Diving Injuries in Insured DAN Members: An Analysis of Insurance Claims

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 from 2000-2007 by analyzing insurance claims to the Divers Alert Network.

This study concluded that there was a crude decompression sickness (DCS) rate of 20.5 claims per 10,000 insured members, with a peak DCS rate in the 30-39 age range and was lower among women.

This study was completed in 2012. 

The purpose of this study was to establish th incidence and prevalence of diving and non‐diving injuries and identify their trends during an eight-year period (2000-2007) among insured DAN members. This information will enable future studies to establish needs, target specific issues and devise appropriate preventive interventions for scuba divers.

Participation in scuba diving can result in various injuries, some of which are common to any outdoor activity and some are specific to diving. There is no mandated reporting of diving injuries and thus available statistics are incomplete. The claims adjudicating service organization Palmetto Health maintains a database of claims on behalf of DAN‐owned dive insurance company, Accident & General Insurance (AGI), which is a possible source of diving‐related injury data. AGI provides a secondary insurance for all diving related injuries. In addition, it covers evacuation in case of acute health conditions that might occur while the insurance holders are at least 50 miles away from their home. Thus, insurance claims may provide information about all types of injuries and serious acute conditions for which divers need professional help.

In this retrospective study, insurance claims data from 2000-2007 were analyzed and the annual per-capita decompression sickness (DCS) incidence rate was estimated and found to be 20.5 per 10,000 member-years. Males submitted 28 percent more claims than females. Highest rates of claims were observed in the age range of 30-39.

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