COPD: Incompatible With Diving

Reduced exercise tolerance is common for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and poses risks for diving. There can be strenuous activity involved with managing currents, swimming on the surface in choppy seas or pulling yourself and your heavy gear up a ladder and onto an unsteady boat. With COPD, shortness of breath during exertion doesn’t mean you are out of shape; it means you cannot rid your body of carbon dioxide and replace it with the oxygen needed to meet the demand of your exertion.

illustration of lungs

PFO Concerns in Dive Injury Treatment

If the diver is symptomatic and you are rendering care, then you need to treat the symptoms. Give them the highest concentration of oxygen available, and get them to definitive health care and treatment. Remember that many conditions show symptoms that may mimic DCS. Just because someone was diving does not mean they have a dive-related illness. When creating your emergency action plan, note the location of the nearest emergency room or where and how to access local emergency services.

Laryngospasm and Anxiety

Q: During dive training in the pool, I couldn’t breathe after clearing my mask with my regulator in my mouth. After surfacing, I took six to eight wheezing breaths and then could breathe normally again. It’s possible I inhaled water during the exercise, but my instructor and I could not recall when or how that would have […]