Water, Water, Everywhere

By Barry Shuster, Esq. Vice President, Marketing

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Water is everywhere — in swimming pools, ponds, lakes, miles of rivers and coastal beaches. As divers and outdoor enthusiasts, we celebrate this fact.

Our love for the water is tempered by respect: all too often, we are reminded that water can be unforgiving, as when we hear reports of a drowning death. An unsupervised child falls into a swimming pool; a middle-aged man slips on a rock while fishing and is swept under by river current. If we are fortunate, we listen to the report and give silent thanks that it wasn’t one of our family, friends or neighbors. 

We Can Make a Difference

The odds are high that we as divers and water enthusiasts will witness a drowning or near-drowning incident. Certain emergency measures can make the difference between tragedy and recovery. That is why DAN Services, Inc. has introduced the DAN Oxygen First Aid for Aquatic Emergencies course. That is also why Divers Alert Network encourages you to get this training as soon as possible from a DAN Aquatics Instructor near you.

A Natural Expansion of the DAN Mission

Through the DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries course, DAN trained thousands of instructors to teach recreational divers how to provide vital oxygen first aid in the event of a diving accident. As diving enthusiasts, we are also water enthusiasts. Unfortunately, scores of children and adults perish each year in drowning accidents. The DAN Oxygen First Aid for Aquatic Emergencies program trains you to use oxygen to provide emergency first aid to a near-drowning victim. Just as oxygen can provide relief and hasten recovery for a victim of decompression illness, oxygen can increase the survival odds for a near-drowning victim.

Medical Community Sees the Importance of Oxygen in Near-Drowning Incidents

The medical literature is replete with references to the advantages of oxygen administration in all resuscitation efforts, particularly in near-drowning victims. As noted by one author: "In a pediatric near-drowning victim, in the first ten minutes after a rescue, oxygen administration has been shown to be "the single most important factor in influencing survival."

Yet the efforts of paramedical personnel are often delayed. One study, in what many regard as a community that is proactive in its resuscitation education, found that paramedical care response was greater than 10 minutes in 91 percent of the victims.

Course Prerequisites and Time Requirements

No minimum age requirement exists for participation in the course, although some localities may have minimum age stipulations for the use of emergency oxygen. Training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from a nationally recognized association is required.

The course offers two training options. The student may either review the knowledge development portion of the course as a one-hour module with an instructor, or a two-hour self-study module. The skills development portion lasts three hours. A qualified DAN Oxygen First Aid for Aquatic Emergencies instructor must supervise the completion of this portion.

What You Will Learn

The course consists of a knowledge development section and a skills development section.

The knowledge development portion covers the following

•Respiratory and circulation systems;

•Mechanisms, warning signs and stages

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