View Full Version : inhaled seawater
November 30th, 2008, 08:44 PM
So, the sea was rough and one of the other divers was taking forever to get off the boat and so I put my snorkel in my mouth while I waited and then forgot I hadn't replaced it with my second stage when I descended until I took a breath of water. It wasn't huge or anything and I just put in my regulator without surfacing and continued the dive. The next day I had some cold like symptoms but since I was it was the first day of our rescue diving course I swam most of the morning and the rest of the week taking decongestants and antihistamines and sleeping all afternoon. off and on I have run a fever but only a little one...it has now been two weeks and I am not over the "cold" could this be aspiration pneumonia? I am not very sick just coughing a little bit and tired and headachy all the time
December 5th, 2008, 12:27 PM
Symptoms involving "a fever but only a little one," feeling "a little bit tired and headachy all the time" and "coughing a little bit" against a background of not feeling especially ill is not particularly suggestive of aspiration pneumonia.
Aspiration pneumonia typically is characterized by a meaningful fever, substantial coughing productive of sputum (sometimes with pus or blood in it), wheezing, shortness of breath and chest discomfort. There may be other signs and symptoms, and the patient usually does feel "sick."
However, the fact this condition is passing the two week mark now is reason for mild concern. Contact with one's PCP might be prudent.
This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual and should not be construed as such.
December 6th, 2008, 12:10 PM
I'm finally over it. The cough was very productive...I ended up taking antibiotics for 14 days and though I am not coughing or heavy in the lungs or rasping when I exhale any more I am slow getting my energy back. I can't say for sure if it was more then bronchitis but it sure put the kabosh on my diving trip! and I won't forget to replace my snorkel with my regulator again!!
December 8th, 2008, 09:43 AM
The cough was very productive...while I am not coughing or heavy in the lungs or rasping when I exhale any more I am slow getting my energy back.
The above additional information somewhat modifies the original description of signs and symptoms, but the important matter is that you're now greatly improved.
Making sure you replace your snorkel with your regulator, taking care not to breath saltwater mist on the surface and using a dry-breathing, properly-tuned reg are all good ideas for preventing water aspiration-related maladies.
January 30th, 2009, 06:49 PM
I have a similar concern, though I hadn't thought to attribute it to inhaling seawater. I recently got back from a cruise through the Caribbean. We dove with 3 different dive shops. On the last day of the cruise, I started feeling sick -- like a mild flu. Long story short, x-rays one week later confirmed I now have pneumonia.
The last LDS made me very uncomfortable because they led multiple divers below 500 psi, knowingly. I thought that caused tank corrosion, but I'm unclear on the details of how that works.
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone thinks there is a potential connection between aspiration pneumonia, tank corrosion and contaminated air. Maybe something to do with oil vapors?
Thanks for your thoughts!