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Category: Diving Medicine

DAN Announces Livestreaming, In-Booth Safety Consultations at DEMA Show 2021

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 9th November 2021

Even if you won’t be at DEMA next week, you’ll still be able to watch many of DAN’s DEMA seminars. The safety organization will be streaming live from Las Vegas on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, November 16, 17, and 18. Tune in for talks about advances in postdive bubble …

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Turn your interest in diving safety and physiology into a career…

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 1st November 2021

Are you located in British Columbia? Are looking for a new career? The Simon Fraser University Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit are looking for someone with a keen interest in diving physiology, aerospace physiology, and equipment testing. They will offer training for the right candidate, including training as a …

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Decompression Illness and Denial – Part 2

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 29th September 2021

Demystifying Dive Computers Words and Photography by Jill Heinerth In my previous article I looked into incident reports that fell outside of the data gathered by organizations such as DAN. In this article, I’m going to dive into the physiology of decompression, gradient factors, and conservatism strategies. When you …

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Decompression Illness and Denial – Part 1

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th August 2021

By Jill Heinerth The cream of the crop of the diving industry are respected for their work in exploration, science, education, and engineering. They have been bent, and so have I. Each year, members of Divers Alert Network (DAN) receive a link to review the Annual Diving Report that chronicles …

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Understanding PFO

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 29th July 2021

By Divers Alert Network With its unusual name, its connection to cardiovascular health, and its link to DCS risk, it’s easy to see why patent foramen ovale (PFO) is of particular interest to divers. The good news is that, while the condition is common, it’s typically low-risk—but it can …

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Mental Health and Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 28th June 2021

Words by Lorie Laroche and Dr. Neal W Pollock Health is a state of overall physical, mental, and social wellness. Good mental health involves the ability to live to one’s full potential, to face normal life stressors, to work productively, and to be able to contribute to the community. …

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Tiny Bubbles, Big Trouble

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 18th June 2021

By Divers Alert Network Decompression sickness (DCS) is a tricky condition. On one hand, we know a lot about who gets it and when—and even how to prevent it, but we do not have a definitive understanding of the mechanisms of bubble formation or injury. Decades worth of research …

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Richard Moon, M.D., Named 2021 DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 8th June 2021

Divers Alert Network and Rolex are pleased to announce that Richard Moon, M.D., has been selected as the 2021 DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year. The award was presented at a virtual event on June 5.  Dr. Moon is a professor of anesthesiology at Duke University and the medical director of …

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DAN’s free online seminars at this years DEMA Show

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2020

For 40 years, DAN has played a critical role in the dive industry, championing diver safety, research and emergency preparedness. At this year’s DEMA show, DAN will be reaching out to dive pros around the world with important messages about keeping divers safe in a series of timely webinars …

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Mental Health and Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 10th July 2020

Words by Lorie Laroche and Dr. Neal W Pollock Health is a state of overall physical, mental, and social wellness. Good mental health involves the ability to live to one’s full potential, to face normal life stressors, to work productively, and to be able to contribute to the community. …

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Bubbles on the Brain

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 28th April 2020

By Divers Alert Network Cases of decompression sickness (DCS) with neurological symptoms are thankfully rare, but when they do occur they must be responded to rapidly and effectively. Do not let worrying about the “worst-case scenario” make your diving less enjoyable, but do take measures to learn how to …

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Former DAN Vice President Richard D. Vann passes away

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 24th April 2020

It is with great sadness that Divers Alert Network announces the passing of its former vice president of research, Richard D. Vann, Ph.D. Dr. Vann was an esteemed researcher whose work focused on the physiology of breathing and exercise in special environments and the epidemiology of pressure-change-related injuries. His …

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CPR and COVID-19

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 10th April 2020

As most of us are aware, COVID-19 can be contracted by coming into contact with droplets of bodily fluid from an infected person. Performing chest compressions as part of CPR can mobilize droplets, much like coughing can. Since even asymptomatic people can carry and spread the virus, it is …

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DAN Oxygen Units and Treating COVID-19

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 3rd April 2020

Some divers have asked DAN about using their personal oxygen units to treat people with COVID-19. Divers’ eagerness to help during this crisis is truly admirable. However, DAN does not support the use of these emergency oxygen units for indications other than scuba diving injuries and cases of nonfatal …

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Diving Manufacturer Helps Create Medical Ventilators

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 30th March 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to sweep the globe, people from all corners of the world are coming together to help create solutions in response to the crisis. For one, a team of programmers, scientists, and technicians in the Czech Republic has been putting their skills to use …

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Diving therapy for PTSD sufferers

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 30th March 2020

My name is Kevin James, the diver not the comedian, I’m a British Army Veteran having served as a Military Policeman and then a Physical Training Instructor specializing in scuba diving. Leaving the service as a Warrant Officer. I am based on Long Island in the Bahamas. I use …

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DAN Encourages Divers and Dive Operators to Disinfect Gear Properly

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 13th March 2020

Update – April 24, 2020 – The CDC has updated its recommendations, and some of the cleaning products noted in this article may not be suitable for killing the virus that causes COVID-19. While Steramine is an effective sanitizing product, and some manufacturers recommended it for use on dive gear, …

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DAN Seeks Research Interns for Summer 2020

