[abstract] FATALITIES INVOLVING DIVERS MAKING TECHNICAL DIVES: 1989-1997

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[abstract] FATALITIES INVOLVING DIVERS MAKING TECHNICAL DIVES: 1989-1997

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Title: [abstract] FATALITIES INVOLVING DIVERS MAKING TECHNICAL DIVES: 1989-1997
Author: Caruso, JL; Uguccioni, DM; Dovenbarger, JA; Bennett, PB
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The popularity of technical diving has increased dramatically over the past decade. The general recreational diving community has adopted types of diving that were once classified as technical in nature (e.g., enriched air nitrox). METHODS: The Divers Alert Network attempts to collect all information on diving fatalities that occur in the U.S. and those that involve U/S. citizens diving abroad. Sources of information include DAN Fatality Report Forms, eyewitness accounts, investigative reports, newspaper articles, and autopsy findings. All cases are reviewed by a physician with experience both in diving medicine and forensic pathology. Synopses of each fatality are published in an annual report. DAN defines a technical type of dive as one that meets any of the following criteria: 1) Diving in a partially enclosed environment such as a cave, ice or wreck penetration; 2) Breathing gas other than air or standard enriched air nitrox mixtures (32/36percent); 3) Decompression diving; 4) Specialized diving apparatus such as a closed or semi-closed circuit UBA. A diver needed to have obtained formal training in technical types of diving to be classified as a technical diver, otherwise the divers were classified as recreational divers attempting technical types of dives. RESULTS: There were only 829 diving fatalities that were reported during the years 1989-1997; one hundred twenty-eight (15.4percent) were classified as technical diving related deaths. Only 31 (24.2percent) of the technical diving related deaths involved divers with formal technical diving training and experience. The remaining 97 fatalities involved divers who had insufficient training and experience to be classified as technical divers. YEAR 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97, DEATHS 8 17 9 19 17 17 19 16 5, CONCLUSIONS: The cast majority of technical diving related fatalities involve divers who had insufficient training and experience for the type of dive attempted. Increased training prior to making technical types of diver should result in a decrease in diving fatalities.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/805
Date: 1999

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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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