IDC Physiology. PADI Instructor Exam Dive Theory. English Syllabus. CD Dan

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IDC Physiology.

IDC Physiology.  PADI Instructor Exam Dive Theory.  Boracay, Philippines.  Sri Lanka.  Maldives.  Koh Tao, Thailand.

IDC Physiology is not about you knowing how to use maths or tables.  IDC Physiology means knowing about diving problems and so keeping our divers safe and taking care of them if they do get hurt.  IDC Physiology is one of the five subjects that are in your Dive Theory Exams.  On your IE you will have 12 a.b.c.d. multiple choice questions on IDC Physiology and 12 more on the other four topics.  You must score a min. of nine correct (75 per cent.) on each one.  If you fail a max. of one subject, you will have a make-up on just that one, on the same IE, for no extra fee.  If you fail more, you will have to wait and pay to attend a second IE and pass them all again.  The 2014 PADI full IE Fee is AUD 760 (€490).  The 2014 PADI make-up fee is AUD 320 (€220).  This is per segment and there are four.

  • Written Exams (Dive Theory and GSP).
  • Knowledge Development.
  • Confined Water.
  • Open Water.


To pass your IDC and go to an IE, you should pass all five topics, inc. IDC Physiology, on the same set at least once.

For IDC Staff you need to get 80 per cent. (a max. of two mistakes on a 12-question paper).

IDC Physiology questions come from the 2009 PADI Divemaster Course.  The new 2010 DM Course is more easy.  There are now just two DM Final Exams and not five.  IDC Physiology did not change and the IE is still the same too.

You will need to learn about.

  • Tidal vol.
  • PFO.
  • Thoracic squeeze.


You will have to learn what a few more words mean in Latin.

  • Hypocapnic.
  • Hypocarbi-c. (-a).
  • Hypoxi-a. (-c).
  • Hypercarbi-a. (-c).
  • Hypercapnic.
  • Hyperoxi-c. (-a).
  • Hypothermic.
  • Hyperthermi-c. (a).
  • Bradycardia.
  • Tachycardia.


I. Circulatory and Respiratory Systems.
1. What are the 1º purposes of the respiratory and circulatory systems?
2. What are the organs, structure and functions of the circulatory and respiratory systems?
3. What is dead air space and how do you avoid problems caused by it?
4. How does the body respond when breath-hold diving and how can you extend breath-hold time?  (N.B. This skill has gone from the new 2013 PADI Open Water Diver Course.)

II. Diving Problems with Circulatory and Respiratory Systems.
5. What is carotid-sinus reflex and how do you avoid it?
6. What is hypercapnia and how do you avoid it?
7. What are hypocapnia and shallow water blackout and how do you avoid them?
8. What are the physiological effects of CO while diving and how do you avoid them?
9. What are the two types of O2 toxicity and how do you avoid them?

III. Physiological Responses to N2.
10. What are the physiological mechanisms by which the body absorbs and releases N2 (or He) while diving?
11. What are silent bubbles and how do they relate to DCS?
12. What causes DCS and what are the two types?
13. What is meant by DCI v. DCS?
14. What factors may make a diver more likely to get DCS?
15. What are the recommendations and physiological rationales for DCS first aid and treatment?
16. What causes N2 narcosis?  At approx. what depth is it likely?  What are common signs and symptoms of it?

IV. Physiological Responses to Thermal Changes.
17. How does the body respond to too much heat?
18. What causes heat exhaustion and heat stroke and how do they differ physiologically?
19. How does the body respond to too little heat?
20. What causes hypothermia and what happens physiologically when it occurs?

V. Physiological Responses to Pressure Changes on Body Air Spaces.
21. What are the basic functions, organs and structure of the ears and sinus?
22. How do the ears and sinus respond to changing pressure?
23. How do the lungs respond to changing pressure?

VI. Problems in Body Air Spaces
24. What are barotrauma and squeeze?
25. What are the causes and physiologies of.  Eardrum rupture.  Middle ear squeeze.  Reverse squeeze.  Ear plug problems.  Round window rupture (can be fixed).  Sinus squeeze?
26. What is vertigo and what may cause it while diving?
27. What is the cause and physiology of lung squeeze?
28. What are the causes and physiologies of the lung overexpansion injuries.  Air embolism.  Pneumothorax (collapsed lung—can be fixed).  Mediastinal emphysema.  Subcutaneous emphysema?
29. What are the recommendations and physiological rationales for lung overexpansion injury first aid and treatment?
30. What are the cause and physiology of mask and dry suit squeezes?

Multi-award winning DSAT TecRec CD Dan Robinson, training confident, effective and efficientSM PADI pros.

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