Scuba diving does involve some risk and some medical conditions can make the risk of death while diving much higher. As a result, the regulations, requirements and medical standards relating to diving in Australia are amongst the strictest in the world, in order to ensure that Australia continues to be one of the safest places to dive in the world.
Australian Government sources suggest that only 1 in 430,000 Queensland dives results in a fatality, compared to 1 per 120,000 dives in the rest of Australia, 1 death per 100,000 dives in the United States, and 6.5 deaths per 100,000 dives in Japan.
This strict adherence to dive safety standards, including the Dive Medical, shows the safety benefit of this approach to personal safety and risk management.
What Is A Dive Medical?
Diving Medical checks assesses the fitness and suitability of prospective scuba divers and ensures that the medical standards for diver fitness meet the standards of Australian Standards AS 4005.1 for recreational divers, and AS/NZS 2299.1 for occupational divers. It is a legal requirement for medical practitioners who perform diving examinations to adhere to these standards and to have had a level of training approved under the Standard.
Developed largely by the South Pacific Underwater Medical Society (SPUMS), the Standards for dive medical examinations in Australia are closely modelled on the SPUMS dive medical examination
What Is The Purpose Of A Dive Medical?
The Dive Medical focuses principally on cardiac, pulmonary and neurological conditions, and general health issues, that may put a diver at increased risk for decompression sickness, pulmonary over inflation syndrome with subsequent arterial gas embolization, and other conditions such as loss of consciousness, which could lead to drowning.
At a more mundane level, the most common condition that will cause people to be declared medically unfit to dive is asthma. Studies have shown that asthma increases the risk of death during diving by 10-20 times. In Australia, it is standard practice to exclude asthmatics from diving even though some people may wish to voluntarily take this risk.
Other common conditions that can affect fitness to dive are problems with hearing, sinus infections and ear infections. These can be temporary and do not place the diver at increased risk of death, so generally a warning is made of the risks involved, including permanent hearing loss, after which the diver can make the final decision on whether to dive or not
Your safety underwater means more than passing a medical prior to learning to dive. Each time you go into the water you should be aware of your general health and any specific conditions which may hinder your ability to dive safely and comfortably.
Our Practice is Located in Westfield Warringah Mall which is in Brookvale. Conveniently located close to Manly and the rest of the Northern Beaches.