ANAL­Y­SIS

Scuba Diver Australasia + Ocean Planet - - Buyer's Guide -

This mem­ber was fortunate to be on a live­aboard with plenty of oxy­gen and a crew who un­der­stood that he needed oxy­gen to man­age his con­di­tion. This likely con­trib­uted to his even­tual re­cov­ery. The call to DAN was made shortly af­ter the on­set of symp­toms and this en­abled DAN’s as­sis­tance team to or­gan­ise the evac­u­a­tion to Manila and ad­vise the cham­ber team so they would be ready to re­ceive the diver.

DCI can oc­cur on what some would con­sider to be rel­a­tively in­no­cent dive pro­files. Even though th­ese pro­files were well within the lim­its of this diver’s com­puter, he be­came se­ri­ously ill. Of note, he did pro­files of in­creas­ing depth on Day 2 and this is in­ad­vis­able and may have im­pacted his div­ing the fol­low­ing day. How­ever, this is un­clear. Fur­ther steps should be taken (par­tic­u­larly when in re­mote ar­eas) to re­duce DCI risk, such as us­ing a con­ser­va­tive set­ting on your dive com­puter and fol­low­ing the guide­lines above that were sug­gested to this mem­ber.

Through test­ing, this mem­ber was found to have a PFO (heart de­fect). PFOs are not un­com­mon and ap­prox­i­mately one in four peo­ple has this con­di­tion. In this case, the hole al­lowed bub­bles to cross the heart, by­pass­ing the fil­ter­ing pro­vided by the lungs and re­sult­ing in se­ri­ous symp­toms. Having a PFO does not mean the end of a div­ing ca­reer. It does mean the diver needs to have a se­ri­ous dis­cus­sion with a div­ing physi­cian to de­ter­mine their op­tions and how to best man­age the in­creased risk of DCI. In this case, the de­ci­sion was made to have the hole re­paired and to change the way he dives to re­duce bub­ble load­ing in the body.

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