Completed Studies

Risk Mitigation for Divers With a Known PFO
A PFO, or a “hole in the heart,” is a known risk factor for DCS. This study sought to determine if closing this hole in a surgical procedure would decrease the risk of DCS and compared these findings to divers that were advised to dive more conservative profiles.

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Predive Checklists Increase Diving Safety
Many of the risks and hazards associated with scuba diving can be effectively mitigated or avoided by taking appropriate predive safety precautions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of predive checklists in reducing the incidence of diving mishaps and injuries.

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Project Dive Exploration (PDE)
In 1995, DAN undertook a project to prospectively collect data about how recreational divers dive and how often they get decompression sickness. For the first time, the dive exposures were described in detail thanks to the availability of dive computers with recording capability.

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Diabetes and Diving
Historically, DAN advised divers with insulin-dependent diabetes against diving because of the threat of a hypoglycemic episode underwater. However, two studies helped reevaluate the guidelines for recreational diving with diabetes.

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Decompression Stress and Microparticles
The aim of the study was to establish the effects of scuba diving on microparticles — cellular debris — in the blood and their possible role in the mechanisms of DCS.

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Incidence of Decompression Illness in Scientific Diving
Scientific diving is generally held as one of the safest forms of diving. The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of decompression illness associated with scientific diving activity by reviewing official records.

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Miskito Fishermen Divers and Decompression Illness — Effects of Delay
The purpose of this study was to help clinicians understand the impact of delayed recompression treatment of decompression illness (DCI) among Miskito fishermen divers.

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Physical Fitness of Divers
Adequate levels of physical fitness are necessary to meet both typical and emergent demands of diving. But sometimes, guidelines have unrealistically high bars that not all divers can meet.

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Flying After Diving
Decompression sickness can occur if a diver does not properly space out diving and flying postdive. The data collected from these studies influenced the current guidelines on when to fly postdive.

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Diving with Pacemakers: Experience of Divers with Implanted Cardiac Devices
Diving with a pacemaker is generally not recommended given the risk of drowning due to a possible underwater electrical shock and other complications.

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Decongestants and Diving
The use of nasal decongestants increased a diver's risk for developing CNS oxygen toxicity. Factors like gender, could influence symptoms and severity.

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Increasing Breath-Hold Time to Maximal Safe Levels
The primary objective of this study was to increase breath-hold diving time to a maximal safe level without danger of loss of consciousness or functional incapacity.

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Cialis™/Viagra™ and the Risk of Oxygen Toxicity
Drugs such as Cialis or Viagra belong to a family of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors which may cause vasodilation in the brain and thus increase the risk of oxygen toxicity. This study concluded that rats treated with PDE5 inhibitors had a faster onset of CNS oxygen toxicity resulting in oxygen seizures than rats not treated with PDE5 inhibitors.

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Evaluation of Oxygen Delivery Systems in Remote Locations
Oxygen breathed at elevated pressure (hyperbaric oxygen) is the definitive treatment for decompression illness. The purpose of several studies at DAN was to evaluate the performance of oxygen delivery systems made available to or being used for divers.

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Flying After Recompression Treatment
DAN conducted an online survey of divers who were recompressed for DCI within the past five years and then flew in an airplane to try to answer “How long should you wait to fly after recompression therapy?”

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DAN Membership Health Survey: Identified Risk Factors and Established Preventive Initiatives
The purpose of the survey was to establish the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes and asthma of DAN members. This survey also looked at members’ access to primary healthcare, their diving practices, and the prevalence of common diving-related injuries.

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Diving Injuries in Insured DAN Members: An Analysis of Insurance Claims
In order to enable future studies to target specific issues and devise appropriate preventive interventions for scuba divers, this study sought to establish the incidence and prevalence of injuries and identify their trends among insured DAN members.

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