My system is completely full, and when I switch ‑O2 I do not desaturate?

In our ear­ly sys­tems the valve served as an over­flow to avoid over­pres­sure of the oxy­gen com­part­ment.   During over-infla­tion, the valve serves as an over-pres­sure release.

Use of high alti­tude with an over-inflat­ed oxy­gen com­part­ment, mix­es over­flow oxy­gen with the reduced oxy­gen air, cre­at­ing air with a “slight­ly” reduced oxy­gen con­cen­tra­tion, usu­al­ly at about 19% O2 sat­u­ra­tion instead of 14%.

This reduces the desat­u­ra­tion poten­tial, and you will not be able to chal­lenge your res­pi­ra­to­ry sys­tem to potential.

The fix is sim­ple: work out on oxy­gen for 5 min­utes first to reduce the pres­sure inside the oxy­gen reser­voir. When the oxy­gen com­part­ment is full, it is firm to the touch.

Five min­utes of rich-oxy­gen work­out reduces the inter­nal pres­sure to pre­vent oxy­gen release through the valve. This stops the overflow.

At nor­mal pres­sure, less than over­fill, the high alti­tude sim­u­la­tion will be at about 14% sat­u­ra­tion which is equiv­a­lent to about 10,000 feet. You should be able to desat­u­rate after spend­ing a few min­utes exer­cis­ing at this altitude.

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