Completed Studies

For decades, DAN Research has conducted valuable studies on topics of interest to the diving community. These studies, conducted both in and out of the laboratory, provide a solid foundation for globally accepted standards and recommendations for safe diving. Some of the topics DAN researchers have investigated include surface intervals for divers who plan to fly after diving, effects of aging and cardiac health on diving safety, the medical implications of diving with insulin-requiring diabetes, and many more.

See all of DAN’s completed research studies here.

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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