[abstract]DIVERS ALERT NETWORK BREATH-HOLD INCIDENT DATABASE REVIEW: 2006-2011

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[abstract]DIVERS ALERT NETWORK BREATH-HOLD INCIDENT DATABASE REVIEW: 2006-2011

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Title: [abstract]DIVERS ALERT NETWORK BREATH-HOLD INCIDENT DATABASE REVIEW: 2006-2011
Author: Pollock NW; Riddle MF; Wiley JM; Martina SD; Mackey MN
Abstract: Introduction: Breath-hold diving has grown in popularity as an underwater activity with numerous subdisciplines. While generally safe, the aquatic realm is unforgiving, and serious injury or death can occur. Learning from breath-hold incidents is important to promote safety. Methods: Divers Alert Network (DAN) developed a dedicated database to collect breath-hold incidents from 2004 forward. Cases are identified through automated keyword internet searches and voluntary submission. Incidents are followed up through requests to participants or local authorities. We reviewed cases from 2006 through 2011. Data are reported as percentages or mean ± SD, with ranges as appropriate. The percentage of known data is specified for variables with incomplete records. Results: A total of 415 cases were captured; 306 fatal and 109 non-fatal; 51 ± 9 fatal cases annually. Incidents were reported from 56 countries; 46 percent in America; 11 percent in Australia; and single digits elsewhere. Victims were 41 ± 17 (5-93) years of age (92 percent known). Most victims were male (86 percent ). Dive activity was described as snorkeling (46 percent ), spearfishing (25 percent ), free-diving (18 percent ) and collecting (11 percent ) (92 percent known). Incidents were reported in ocean (90 percent ), swimming pools (3.6 percent ), lakes/quarries (3.3 percent ), rivers/springs (1.8 percent ) and other (1.3 percent ) (94 percent known). Witnesses were present in 61 percent of cases (64 percent known) but generally with incomplete details of the event. Disabling injuries were most obvious with acute animal or boat trauma. The most common disabling agent was loss of consciousness, typically intuited in fatal cases from witness reports and/or circumstances due to the lack of physical evidence. Initial triggers are frequently impossible to confirm in fatal cases. Conclusions: Breath-hold incidents frequently present with incomplete information and poor physical evidence. Additional information is required to identify triggers and disabling injuries. Increasing non-fatal case reporting is important to capture details to improve our understanding of events. Funding: Riddle, Wiley, Martina and Mackey supported by 2010-2011 DAN research internship programs.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10505
Date: 2012

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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