Risk Of Scuba Diving Essay

2816 words - 12 pages

The Risks of Scuba Diving

The Risks of Scuba Diving Western Governors University

The Risks of Scuba Diving The Risks of Scuba Diving Scuba diving is a very popular sport, but a lot of amateurs are not aware of the risks they might face during or after a dive. Every year, 15 million divers engage in 250 million dives worldwide. Thanks to advanced technology and awareness training, accidents can be either prevented or minimized. Unfortunately, the biggest threat to divers is the divers themselves. Hastiness (“I don't have time to check the equipment, it will be alright...”,) proudness and group pressure (“Come on, let's dive even deeper...”,) or simply underestimating one's physical ...view middle of the document...

g. stroke) during the activity. In most cases, hypertension will not lead to drowning. Divers with known coronary diseases are at a very high risk, as this is still the leading cause for fatal accidents. The immersion into cold water, the possible exposure to stressful situations (panic attack), and the additional workload for the heart during the dive can cause hearts to malfunction or to stop completely. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) contains a FAQ section on their webpage (http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/faq/Default.aspx) with useful information about other cardiovascular issues, which cannot be covered in this article. Diabetes Similar to high blood pressure, diabetes is not, by default, a contraindication against scuba diving any longer. Countdown for Kids, a magazine published by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, reports in its Winter 2005 issue about Marcus, a 17 year old boy, who has type 1 diabetes. Although scuba diving is an unreachable dream for many patients with type I diabetes, Marcus was fortunate enough to attend a special adventure camp where he was taught exactly how to control his blood sugar so it would not drop during the dive. In addition, he had to undergo multiple readings of his blood sugar level before the actual descend. (“Marcus's scuba diving adventure,” 2005.) Knowing the symptoms of diabetes, type I and type II, it is obvious, what kind of risks these patients might face under water, should their blood sugar level get out of control: fatigue, irritability, blurry vision – in extreme cases it can lead to unconsciousness, which in return can lead to drowning. To protect divers with diabetes and their dive buddies, UK's diving clubs banned these divers in the 1970s, but after careful reconsideration in the 1990s, the ban was lifted (Edge, 1995). Scuba diving with diabetes, while possible, still needs to be considered very carefully, but the dream has become a reality for more and more divers.

The Risks of Scuba Diving Epilepsy One of the biggest contraindications against scuba diving is epilepsy. Due to the nature of epilepsy, which is a series of abnormal electronic discharges in the brain that lead to altered or diminished consciousness, involuntary movements, or convulsions (“Epilepsy,” 2008), any seizure that occurs under water could end deadly for the diver. Often seizures can be triggered by flickering light and emotional stress; being under water, divers can experience these factors over and over again: flickering light, caused by the sun rays that brake through the water, and emotional stress, which will arise in panic situations. However, despite all warnings, there are divers, who take the risk and feel comfortable enough to put on their scuba gear and get under water. Certain diving associations now allow divers with epilepsy after they received medical clearing and can provide a history of being seizure free for five years (Cronjé, 2005). Persons with epilepsy should...

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