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DAN Research Goes Global With New Partnership

DAN Enters International Research Alliance To Learn More About DCI

DURHAM, NC –  2009 is not only about bringing new benefits to DAN® Members, it’s also about new research opportunities for DAN itself.

DAN has entered into a research alliance with the University of Split in Split, Croatia to conduct a new study on the negative effects of diving on the human body and procedures that provide protection from decompression sickness (DCS).

The study will be led by Petar Denoble, M.D., D.Sc., senior research director at DAN, and Zeljko Dujic, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Physiology at the University of Split. The focus of the study will be on three specific components: the investigation of factors that may reduce the risk of DCS, including exercise; the long-term effects of diving on the pulmonary and vasculature systems; and the exploration of how extreme diving, particularly deep technical diving, effects the cardiovascular system.

Inspiration for the study came from Denoble’s work on a 2006 expedition to the Britannic, where he observed technical divers and their practices during their exploration of the wreck at depths of 400 ft (122 m).

 “What was so interesting about our work on the Britannic was the correlation of bubbles and DCS in those doing the deep diving,” said Denoble. “You’d expect that after diving so deep, bubbles would be present in the divers, but the degree of bubbles that we found was overwhelming. Even more surprising was that nobody had any DCS symptoms.  On the other hand, we know that some divers did contract [DCS] symptoms after innocuous dives with no detectable bubbles.  When something like that happens, of course you want to explore it further.”

Field studies will be conducted by both DAN and the University of Split.  Dujic, who has extensive experience in diving medicine research, will lead the lab studies in Croatia. The University of Split’s field studies will be done through continuing work on the Britannic, as well as in waters closer to home.  DAN will conduct the first of its field studies in Grand Cayman.

Dan Orr, DAN president and CEO, said this research study truly represents a new frontier for DAN. “Expanding DAN Research to include active collaborations and joint research studies with international partners presents us with incredible opportunities,” Orr said. “We’ll be able to study and explore questions and areas that may provide information that will make all divers safer. Having alliances with partners of this caliber allows DAN Research to increase its work and contributions in ways we can’t even imagine yet.”

The study is currently expected to last two years.  Anyone interested can follow its progress at and through updates from DAN.


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