[abstract] A REVIEW OF AVAILABLE BREATH-HOLD INCIDENT RECORDS: 1994-2003

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[abstract] A REVIEW OF AVAILABLE BREATH-HOLD INCIDENT RECORDS: 1994-2003

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Title: [abstract] A REVIEW OF AVAILABLE BREATH-HOLD INCIDENT RECORDS: 1994-2003
Author: Pollock, NW; Wiley, JL; Ellis, JE
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Breath-hold diving is gaining popularity as an underwater sport. Serious injury or death can result from hypoxic loss of consciousness or other complications. Development of a formal program to collect and disseminate information regarding breath-hold injuries and fatalities is desirable to improve awareness, training, and procedural developmentMATERIALS AND METHODS: The Divers Alert Network (DAN) has maintained a diving incident database since 1987. While breath-hold/freediving/snorkeling incidents fall outside the original database structure, some cases have been reported to DAN. The available records for 1994-2003 incidents were augmented through internet searches and reviewed. Described activities included snorkeling, spearfishing, abalone diving, breath-hold training, and recreational and competitive freedivingRESULTS: 131 cases contained sufficient data for basic analysis. Comprehensive records were available from rare high profile events. Most cases (98percent, n=128) involved fatalities. The three injury cases included one shark attack, one crocodile attack and one near-drowning. Incidents were reported from 16 countries, 78percent (n=101) occurring within the United States. Most victims were male (88percent, n=110; data available in 95percent of cases). The mean (+/-SD) age of victims was 38+/-16 years in the 77 cases (59percent) with age information. Bodies were recovered in 96percent (n=123) of fatal incidents. Recovery depth ranged from 0-406 ft (median = 30 ft) in the 28 cases (21percent) with available dataCONCLUSIONS: While a small number of high profile fatality cases may be widely reported, limited information is available for most breath-hold accidents. Non-fatal incidents are rarely reported. Data from both fatal and non-fatal cases would provide valuable information to improve awareness, facilitate training and promote procedural evaluations. DAN incorporated a review of available breath-hold data in the 2005 annual report and will encourage regular collection of incident data in the future ACKNOWLEDGMENT: JL Wiley was supported by the DAN research internship program.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/3702
Date: 2006

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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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