• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Failed Spirometry Test :(

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Raz2097, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Raz2097

    Raz2097 Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sydney
    Hi guys,

    I recently booked my Open Water Certification Course and was told I needed to get a Dive Medical. Today I went to the doctor and went through the Spirometry Test. I was told that I have Mild Restrictions and that I cannot go diving now. They suggested I go see a specialist to get checked out and see what they say about the situation. So this coming Thursday I am now booked in to see a specialist. I want to dive so badly. This is something I've wanted my whole life and to be told that I cant do it is a real kick in the teeth. I'm 19, fit and I have never had any chronic problems in my life. I also got an X-ray today and was told that I have a bit of bronchial thickness but other than that my lungs are clear and healthy.

    Just wondering whether anyone has any advice for me as this is really disappointing news.

    Any help would be great.


  2. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub

    Type Dr Vanessa HALLER into your computer machine.
  3. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
    You don't specifically say, but it sounds from what you wrote as if you might have some degree of asthma or chronic bronchitis. If this is the case, you're not necessarily ineligable for SCUBA training. You need to see a pulmonologist who is familiar with dive issues. If your restrictions can be treated effectively enough to allow you to have a normal pulmonary function test (PFT) then you're able to dive. As I recall the DAN recommendations, you can dive on a given day, so long as your restriction is well enough controlled that on that day you could pass a PFT.

    Any sort of airway restriction is a serious matter when you're diving, since you would be prone to air trapping and barotrauma. I'd suggest you contact DAN and ask for a referall to an experienced dive Dr in your area.
  4. Raz2097

    Raz2097 Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sydney
    I've never had asthma or any type of chronic illness in my life.
  5. scoobydrew

    scoobydrew Master Instructor

    Hey there

    You have to be carefull with lungs and dry compressed air, no matter how hard the kick in the teeth is to swallow. However, that said a doctor that specialises in SCUBA related medical issues would be best qualified to give you the definitive answer, you didn't mention if the doc you went to was a standard GP or a specialist.

    I don't know what DAN in australia are like but if I was back home in the UK I'd definately contact them (diver assist network) as they should be able to refer you tom someone clued up enough to give you a final decision.
  6. Marek K

    Marek K Loggerhead Turtle

    So the doctor who examined you was a general practitioner? I'm surprised, because I don't think your average GP here in the States would be doing spirometry.

    What kind of physician is the specialist you're being referred to? I agree with scoobydrew above -- in your case, you need a detailed exam by a physician who specializes in dive medicine. I'd guess those guys would also tend to all be pulmonologists, but you'd need someone who specifically understands diving.

    I seem to remember that Australia is pretty strict and conservative about medical clearances for diving.

    Good luck!
  7. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

    Hi Raz2097,

    The first matter is not to get ahead of yourself. Your upcoming appointment with a pulmonary specialist should leave you in a much better position to make decisions about future SCUBA.

    It is good that you are fit and have had no known history of pulmonary disorder. However, this does not mean you cannot have such and your spirometry results appear to suggest airway disease of some sort. The chest x-ray reading of possible bronchial thickening needs to be further investigated. A minor or mild degree of diffuse bronchial wall thickening is sometimes noted in normal healthy individuals. But, it's also seen in some chronic airway diseases, including chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiectasis, asthma and bronchiolitis. A high resolution CT scan, and possibly bronchial-provocation testing and bronchoscopy, should yield all necessary information.

    Best of luck.

  8. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Hi Raz,

    You don't mention which agency you are using to get your Open Water training. If it was PADI, the shop has you fill out a medical survey with all YES/NO questions. If you answer YES to any of the questions the dive shop must send you to a doctor to get medical clearance.

    Did you fill out such a survey? Did you indicate something which hints at a potential medical issue?

    The reason for the survey is just to be safe. The dive shop is not typically staffed with medical personnel. If you answer YES to any of the questions, the dive shop will ask you to see a doctor. The doctor then determines if you are okay to dive. In many cases, if you see a doctor with dive knowledge, they will understand why the condition can have serious consequences when diving. They would also know how to control the condition (if possible) to mitigate the risks.

    This is why the recommendation to contact Diver's Alert Network (DAN) for a referral to a doctor in your area is your best course of action.
  9. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

    RAZ lives in Oz.

    DAN Asia-Pacific (DAN DOC)


  10. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: NA
    Check out the location of the OP - Austraila. A medical is a requirement.

Share This Page