The David Blaine holding-his-breath stunt is pretty amazing, and rather scary. It looks like he pulled it off with rigorous training, and lots of medical supervision. Time has a good wrap up in How David Blaine Held His Breath:
With or without pure oxygen, holding your breath is a difficult and dangerous pasttime even for elite athletes. When not done carefully, it can lead to drowning, or to potential tissue damage in the heart, brains or lungs. Preliminary results from Potkin’s research into apnea’s long-term effects show some abnormal brain scans among young, extreme free divers. There’s still much to learn about the phenomenon; as a medical student, Potkin recalls, he was told that no one could hold his breath for more than five minutes without suffering brain damage. Now, he wants to see if the technique can be used for medical purposes — and he’s hoping Blaine’s latest stunt provides the impetus for a greater scientific understanding of how to hold one’s breath.
Have any of the RTs out there worked with people doing this kind of training?
I’d imagine when this goes wrong, it goes really wrong.