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Wilderness: Safe Diving and Wilderness Tips (cont.)

Practical Issues

  • 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 available).

  • 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 mask, ear, tooth, sinus, or gastric squeeze.

    • 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 venomous jellyfish

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Barotrauma »

Diving as a profession can be traced back more than 5000 years, yet diving-related disease was not described until Paul Bert wrote about caisson disease in 1878.

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