Public Safety Announcement: Remember to Call DAN

Photo by Stephen Frink

This familiar information is on the back of your DAN® member card. Calling the DAN Emergency Hotline, which has been serving divers in need since 1980, connects you with our in-house dive medical experts who will help you respond to the accident, direct you to the best treatment options wherever you are or arrange medical evacuation if necessary.

If you or someone you know is involved in a dive accident, first call to activate emergency medical services (EMS), and then call the DAN Emergency Hotline.

DAN Emergency Hotline: +1-919-684-9111. Available 24/7 for diving and nondiving emergencies (including TravelAssist services). DAN MUST ARRANGE ALL TRANSPORTATION PRIOR TO EVACUATION. DAN accepts collect EMERGENCY calls.

Dive accidents do not have to render divers unconscious or bleeding profusely to be life-threatening: Many seemingly benign symptoms of decompression sickness (DCS), such as a skin rash, can be precursors to more severe forms. Sometimes divers don’t regard their situation as an emergency and subsequently don’t activate EMS; they may even seek treatment by transporting themselves to a nearby chamber, which often results in refusal of treatment and a delay in proper care.

Divers with suspected DCS should be transported to a hospital or emergency care clinic for immediate evaluation and stabilization and for treatment of any injuries. If recompression treatment is advised, the treating physician will make a referral to a hyperbaric chamber that treats divers. Chambers are used to treat a variety of injuries and ailments, and many do not accept divers. Among chambers that do treat divers, the one closest to you may not treat civilians. Some facilities are not equipped to treat emergency patients and require a physician’s referral to administer treatment.

Calling DAN will help you avoid any unnecessary delay in treatment and ensure that you are following the protocol prescribed by your DAN membership, DAN Dive Accident Insurance or DAN Travel Insurance. Attempting to coordinate services on your own could result in a denial of coverage when you file a claim for reimbursement. Letting DAN coordinate your assistance ensures that you get the coverage you pay for and allows you to focus on what really matters: your health and safety.

© Alert Diver — Q2 2019