cayo levisa .org - Beaches and Diving Sites in Cayo Levisa at the north of the Pinar del Rio, Cuba

Diving Emergency Procedures

It is important for all divers to have a basic understanding of what kinds of emergencies can arise when called to the assistance of a diving emergency. There are numerous reasons why a diver would require emergency care here we will review some of the more life threatening, such as Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE), pneumothorax (ruptured lung), hypothermia and decompression sickness (DCS).

Air Embolism

Transport to nearest emergency facility closely associated with a recompression chamber. Do not waste time evaluating and stabilizing at a facility unaccustomed to diving emergencies.

SYMPTOMS APPEAR DURING OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURFACING

Symptoms

  • Disorientation
  • Chest pain
  • Paralysis or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Personality change
  • Voice change in tonal quality

Signs

  • Bloody froth from nose or mouth
  • Paralysis or weakness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Stopped breathing
  • Apparent Death

Early Management

  • CPR, if required
  • Open airway, prevent aspiration, intubate if trained person available
  • Give O2, remove only to open airway or if convulsions ensue. Mask, if available
  • If conscious, give nonalcoholic liquids
  • Place in horizontal, neutral position
  • Restrain convulsing person loosely and resume O2 as soon as airway is open
  • Protect from excessive cold, heat, water or fumes

Decompression Sickness

Transport to nearest emergency facility closely associated with a recompression chamber. Do not waste time evaluating and stabilizing at a facility unaccustomed to diving emergencies.

SYMPTOMS APPEAR 15 MINUTES TO 12 HOURS AFTER SURFACING

Symptoms

  • Tired feeling
  • Itching
  • Pain, arms, legs or trunk
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness, tingling or paralysis
  • Chest compression or shortness of breath
  • Anything unusual after the dive

Signs

  • Blotchy rash
  • Paralysis or weakness anywhere in the body
  • Coughing spasms
  • Staggering or instability
  • Unconsciousness
  • Personality change

Early Management

  • Stabilize patient the same way as for Air Embolism
  • Urgent recompression after stabilization in trauma facility closely associated with a recompression chamber
  • Immediate oxygen breathing, continue even if person improves markedly. Use a mask, if available.
  • Always take to recompression treatment for all forms of decompression sickness

Lung Over-Expansion (Pneumothorax, Mediastinal Emphysema)

Symptoms

  • Disorientation
  • Chest pain
  • Paralysis or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Personality change
  • Voice change in tonal

Signs

  • Bloody froth from nose or mouth
  • Paralysis or weakness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Stopped breathing
  • Apparent Death

Early Management

  • CPR, if required
  • Open airway, prevent aspiration, intubate if trained person available
  • Give O2, remove only to open airway or if convulsions ensue. Mask, if available
  • If conscious, give nonalcoholic liquids