Divers Alert Network has published a reference document to promote divers’ medical fitness to dive throughout their lives.
About DAN: The world’s most recognized and respected dive safety organization, Divers Alert Network (DAN) has remained committed to the health and well-being of divers for 40 years. The organization’s research, medical services and global-response programs create an extensive network that supports divers with vital services such as injury prevention, safety and educational programs and lifesaving evacuations. Every year, hundreds of thousands of divers around the world look to DAN as their dive safety organization. Join the DAN community or learn more at DAN.org.
The document, which is intended to be used by divers, dive professionals and doctors, establishes a schedule for medical questionnaires and physical evaluations based on age and other relevant factors.
“Scuba certifications are generally valid for divers’ entire lives, but everyone’s health status changes over time,” said DAN medical director Jim Chimiak, M.D. “Our goal with this schedule is to provide useful guidance that divers can rely on to feel safe and confident in the water.”
“We have an enormous amount of data on who gets hurt while diving, and in designing this schedule we are leveraging that data to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths that befall divers every year,” said Petar Denoble, M.D., D.Sc., DAN vice president of research.
Among the schedule’s recommendations is completion of a medical questionnaire by all divers annually. For divers over age 45 or who have multiple health risk factors, the schedule recommends a medical fitness-to-dive evaluation every five years. For divers over 65 or who have relevant chronic illnesses, it recommends an evaluation annually. Click here to view the schedule.
The information is presented in both table and flowchart format for quick reference and ease of use. “We understand that people love to dive and want to continue to do so in their retirement and often into their older age,” said DAN president and CEO Bill Ziefle. “DAN has always helped divers get the medical care they need, and we are pleased to offer this resource to help them to dive safely for as long as possible.”