DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions

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Cerebral Palsy

I have a student who want to learn to dive, but has cerebral palsy. What are the issues?

This describes brain injury, present at birth and which is manifested by some degree of weakness. This includes a wide variety of clinical illnesses, ranging from "walks abnormally" to very severe and disabling handicaps. Some cases present accompanying seizures, learning disability and speech defect.
Fitness & Diving
Diving fitness depends entirely on the extent of disability in the individual case. Candidates with mild problems may qualify; candidates with more severe disabilities may qualify through one of the scuba programs for disabled people. The absence of seizures and the ability to master the water skills are particularly important. For participation in scuba, case-by-case selection is needed.

For more information on conditions involving the central nervous system, see all of Dr. Hugh Greer's article from the May/June 1999 issue of Alert Diver.