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Automated External Defibrillators for Scuba Diving

More than 10 percent of all dive fatalities are actually caused by cardiovascular disease, according to DAN dive accident and fatality statistics. This course teaches divers and other interested parties to provide care for sudden cardiac arrest including the use of an automated external defibrillator.

This course represents entry-level training designed to educate the general diving (and qualified non-diving) public to better recognize the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and administer first aid using Basic Life Support techniques and Automated External Defibrillators while activating the local emergency medical services, (EMS) and/or arranging for evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility.

The mean age of divers who die each year in dive fatalities tracked by DAN is gradually increasing. It is now approximately 42 years of age. Divers are getting older, and older people are getting involved in diving.

Of the 78 dive fatalities in the DAN 2001 Report on Decompression Illness, Diving Fatalities and Project Dive Exploration, based on 1999 fatalities, 7.7 percent of them were caused directly by heart disease. At the same time, heart disease was the direct cause of death for 26 percent of the fatalities involving divers over the age of 35.

On top of that, 25 percent of divers involved in diving fatalities were also reported to be taking heart medications.

Heart disease is a common problem. To ignore that it affects divers as much as it affects the general population does divers a disservice. When you consider that diving is often done from remote locations - on beaches or off of dive boats - that are far removed from emergency medical help, it is important to prepare for every emergency.

Automated External Defibrillators for Aquatic Emergencies

This course represents entry-level training designed to educate the general diving (and qualified non-diving) public to better recognize the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and administer first aid using Basic Life Support techniques and Automated External Defibrillators while activating the local emergency medical services, (EMS) and / or arranging for evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility.

In the United States, sudden cardiac arrest claims more than 225,000 to 250,000 lives a year, according to the American Heart Association.
Ninety three percent of the people involved in a submersion incident die from cardiac arrest.

Most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation. There are several causes of ventricular fibrillation including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Electrical shock

The only definitive treatment for ventricular fibrillation is defibrillation. This course teaches lay-providers to use an automated external defibrillator to defibrillate a fibrillating heart and restore a normal rhythm.



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