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Diving after Heart Attack

Discussion in 'Special Needs' started by Footslogger, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. JCR

    JCR Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sierra Foothills, Near Sacramento
    After my last stress test I had a long talk with my cardiologist -- he took the time to work this through with me -- about the physical risks. Since I was going to do a refresher course, I asked him to complete the PADI form and then I made several copies of that to take along with me to Cozumel, leaving tonight. :D I am hopeful that will address any concerns dive operators there have.

  2. divekayak

    divekayak Registered

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: kauai hawaii
    here is my $.02. My wife recently had an ICD after she had Ablation performed. Both surgins said she could dive. The one surgin said if she had an incident it would be the same as on land and your buddy can assist you to the surface.
    When we got back from Oahu( we live on Kaui ) We called DAN and they said if you have a heart problem we shouldn't be diving, I wasn't quite ready to accept that answer.
    I called Metronics who makes my wifes ICD and their responses were: devices were tested good to 2.5 ATA in a chamber and as Doug said they test for pressure related healing (O2 to 66ft). The feeling I got was they stopped there as their concern was O2 related. Interestingly they said 2 other things. 1. concern of banging the device while under water 2. the number of dives over the 6 year lifetime of the device. Their closing was talk to Dr's and diving should be limited on medical conditions rather than pressure tolerance of your heart device.
    I feel alot of the cautions we run into are based on not enough knowledge on the subject and to err would be on the side of safety.
    My received her ICD because we are 2hrs from Oahu, initally they weren't going to install it until they learned where we live.
    Doug I too apreciated your wisdom on this subject. What makes this particulairly bad for me is I just bought a new strobe for my camera and it hasn't been in the water yet.
    Dec 4th we have a meeting with one of the surgins, and anything new I will share.
  3. Lorne Onstad

    Lorne Onstad New

    # of Dives:
    Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
    I am new to this site and hoping to be brand new to diving. I also suffered a heart attack last April, two weeks after I had compelted my initial training and two weeks before we were scheduled to go to Belize for diving with our sons.
    In my case I have never smoked, rarely drink, am not overweight, exercise regularily and have no history in my family, so it was a shock for everyone, especially me of course.
    I have had a 12mm stent installed last April and seem to have recovered quite well, my medications have been cut back somewhat and I have been given a relatively clean bill of health from my family physician.
    So here we are almost a year later and now planning to head down to Belize to pick up where we wanted to be a year ago.
    But the question of diving is still a topic of concern and confusion.
    I personally want to dive, my wife of course is very concerned. My family physician isn't sure so where does that leave you. Unclear it appears.
    No one seems willing to give a definitive answer, so the decision may be entirely personal.
    Since I am an adrenilin junky anyway, I ride motorcylces, horses, bungy jump, sky dive, is this any more dangerous, that I do not know.
  4. tight rope walker

    tight rope walker Contributor

    As I told another diver I can only speak from experience. In 2002 I had open heart surgery to correct a arrhythmia problem. You need to find a cardiologist with a understanding of diving and the potential problems, who is objective. I am 56 and still dive all that I want to. You could possibly contact Dan for advice, or as I did, contact a board certified physician at the Cleveland Clinic.

    But if you are not satisfied with an answer, and you feel you are capable of diving, do not give up. Search until you find a knowledgeable doctor.

    Remember the word of the day is LIABILITY, and if a doctor errs, he wants to err on the side of caution.

    I am living proof, to show it can be done. My new cardiologist also has a degree in physics from M.I.T., so he in some ways has a better understanding of diving topics.

  5. RBURN

    RBURN New

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: London, ON CANADA
    MI here...July 2004, and diving. Take copy of recent stress test with you and see local doctor for his approval (cost $70) in Jamaica. It's called "CYA" liability. They like to see something. Only you know your limits, don't push them. For myself 60 ft. is OK. No stressful diving. Oh yeh...I'm 60, play hockey, tennis and also mountain bike.
    All the best...
    go dive, you've been given a second chance!

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