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Canadians Dive for Bone Death Prevention
(Continued from page V
"If we can find a way to prevent
osteonecrosis using simple drugs,
this would be a major breakthrough
for the commercial diving industry,"
said Bennett, who is aiso co-director
of the Hall Laboratory £md director of
Scientists believe that
osteonecrosis, which also can strike
construction workers in underwater
tunnels, results when gases
dissolved in blood and tissues under
the sea's great pressures form tiny
bubbles in bones as the divers return
to the surface.
Blood platelets and proteins
appear to gather around the bubbles
inside bones and remain as climips
even after the bubbles themselves
have disappeared, Bennett
"As the clump or 'thrombus'
grows, it may get large enough to
block a key blood vessel in the bone,
cutting off oxygen to the tissues, and
the diver winds up with
osteonecrosis," the physician said.
Cripple for Life
Visible as crumbling under X-rays,
severe bone death in hips and
shoulders can cripple a diver for life
and require surgical replacement of
joints. It also can result in million
dollar law suits that put major
financial strains on diving
"Three or four cases like this
QUALITY CONTROL—Russell McDaniel, left, and Dr. David Washburn, both from
N.C. Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, discuss testing radiographic apparatus for
proper performance with Geraldine K. Young, left, radiologic technology supervisor
at Duke, and Marie Stone, clinical coordinator for the School of Radiologic
Technology at Duke and the VA Hospital. McDaniel and Washburn were the first
sp>eakers during the education workshop sponsored by the Triangle Society of
Radiologic Technologists at the VA Hospital last weekend. Some 114 technologists
from throughout the state registered for the event, said Stone, secretary of the
society. (Photo by Ina Fried)
FOR SALE-1970 Plymouth Satellite,
four-door, PS, auto., air cond., radio, etc.;
loan value at bank, $600-700, sale price
$750. Gall 596-6913, after 4:30 p.m.
FOR SALE—Double bed size top
mattress, firm, excellent shape; two years
(Jd; reason for selling; inherited antique
bed of different size; $35. GaU 489-2640,
FREE—Puppies, mixed breed, female,
mostly black, bom Feb. 5. Gall 489-5423,
after 5 p.m.; keep trying.
FOR SALE—Garrard SL-95B turntable
w/ Share M55 cartridge, base and dust
cover; sturdy, quiet, reliable and good to
your albums; fully manual operation
only; $35. Call 732-7808 (Hillsborough).
FOR SALE—New commode chair.
is published weekly for Duke Uni
versity Medical Center employees,
faculty, staff, students and friends by
the medical center's Office of Public
Relations, Joe Sigler, director; David
Williamson; medical writer; William
Erwin, Comprehensive Cancer Center
medical writen Miss Annie Kittrell,
Mrs. Ina Fried
Public Relations Assistant
never used, reasonably priced. Call
596-4072, after 5:30 p.m.
FOR SALE—Yonex tubular alloy
tennis racket, good condition, 4 5/8 grip,
medium weight, strung at 58 lb.; with
cover, $20. Gall 682-5261, evenings or
FOR SALE-1974 Honda XL 250,
excellent condition, two helmets, $575.
Call 493-1780, after 6 p.m. or weekends.
FOR SALE—Four 13" mag wheels to
fit Toyota, $120; full size mattress and
box springs, 6 mos. old, $120. Call
FOR SALE —Window screens,
assorted standard sizes, $1 each; single
bed with brass plated head board, good
condition, $50; single bed, metal fi^e,
head and foot bo^, good condition,
$35; window fan, standard size, new
condition, three speed, ,$12. Gall
FOR SALE —Sears' window fan,
thermostat controlled, three speed, good
condition, $15. Draperies, li^t green
brocade, Uned, custom made; 72" x 81",
31" X 81", and 121" x 81"; excellent
condition, $50 for all three. Call 489-2628.
FOR SALE—1966 Chevrolet Impala
four-door, AT, PS, PB; dean, good
running condition; 60,000 miles. Call
FOR SALE—1976 Chevrolet Caprice
four-door sedan, silver with mahogany
velour interior; unusual, exception^
automobile for the right person. Gall
38i-5276 after 7 p.m.
FOR SALE—1971 Ford station wagon
Gtistom 500, PB, PS, AG; 70,000 miles;
$1,200. GaU 489-3536.
would be a lot," Bennett said, "but
some of these companies have many
more than that."
He said estimates of the incidence
of debilitating bone death varies
widely — from something over one
per cent among commercial divers in
the United States to over 50 per cent
among a group of Japanese pearl
divers. A quarter of the compressed
air workers who dug a sewer system
in Milwaukee in 1969 showed bone
death lesions in their joints.
Another Use for Aspirin
"Earlier studies by Dr. Richard B.
