The Divers Alert Network this week published a reference document to promote divers’ medical fitness and help them dive throughout their lives.
According to DAN President and CEO Bill Ziefle:
“We understand that people love to dive and want to continue to do so in their retirement and often into their older age. DAN has always helped divers get the medical care they need, and we are pleased to offer this resource to help them to dive safely for as long as possible.”
The document, which is intended to be used by divers, dive professionals and doctors, establishes a schedule for a medical questionnaires and physical evaluations based on age and other relevant factors.
According to DAN Medical Director Jim Chimiak:
“Scuba certifications are generally valid for divers’ entire lives, but everyone’s health status changes over time. Our goal with this schedule is to provide useful guidance that divers can rely on to feel safe and confident in the water.”
Among the schedule’s recommendations is completion of a medical questionnaire by all divers annually. For divers over age 45 or who have multiple health risk factors, the schedule recommends a medical fitness-to-dive evaluation every five years. For divers over 65 or who have relevant chronic illnesses, it recommends an annual evaluation.
DAN’s Vice President of Research Petar Denoble added:
“We have an enormous amount of data on who gets hurt while diving, and in designing this schedule we are leveraging that data to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths that befall divers every year.”
The information is presented in both table and flowchart format for quick reference and ease of use.
Check out the schedule here.