DECOMPRESSION-RELATED EVENTS typically come to mind when thinking of dive injuries and fatalities. DAN Research’s incident analysis program, however, has shown that approximately one-third of dive fatalities can be traced to a cardiac event, making cardiac-related issues the No. 1 cause of fatalities while diving.
The most commonly suspected fatal cardiac event is an arrhythmia that triggers cardiac arrest. Certain medical conditions, including left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a condition in which the heart muscles are stretched to greater than normal size, are correlated with increased arrhythmias. When diving, the increased pressure and workload can also increase stress on the heart, possibly triggering arrhythmias.
DAN is especially interested in studying the prevalence of arrhythmias and LVH in public safety divers due to the often strenuous nature of their dives. We want to work with public safety teams across the nation who are willing to participate in our study, which involves collecting electrocardiograms and ultrasound measurements of the heart before, during, and after a training dive. AD
© Alert Diver — Q2 2023