Random Jottings

Another enlightening day at DDRC (Plymouth)

I always try to attend the 'Professional Skippers' course at DDRC as it is not only informative but it lets me meet up with some of the guys that I dive with when I am in the deep south.

The day is broken up into a few sessions, with useful time spent refreshing CPR skills and talking about the specifics for a 'drowned diver', you need to get five breaths into them before starting CPR and it's likely that if they are recoverable then you will have a restart within a minute.

The most interesting part for me is the discussions with the chamber doctors regards the various decompression illnesses and the ongoing changes to what they see. Probably the most enlightening part was the discussion about immersion pulmonary odema (IPO) and the impact of breathing a 'rich mix' rather than air and also the impact of hydration immediately before diving.

I am sure that we have all seen divers 'chugging down' a litre of more of water en-route to the dive site, the doctors both agreed that this type of approach will increase the probability of an event should the diver already have a propensity to IPO, the causes and symptoms of IPO were also discussed in some detail and to me it appears that we will be seeing more cases in the coming years with the cause being an underlying heart issue and the symptoms being a shortness of breath, trouble catching your breath, on the surface, which is 'minor' cases will resolve quickly as the impact of water pressure is removed.

On this one I would urge the aging UK diving population to consider why they are 'out of breath' after a steady boat dive and also skippers to listen up for the 'rattling' breathing in divers which may herald a slightly more serious case.

We had an intersting talk from the Search and Rescue team with the most illuminating part being the impact of the changes which kicked in when the RAF stopped undertaking at sea recoveries and the job went to a private company. In the old days if we put out a shout the chopper would travel up from Boulmer and we could get attendence in about half an hour, this is no longer the case.....

The new helicopters are faster and better equipped to deal with inclement weather but for us the helicopter would travel from Inverness which even at top speed of 169mph is going to take an hour and a half to get on site and evacuate a casualty, so possibly in the future the boat will run for Seahouses with an ambulance on shore to give 'professional' first aid and transfer the casualty to the golf course for pick up, lets see what the future brings.

There is going to be a consultation in the UK regards the future of decompression chambers with the back story being that there is probably going to be a reduction, bearing in mind that up here in the frozen North we have Dunstaffnagh (Oban) and Aberdeen so guys and gals you need to be visiting the consultation site and making your views known!

I have been promised that a link to the consultation will be added to the DDRC site, link below.



Dive safe



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