If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty behind the causes of dive fatalities, the Divers Alert Network might have something just for you.
In 2014, DAN co-sponsored a workshop on the “Medical Examination of Diving Fatalities” at a symposium in St. Louis, Missouri. DAN recently made a compilation of the presentations at that workshop publicly available.
One of the conclusions from that workshop was that while drowning appeared to be the leading cause of death among recreational divers, the root causes that preceded those drownings vary and should be investigated further. A lot of times, multiple root causes are the reason for fatal diving injuries that may not be completely obvious. More research could result in developing preventative measures to lower diver deaths.
“In these proceedings, an international group of prominent diving physicians and diving pathologists discuss the issues and challenges associated with the investigation of diving fatalities, including possible root causes, health conditions, autopsy methods and field investigation protocols. The proceedings provide insight into the investigation while also focusing on the prevention of injuries and fatal accidents in recreational scuba diving. The chapters are edited and expanded from the transcripts of presentations at the DAN/[Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society] sponsored symposium for medical examiners and diving physicians.”
DAN Vice President of Mission Dr. Petar Denoble said:
“Our responsibility doesn’t end with presenting our research. We have an obligation to take our information and develop useful resources for the medical and dive community. By posting these proceedings, medical professionals as well as divers seeking more knowledge will have the opportunity to access this valuable information and put it to use in an effort to reduce diving fatalities.”
Check out a PDF version of the full report at diversalertnetwork.org.