Now CMAS—the World Underwater Federation—has decided to endorse the 2020 Diver Medical Screening system.
For most of us in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, being away from diving in itself is enough to cause withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, factors such as work, weather and lifestyle can mean that we take longish breaks, although I do not think anyone has taken such a long break before—certainly not one that left no choice and one that required significant lifestyle changes and restrictions.
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.”
The 'Medical Statement' form' is currently used by the majority of divers undertaking training. It was first published in 1989.
April 2020 — I come to you as a recreational and technical diving instructor, as a physician consultant for Divers Alert Network, and as a COVID-19 survivor. For me, it was just an occupational hazard. I tested positive for COVID-19 after seeing a patient in my cardiology clinic for an unrelated condition who seemed quite short of breath. He was admitted to the ICU and tested positive for COVID-19.
We (humans, psychologists and divers) love to be able to put things into neat and tidy boxes. Even if we have a “freeform” mind and emotions, we still like to have something upon which we can ground ourselves—a base, if you like, that gives us just enough stability to cope with the stresses life throws at us.
Cardiac issues have become a leading factor in diving fatalities, according to a study. Hence, older scuba divers have been advised to have regular fitness assessments with their doctors and cut down on factors that can increase one's risk of suffering a heart attack when diving.
Although it is mandatory to be screened for fitness and have one's dive skills certified prior to being issued a C-Card, such certification lasts a lifetime.