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Advanced SCUBA 1st Aid?

Discussion in 'Diving Physics, Physiology, & Medicine' started by Rick Brant, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. Rick Brant

    Rick Brant Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kaua'i
    The current thread on the child that suffered a seizure made me think some additional training in dive medicine would be good. I have PADI Rescue and EFR and am currently working through DM, but is there a curriculum from any agency that gets deeper into the science of dive medicine? I've taken Wilderness First Responder certification for land-based activities, which is a fantastic learning experience -- I'm looking for the dive equivalent of WFR.
  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    Look at DAN's DEMP and DFA-Pro courses. They used to offer a series more like WFA that went into BP and stethoscopes etc and was part way to EMT, but I don't think anything like it is around anymore. But check with DAN, they'll know.
    Hoyden likes this.
  3. VikingDives

    VikingDives Mostly Harmless ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New Mexico
    Training you to handle Dive Emergencies! I've seen them advertised but I don't have any experience with them. I'm a little dubious of it, but my thinking is that once someone's out of the water, emergency medical treatment isn't going to be any different. CPR, and treatment for AGE, DCS aren't going to change in any way I can see, unless you are operating under some sort of medical direction.

    EMS is also a very perishable skill. I'm a first responder, do quarterly refreshers and can push 8 or 9 drugs if you include O2 with our scope of practice, but just after rescue diver/EFR when I had to do something in the real world, it took me what I considered too long to write out a SAMPLE on the patient. I'd forgotten what the acronym stood for (or at least what some of it stood for) even though I'd completed a quarterly refresher and EFR in the previous 90 days. Point being, unless you are doing it all the time, the value of additional training is going to fade over time. I'd do a WFR refresher in your shoes.
  4. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Its called mtac, and it only just started to be open to civilians. 4 classes/year are military, and it’s taught by military doctors. 0C44955A-BE4B-4143-8FCD-2631C56B2BBE.jpeg
    Lostdiver71 and OTF like this.
  5. GJC

    GJC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern California, USA
    DEMP would be your next step but it is limited in scope and is at the first responder, scuba instructor level.

    First Aid Courses - Divers Alert Network

    Above that level, the courses are aimed at paramedics, nurses and physicians that would be caring for dive injuries.

    National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology

    The courses get pricey and involve about a week or two of full time classes.

    Diver Medic Technician Course | Divers Institute of Technology

    Diving Medicine Course
    Antarctic-Adventurer likes this.
  6. Rick Brant

    Rick Brant Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kaua'i
    Thank you this info is what I was looking for.

    VikingDives, I agree with you about the shelf life of skills and have experienced the same. I've done WFR twice and was signed up for a third last spring when covid took root. I've skipped the refreshers and done the full course mainly for the reason you describe. In the case of SCUBA, I mostly want to understand more of the science behind the injuries so I think one of these courses will be a good match.
  7. OTF

    OTF Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: same ocean as you
    WFR is awesome and more of us should take it. If you're thinking about it, do it! It's incredibly fun, fairly rigorous, hands-on, scenario-based training complete with stage makeup injuries. Really useful training remote activities and life in general.

    I wish there was a more commonly available "advanced rescue diver" type course for people who want more than what the cool-sounding but VERY limited "rescue diver" cert offers.
  8. jadairiii

    jadairiii Solo Diver

    First aid training for divers/diving

    1. Get person to surface and out of the water
    2. Call CG/911
    3. Put direct pressure on it?
    4. Put a Tourniquet on it? (do you have one?)
    5. CPR?
    6. Put person on O2.
    7. Get them to shore.

    There you go, all you need to know. Any thing more than that, unless you are a trained EMT/Nurse/doctor/PA/medic, you will probably do more harm than good.
    DogDiver likes this.
  9. GJC

    GJC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern California, USA
    If the victim becomes unconscious before they arrive at the hospital, it may be a long time before additional information can be obtained.


    8. Document information about the victim, including:
    -Name, birth date, address
    -Next of kin or who to contact for medical emergencies
    -Pre-existing medical conditions
    -Medication currently being taken
    -Events leading up to the emergency including dive profile for the day
    -Initial signs and symptoms and if they got better or worse over time
    -Any treatments given and if they seemed to help or not
    9. Send the victims dive computer with them along with someone who knows how to get the dive history from it
    jadairiii likes this.
  10. Dr Simon Mitchell

    Dr Simon Mitchell Medical Moderator Staff Member


    Here are two publications of relevance to education around the above topic. I believe that both continue to represent current thinking.

    One is a consensus document compiled by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society Diving Committee addressing controversies relating to rescue of an unconscious diver (published in 2012)

    The other is a consensus document complied by an international committee of experts convened by DAN America to review management of decompression illness in the field (published in 2019)

    I am happy to answer any questions that arise from reading of these documents on this thread.

    Simon M

    Attached Files:

    Duke Dive Medicine and Hoyden like this.

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