Philip, a pharmacology professor at
the University of Western Ontario
who initiated the experiments here,
have suggested that a combination of
common aspirin and dipyridamole
retards formation of the thrombus in
rats," Bennett said. The drug
dipyridamole has been used by
physicians for over 10 years in the
United States to dilate arteries and
veins in the heart.
"We are trying to determine if
these two antiplatelet agents will also
work in humans."
The four groups of divers, all
students in the Underwater Skills
Program at Seneca College in
Toronto, will receive aspirin,
dipyridamole, a combination of the
two- drugs and a placebo or false
drug. Doses will be given three times
daily for seven days before, during
and after the dives.
Blood samples taken throughout
the experiments will tell the
researchers how successful the
substances are in retarding the
accumulation of proteins and
Bennett said the carefully
monitored experiments should
present no danger to the volunteers
who are all in excellent health.
He added that information
generated by the work may prove
useful in the search for more
effective treatment of such related
naturally-occurring conditions as
coronary thrombosis, one of the chief
causes of heart attacks, and cerebral
ischemia, which has been implicated
in strokes and senility.
"The advantages of exploiting
drugs that have already passed safety
and toxicity screens are obvious,"
the scientist said. "Considerable
difficulty, however, surrounds the
clinical evaluation of such drugs."
Patients who' are candidates for
antithrombotic therapy are
frequently very ill, and are already
on medications that make
understanding of what the new
drugs do extremely difficult, he
"The temporary and minor
abnormality we expect to see in the
divers' blood wall be a good model
for the investigation of the
Bennett said Dr. Judith Andersen,
director of the clinical hematology
laboratory at Duke, is collaborating
in the bone death experiments and
Dr. John Miller, assistant professor of
anesthesiology, will be responsible
for the health and safety of the divers
during the study.
Boehringer Ingelheim, a Canadian
and U.S.-based pharmaceutical
manufacturer, is supporting the
A second and uruelated study,
sponsored by Canada's Defense and
Civil Institute for Envirorunental
Medicine and Seneca College, will be
conducted simultaneously. The goal
of this research will be to determine
the heart rate and oxygen
cotisumption of divers performing
work tasks at the 60-foot depths.
The Week on Campus
E. Duke Miisic Rm.
E. Duke Music Rm.
E. Duke Music Rm.
E. Duke Music Rm.
Event and lime
Fri. (3/18), 8 p.m. D.U.U. Major Attractions: Santana
Sat., 8:30 p.m. Duke University Chorale
Sun., 4 p.m. Duke Ccdlegium Musicum
Mon., 8:15 p.m. Lecture-redtal by Loren Withers,
"The Liszt B-Minor Sonata"
Wed., 8:15 p.m. Student recital
Thurs., 8:15 p.m. Faculty ledtal: &uce Plumb,
viola; Barbara Lister-Sink, piano
Fri. (3/25), 8:15 p.m. Duke University Wind Symphony
PERFORMING ARTS (684-1059):
Fri. (3/18), Sat. and Sun., 8:15 p.m. Duke Players Spring Studio
Theatre: Winners of playwriting contest (Admission Charge)
Thurs. and Fri. (3/25), 8 p.m. Chapel Drama:
"By Faith, The Wc^ Became Flesh"
Fri. (3/18), 3 p.m. Symposium on "Strategies for Human and Bio. Sci. Aud.
Technological Progress." Continues with evening
and Saturday morning sessions in Zmer Aud.
Tues., 8 p.m. D.U. Major Speakers: Alger Hiss, Page
"The McCarthy Era" (Admission Charge)
Sun., 11 a.m. Worship service: Rev. Robert T. Young, Chapel
minister to the university
Fri. (3/18), 4 p.m. Men's lacrosse vs. Roancdce Ccdlege
Sat., 9 a.m.Vjleyball tournament Card Gym
Sat., 2 p.m. Men's baseball vs. Ridimond
Tues., 4 p.m. Men's lacrosse vs. William and Mary
Thurs., 3 p.m. Men's lacrosse vs. Franklin and Marshall
Sun., 3 p.m. Children's films Gross Chem. Aud.
Tues., 5 p.m. Resuscitation Clinic ^ Iitdoor Stadium
FILMS: Fri. (3/18), 7, 9:30 and midnight "Special Section," Bio. Sd. Aud.; Sat. and Sun., 7
and 9:30 p.m. "A Ddicate Balanre," Page; Mon., 6, 8 and 10 pjn. "Mash," Bio. Sd. Aud.;
Tues., 7 and 10 p.m. "Judgment at NuienAeig," Bio. Set. Aud.; Tues., 8:15 pjn. "The Early
Americans" (presented by Dept of CTawiral Studies), Zener Aud.; Wed., 7 and 9 p.m. "The
Ckaduate," Bio. Sd. Aud.; Thurs., 7 and 9:30 pjn. "Women in Love," Bio. Sd. Aud.; Fri.
p/25), 7,9:30 and midnight 'The Devib," Bio. Sd. And. (Admission Charge)