Abra­sions

Sport Diver - - Training -

Skin cuts, bumps and scrapes are very com­mon among divers. Ac­ci­den­tal con­tact with rocks, corals, wrecks and any num­ber of other hard sur­faces can cause in­juries. Divers with poor buoy­ancy in par­tic­u­lar fre­quently come back from a dive with a few more abra­sions than when they started. Abra­sions can ex­pose divers to micro­organ­isms and in­crease the risk of in­fec­tion, as well as cause some bleed­ing, par­tic­u­larly if dam­age is done to the skin in a highly per­fused area, such as the head, hands or fin­gers.

How can I pre­vent abra­sions? You can pre­vent abra­sions by mas­ter­ing your buoy­ancy con­trol and us­ing me­chan­i­cal pro­tec­tion such as gloves, hoods in over­head en­vi­ron­ments and a full-body wet­suit. Even in lo­ca­tions where ther­mal pro­tec­tion might not be nec­es­sary, a dive skin or thin wet­suit will pro­tect your skin from be­ing ex­posed and from the po­ten­tial for cuts and scrapes.

How do you treat abra­sions? If an abra­sion is mi­nor, wash the area thor­oughly with fresh wa­ter and ap­ply an an­ti­sep­tic solution, then con­trol bleed­ing with ster­ile dress­ings. Af­ter­ward, let the area dry and cover it with triple-an­tibi­otic oint­ment and a ster­ile ban­dage. If bleed­ing can’t be stopped eas­ily, ap­ply pres­sure to con­trol bleed­ing and seek im­me­di­ate med­i­cal care.

Stingrays can in­jure divers with a ser­rated barb at the end of their tail that has two ven­omous glands at its base.

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