Oxygen Poisoning

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Oxygen Poisoning

These publications, from the British Medical Journal, Kenneth W. Donald, are the seminal references for Oxygen Poisoning in Man. They were conducted during wartime, 1947, relating to under diving. In simple terms, oxygen toxicity only occurs under very, very, elevated oxygen partial pressures.

The Summary

If you want to skip the details, the results below come to 17.9 atmospheres, or breathing air under water of 538 feet. This is very extreme.

For comparison, Ardenne's pregnancy support protocol uses about 4 atmospheres of oxygen for 15 minutes during labor preceeding childbirth. His quick protocols use about 60% oxygen for 15 minutes. The LiveO2 system supports Ardennes highest level protocols for athletic training and labor.

The highest oxygen levels that any OMT system are capable of are less than 1/4 the oxygen partial pressures known or ever reported produce any oxygen toxicity effect in any person. There are no reports, over the past 30 years, that any of Ardenne's protocols have ever caused any sign of oxygen toxicity in any person.


Oxygen at sea level is 1 atmosphere. The experiments documented in these publications showed oxygen toxicity at 17.9 atm produced escalating symptoms, as indicated in this table:

  • The pressure at 90 feet = (1 atm + *(.445 lb/ft * 90 ft) / 14.5)) = 3.76 Atm
  • But this was Pure Oxygen Too. Normal air is 21% oxygen, so pure oxygen is 100 % / 21% is pure oxygen id 4.76 atmospheres of oxygen partial pressure
  • 3.76 atm * 4.76 atm = 17.9 atmospheres of oxygen

So this table, shows results for extremely high oxygen concentrations. Note that even at these extremely elevated levels, the early presentations, less than 15 minutes, have minor symptoms:

  • Lip Twitching
  • Tingling of Skin
  • Vertigo
  • Hiccup
  • Nausea
Oxygen Poisoning at 90 ft (27 m) in the Dry in 36 Subjects in Order of Performance – K W Donald[1]
Exposure (mins.) Num. of Subjects Symptoms
96 1 Prolonged dazzle; severe spasmodic vomiting
60–69 3 Severe lip-twitching; Euphoria; Nausea and vertigo; arm twitch
50–55 4 Severe lip-twitching; Dazzle; Blubbering of lips; fell asleep; Dazed
31–35 4 Nausea, vertigo, lip-twitching; Convulsed
21–30 6 Convulsed; Drowsiness; Severe lip-twitching; epigastric aura; twitch L arm; amnesia
16–20 8 Convulsed; Vertigo and severe lip twitching; epigastric aura; spasmodic respiration;
11–15 4 Inspiratory predominance; lip-twitching and syncope; Nausea and confusion
6–10 6 Dazed and lip-twitching; paraesthesiae; vertigo; "Diaphragmatic spasm"; Severe nausea

Here are the references where these effects were reported.

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