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Increasing Number of New Divers with Chronic Disease Cleared to SCUBA Dive

An increasing number of patients with controlled diabetes, asthma and other diseases are getting the green light for an activity that was once off limits: scuba diving.

There is little evidence to suggest that having asthma or diabetes should preclude a patient from venturing under water, according to researchers at the Dive Medicine Symposium at Rutgers University here.

“There’s not a lot of strong data to suggest that diabetics are at increased risk” of potentially serious adverse events, said Michael Madsen, DO, a fellow in undersea and hyperbaric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Likewise for other depth-related illnesses such as arterial-gas embolism in the lungs or decompression sickness, also known as “the bends,” he said.

The same thinking applies to most asthmatics, said David S. Lambert, MD, who specializes in hyperbaric therapy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. However, those with severe disease are often disqualified from diving after failing a required pulmonary test.

Earlier concerns about diving with diabetes led to bans in the U.S., U.K., and parts of Europe that were in place until the mid-1990s — and until 2004 for France.

This article appeared this morning from Medical News. This is important information for the recreational scuba diving community. For additional details, click here: MORE DIVERS CLEARED


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