Ear trauma, DCI and all sorts of skin rashes: a Review of Recent Asia-Pacific Incidents

Ear trauma, DCI and all sorts of skin rashes: a Review of Recent Asia-Pacific Incidents that the DAN APAC team has advised and assisted with this month.

Man with ear pain

Over the past few weeks we have been sharing incident insights and case assessments from recent Calls for Help, and below are summaries of other recent Asia-Pacific incidents:

Indonesia: Member on a liveaboard in Komodo had symptoms that suggested she had a perforated left ear drum. She received treatment at the BIMC Hospital in Bali and was cleared to fly home.

Chuuk: A 56-year-old female diver called DAN with a skin rash that resolved after two hours breathing oxygen. She wanted to ask a DAN Doctor if she would be able to dive again on her trip. The Member was advised that she should definitely not undertake any additional diving on the trip, and if the symptoms did not return she would be okay to fly home in three days. She was also advised to arrange a consultation with a diving doctor on her return home to obtain a clearance to dive, and to consider undergoing testing for a PFO.

Indonesia: 37-year-old male diver, with a lifetime history of 450 dives and a history of gout. He contacted DAN via email seeking referral to a Hyperbaric Doctor for assessment. He had just completed a dive trip in Komodo (three dives a day over 7-days).  On the final day he completed two dives without incident.

Twenty-four hours later he flew home to Kuala Lumpur. While on the flight he had symptoms of tightness in his chest and noticed his right knee had swollen. His symptoms progressed, and he woke the following day with tingling in his fingertips as well as fatigue.

DAN referred the Member for assessment.  The Member was admitted to Hospital and breathed oxygen throughout the night. He was assessed by the Diving Physician the following day and underwent two Table 5 recompression treatments. His symptoms resolved, although he still had slight residual fatigue, which is not uncommon.

Thailand: Coral abrasion with infection: A 56-year-old male called the DAN DES Hotline seeking advice following a coral scrape received in Indonesia five days earlier. He had returned home to Bangkok and his ankle became swollen and sore, and he had a rash. The Member was advised to present at a larger hospital to seek debridement (removal of damaged tissue / foreign objects from the wound), a tetanus shot and antibiotics for the infection.

Indonesia: A 60-year-old male diving instructor emailed the DAN office to advise he had presented at a hospital with a suspected ‘Ear Trauma’. In the hospital he had undergone several tests and was told not to fly for five days and should not work (in his role as a diving instructor) for a couple months minimum. The DAN Doctors were very concerned and advised him not to fly until DCI could be excluded, as flying could make his condition worse. This advice was not taken, and the Member underwent three long-haul flights, believing he would be fine, and symptoms would resolve. This case is ongoing and will be discussed in further detail at a later date.

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.

REMINDER: Please do not use email or Facebook to notify DAN of an incident. For immediate response (24/7) it is essential to call a DAN Hotline.

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

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