April: A Sample of Recent Asia-Pacific Diving Incidents

Concussion, skin DCI and suspected pulmonary oedema, a few cases the DAN AP team helped with this month.

Oxygen preparedness: Delivery Equipment, Training and other factors play a big part. How prepared is your dive operator?

Concussion, skin DCI and suspected pulmonary oedema, a few cases the DAN AP team helped with this month.

Philippines: A 50-year-old tech diver experienced symptoms following multiple deep dives (130m). He presented at a hospital in Batangas but discharged himself without treatment and returned home to Manila. Back in Manila he underwent recompression (Table 6) with improvement.

Indonesia: A female diver in Lombok called DAN concerned she had possible DCI. She was in hospital overnight breathing oxygen and receiving fluids. She received two short recompression treatments in Lombok but still had symptoms when discharged. She was then referred to the chamber in Bali, for higher level care, where she underwent two additional treatments. Her symptoms resolved, and she flew back to Singapore four days later.

Philippines: A diver on a liveaboard had fallen and hit her head. After diving she developed a skin rash and complained of some shortness of breath, headache and sleepiness. She was put on oxygen during the long trip back to port. She then had a short flight home where she presented at a recompression centre. She was given a Table 6 treatment and felt some improvement. DAN AP suggested other tests as the diagnosis of DCI was not clear. A neurologist suggested that she was likely suffering concussion. She received another short recompression with slight improvement. It is possible that her symptoms were caused from a variety of sources.

Chuuk: A 40-year-old woman with 700+ lifetime dives experienced skin symptoms post-dive. The symptoms resolved after breathing O₂ for two hours. She was due to fly back to Australia the following evening and was concerned. The diver was given the okay to fly home so long as the symptoms didn’t return in the meantime. The diver returned home without any problem and the symptoms did not return.

Philippines: A 71-year-old male diver was admitted to hospital in Batangas with suspected pulmonary oedema. He experienced coughing, shortness of breath and blood-stained sputum following a dive to 20 metres. His symptoms resolved, and he was discharged three days later. There was concern that he may have experienced a cardiac incident, so upon returning home he was advised to undergo further testing that appeared to have confirmed the likelihood of a combination of a cardiac event and immersion pulmonary oedema.

Indonesia: 37-year-old male had been diving for the previous two days with two dives each day. On the last dive he ran out of air and missed around 15 minutes of deco. Immediately upon surfacing he experienced tingling in his feet and was given oxygen for 90 minutes and symptoms resolved. He called the DAN DES Hotline later in the day as the symptoms returned. He was advised to go to a local medical facility to breathe more O₂ and to be evaluated the following morning for possible evacuation. The doctor at the medical centre initially refused to provide O₂ but was convinced to do so by the DAN AP case manager. The member’s symptoms resolved overnight on oxygen and he was not recompressed. He was advised not to dive for three weeks and not fly for three days.

NOTE: All divers can call a DAN Hotline for advice, however, we can only co-ordinate an emergency evacuation, and treatment, and cover associated costs, for current members within the limits of their coverage. 

If you are not yet a DAN AP Member, you can join via the DAN AP Website.

Author: DAN World

DAN® is the world’s leading dive safety association.

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