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 15th January 2020

Divers Alert Network is seeking talented undergraduate and graduate students to assist with its dive safety and medical research this summer. Founded in 1999, the DAN Research Internship is a highly competitive program that gives candidates a strong foundation on which to build their careers. Interns will spend three …

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How Rebreathers Work

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 24th November 2018

  By Dr. David Sawatzky Rebreathers are becoming ever more common in the diving community, and in diving fatality records.  I wanted to write a column on rebreather fatalities but immediately realized that it would make no sense to most divers unless they had a good, basic understanding of …

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Dealing with seasickness

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 6th November 2018

There’s nothing worse than gearing up a boat dive only to have your tummy lurching within minutes of leaving the dock. Fly & Sea Dive Adventures are there with you… Choose the right destination Don’t choose a destination where you have to hit the open ocean in the middle of monsoon season …

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Corrective Dive Masks

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 1st November 2015

By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last three columns I reviewed vision underwater, common refractive errors, and reading glasses/ contacts.  In this column I will finish the discussion of vision and diving by looking at various mask options for correcting your vision while under water. Do You Need to Correct Your Vision? Diving with a …

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Presbyopia and Contact Lenses

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 21st January 2015

By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last column I reviewed common refractive errors and the effects they have on our vision both in and out of the water.  In this column I will continue that discussion by reviewing reading glasses, contact lenses and how they interact with diving. Presbyopia (far-sightedness associated with age) …

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Seeing Underwater

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 13th October 2014

Visibility notwithstanding, dive masks are the solution… for human beings By Dr. David Sawatzky The eye is really just a complex, living camera.  The main parts of the eye are the cornea, iris, lens and retina.  The cornea is clear and has no blood supply.  It protects the eye …

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The Mind Games of Diving Part 2

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 9th September 2014

By Dr. David Sawatzky Cave diving is a very unforgiving activity.  You have to keep track of a large number of variables, concurrently.  If you make a mistake or lose track of one of these variables, you will very likely die.  There is very little margin for error. In …

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The Mind Games of Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 4th August 2014

By Dr. David Sawatzky Diving is an activity with some degree of real risk.  You can get hurt while diving and you can die.  You should have some degree of anxiety and apprehension when you are diving.  This ‘appropriate’ level of arousal is reasonable, normal, healthy and actually reduces …

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Yoga and Freediving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 29th July 2014

To accompany our rather good feature on breath hold diving and yoga, here are a few extra tidbits:   Yoga literally means ‘union’ and is based on the principle of harmony between the mind and body. All freedivers can benefit from it but yoga is particularly helpful for those …

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Get fit for scuba fun

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 29th July 2014

You should stay fit to dive, not dive to stay fit. It’s sound advice. Here are some resources to help you make the summer scuba season effortlessly fun! Kettlebells for a Fit Diver Fitness Programme by Coach Izzy An complete fitness programme designed specifically for scuba divers, by scuba divers. The plan comprises a book, online videos …

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Matters of the Heart

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 16th June 2014

Though myocarditis is relatively common the real incidence rate is completely unknown By Dr. David Sawatzky The most common cause of death in divers while they are diving is a heart attack.  These heart attacks are usually the result of coronary artery disease (CAD), in which the arteries in …

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Rebreather Fatalities

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 29th April 2014

Statistics show that almost always the cause is diver error By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last column I outlined how rebreathers work. There are many brands available and more coming on the market though the basic concepts for all of them are the same.  Rebreathers are complicated. There …

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Healthy Eating and Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 24th April 2014

By Dr. David Sawatzky A couple of years ago I started writing a column on healthy eating.  I believed it to be relevant to diving but there was very little research to clarify that relationship.  Recently, several interesting articles have been published on this topic so it is time to …

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Hernias: Issues for Divers

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 30th September 2013

By Dr. David Sawatzky There are many different kinds of hernias. A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or its fascia through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it.  Some hernias are very common and some quite rare. Each has a different implication for the diver …

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Lose Weight Forever!

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 23rd May 2013

It’s a simple formula: burn more calories than you absorb By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last column I wrote about obesity, the advantages and disadvantages in relation to diving.  The bottom line was that obesity significantly increases the risks in a diver.  The problem is that most people …

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Obese Divers Beware ‘Saturated Fat’

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 23rd May 2013

By Dr. David Sawatzky As I write this column it is the middle of the Christmas holiday season.  No matter what your beliefs, virtually all of us celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the New, and that celebration usually involves eating excessive amounts of …

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Dysbaric Osteonecrosis Part 2

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 22nd May 2013

It’s rare in the recreational scuba enthusiast but deeper divers and pushing no-decompression limits can put you at risk By Dr. David Sawatzky The lesions of dysbaric osteonecrosis (DON) only occur in a few bones of the body.  They are found in the head and proximal shaft of the …

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Dysbaric Osteonecrosis Part 1

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 22nd May 2013

Will ‘diver’s rotting bone disease’ become more common as technical diving grows in popularity?  By Dr. David Sawatzky Dysbaric osteonecrosis (DON) was first identified in the 1940s and was found to be relatively common in the 1970s and early 1980s in some groups of divers but extremely rare in …

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Pulmonary Embolism and Blood Thinners

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2012

  By Dr. David Sawatzky In DIVER September 2002 I talked about blood thinners and diving, a discussion about deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and the requirement for people diagnosed with a DVT to be on a blood thinner for several months afterwards.  To be clear, ‘blood thinners’ do not …

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