and talk to me if you’d like to know the research on something. If we don’t know yet, we might be able to look into it.



Properties of the full face mask used in the Thailand cave rescue

We undertook research on the full face masks used to successfully extricate the 12 children and one adult from a flooded cave in Thailand. The rescuers were forced to anaesthetise all those trapped to safely navigate through over a kilometre of flooded cave. Full face masks putatively capable of maintaining constant positive pressure during inspiration and expiration were employed. In this presentation we’ll investigate properties of the full face mask and discuss its implications for management of the unconscious diver underwater.

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