John Lipp­man, DAN Asia-Pa­cific Chair­man, ad­dresses some con­cerns raised re­gard­ing the ar­ti­cle ti­tled “Field Neu­rol­ogy for Divers”

Scuba Diver Australasia - - Research, Education & Medicine -

In our last is­sue of Alert Diver we in­cluded an ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled, “Field Neu­rol­ogy for

Divers”. While this is an in­ter­est­ing and use­ful ed­u­ca­tional ar­ti­cle, con­cern has been raised by an ex­pe­ri­enced div­ing med­i­cal physi­cian about the ef­fec­tive­ness and ac­cu­racy of a field neuro exam per­formed by some­one who does so in­ex­pertly and in­fre­quently. I share this con­cern.

In my view, a Field Neuro course for divers pro­vides some in­ter­est­ing and use­ful in­sights into pos­si­ble symp­toms and signs of de­com­pres­sion ill­ness (DCI) and their ori­gin, as well as a fas­ci­nat­ing over­view of our neu­ro­log­i­cal sys­tem. As such, I en­cour­age all divers to at­tend one.

How­ever, while the neu­ro­log­i­cal tests taught in such pro­grammes are ap­pro­pri­ate, they can be very un­re­li­able when per­formed by some­one with­out sub­stan­tial ex­pe­ri­ence, reg­u­lar prac­tice and fur­ther knowl­edge in these. With­out such ex­pe­ri­ence and prac­tice, sub­tle but im­por­tant signs can eas­ily be missed and a diver with sig­nif­i­cant dys­func­tion deemed as “nor­mal”. In ad­di­tion, tests that in­volve a diver with pos­si­ble DCI stand­ing should only be done un­der

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