[abstract] DIVING FATALITIES INVOLVING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: 1989-2002

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[abstract] DIVING FATALITIES INVOLVING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: 1989-2002

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Title: [abstract] DIVING FATALITIES INVOLVING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: 1989-2002
Author: Caruso, JL; Uguccioni, DM; Ellis, JE; Dovenbarger, JA; Bennett, PB
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In the past few years several dive-training organizations have made concerted efforts to attract younger individuals to recreational diving. Many dive medicine professionals feel that the younger diver may not possess the physical and emotional maturity to safely participate in recreational diving, particularly in emergency situations. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) collects and analyzes all available information on diving related fatalities and makes recommendations that promote safe diving. METHODS: The DAN recreational diving fatality database was queried for dive fatalities involving individuals who were 17 years of age or younger at the time of death. DAN staff and a physician who is both a diving medical officer and a forensic pathologist reviewed all cases. The age of the diver, the cause and manner of death, the circumstances surrounding the dive accident, and the level of dive training and experience were examined. RESULTS: DAN collected data on 1248 diving fatalities for the years 1989-2002 inclusive. Twenty-four (1.9percent) deaths involved divers 17-years of age or younger (range 10-17). This included 19 males and 6 females. Every case was determined to be an accidental death. Drowning and/or air embolism was the cause of death in the vast majority of mishaps. Several of the young divers had no formal training; many died performing high risk (deep, altitude cave/wreck entry) dives. CONCLUSIONS: A very small percentage of recreational diving fatalities involve individuals 17-years of age or younger. Only time will tell if increasing the number of active young divers will increase the number of fatalities in this age group. Most diving deaths are catastrophic events, but those involving younger divers result in a significant loss of productive years of life. Nearly all diving deaths involving children and adolescents are accidental in nature and theoretically totally avoidable.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/1599
Date: 2004

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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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