[abstract] TEN YEARS OF DIVING FATALITY EPIDEMIOLOGY: THE DIVERS ALERT NETWORK DATABASE, 1989-1998.

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[abstract] TEN YEARS OF DIVING FATALITY EPIDEMIOLOGY: THE DIVERS ALERT NETWORK DATABASE, 1989-1998.

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Title: [abstract] TEN YEARS OF DIVING FATALITY EPIDEMIOLOGY: THE DIVERS ALERT NETWORK DATABASE, 1989-1998.
Author: Caruso, JL; Uguccioni, DM; Ellis, JE; Dovenbarger, JA; Vann, RD; Bennett, PB
Abstract: BACKGROUND: An average of 90 recreational diving fatalities occur in the United States or involve U.S. citizens diving abroad each year. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) collects and analyzes all available information related to these fatalities and periodically disseminates the findings in an effort to enhance diving safety. METHODS: Sources of information include DAN Accident Report Forms, eyewitness accounts, investigative reports, newspaper articles, and autopsy findings. All cases are reviewed by DAN staff and a physician with training both in diving medicine and forensic pathology. DAN publishes an annual report on diving injuries and fatalities that contains a detailed review of the previous year's fatality data as well as a comprehensive overview of cumulative data and selected case reports. For this report, the DAN diving fatality database was analyzed for the years 1989-1998 inclusive in order to point out common factors associated with fatal diving mishaps and any striking patterns or trends. RESULTS: There were 912 diving fatalities reported during the years 1989-1998, an average of 92 deaths each year. Causes of death included: Drowning 59.4% (542); Cardiac 10.2% (93); Air Embolism 8.7% (79); DCS 0.66% (6). Dive Fatality Characteristics; Sex: Males 82.7% (754), Females 17.3% (158); Buddy Separation: Separation 39.7% (362), Solo 14.5% (132); Training/Experience: Uncertified 7.7% (70), Students 5.2% (47), Rec Cert/Tech Dive 10.4% (95). CONCLUSIONS: There are several recurring themes associated with fatal recreational diving accidents. Inexperienced divers and divers with little or no experience in more challenging types of diving are disproportionately represented in the DAN diving fatality database. Common causal and contributing factors include running out of air, cardiovascular disease, and buddy separation. Emphasizing increased training and experience, identifying significant pre-existing natural disease processes, and adhering to the recommended diving safety guidelines should reduce the annual number of diving fatalities.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/6946
Date: 2000

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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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