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Title: Regular medication use by active scuba divers with a declared comorbid medical condition and victims of scuba and snorkelling-related fatalities.
Austin Authors: Taylor, Simone E ;Taylor, David McD ;Pisasale, Daisy ;Booth, Kyle;Lippmann, John
Affiliation: Emergency
Department of Medicine, Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia
Pharmacy Department, Eastern Health, Victoria, Australia
Australasian Diving Safety Foundation, Ashburton, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2021
Date: 2021-09-30
Publication information: Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 2021; 51(3): 264-270
Abstract: The aim of this study was to describe the nature of regular medications taken by active comorbid scuba divers (having a declared medical comorbidity) and scuba divers and snorkellers who died following a diving incident. We undertook a retrospective, observational study from July to October, 2020. Data on 268 active comorbid divers were obtained through a 2013 survey of Divers Alert Network Asia-Pacific members. Data on 126 deceased scuba divers and 175 deceased snorkellers were obtained predominantly from 2001-2013 reports to Australian State Coronial Services. The active comorbid divers were significantly older, less likely to be male, and more likely to be taking one or more medications than the two deceased subject groups (P < 0.001). Cardiovascular, endocrine and psychotropic medications accounted for 53.4%, 9.9% and 6.4% of all medications taken, respectively. Almost one tenth of the deceased divers took at least one psychotropic medication, a proportion significantly greater than the other groups (P = 0.01). Medication use among active comorbid divers is common which likely reflects their declared medical condition. Nevertheless, they appear to be diving relatively safely, often with conditions once thought to be absolute contradictions to scuba diving. The deceased divers took significantly more psychotropic medications. It is possible that their underlying psychological/psychiatric conditions rendered them more at risk of a diving incident. Increased vigilance for psychological conditions may need to be considered during diving medical examinations.
DOI: 10.28920/dhm51.3.264-270
ORCID: 0000-0002-8986-9997
Journal: Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine
PubMed URL: 34547777
ISSN: 1833-3516
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: DAN – Divers Alert Network
Diving deaths
Diving incidents
Health status
Recreational diving
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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