Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Bring a list of emergency numbers on your dive trip, such as the location
of the nearest hyperbaric chamber, dive insurance phone numbers, and whom to contact
in case of an emergency.
Bring a scuba diving emergency tool kit (this will contain spare o-rings,
fin straps, fin clips, mask straps, etc., in case the part you need is not
Maintain your scuba gear. It is advised to have regulators serviced
annually. Inspect your buoyancy compensator device prior to each dive to assure
there are no holes or malfunctioning parts.
Carry a signaling device such as small mirror, whistle, or emergency
surface marker. These items easily fit in a BCD pocket.
Prior to the trip make sure that your tetanus shot
is up-to-date before
any dive trip. Get a new shot every 10 years. See your personal doctor for
immunization and health recommendations prior to foreign travel. In addition,
check the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site for specific
immunization requirements concerning your travel plans. If you do not have a
personal physician, check your local hospitals for travel medicine clinics. You
will be able to get the necessary immunizations and antibiotics through these
centers in a timely fashion. Remember that some continents require multiple
immunizations, so leave at least one to two months lead time for appropriate treatment.
If you have a known insect sting allergy, carry an allergy kit, which
contains injectable epi-pens (epinephrine, adrenaline). Make sure those with you
know how to administer the epi-pen in case you are unable to do so.
Complete a course in diving first aid, CPR, or Oxygen First Aid for Scuba
Diving Injuries. Take a well-stocked first aid kit with you.
Refresh your knowledge of the basics of scuba diving safety prior to
departing on dive trips. For example be prepared by:
Observing the "no fly rules" of air travel after diving.
Know the signs and symptoms of decompression illness
Know the actions to take with a
Know what actions to take in the event you are
bitten by a marine animal,
come in contact with fire coral, or accidentally scraped or
cut on hard coral
with bare skin.
Know what actions to take if you or your buddy is stung by a