Dive Medicine for Divers

Dive Medicine for Divers (DMFD) provides a comprehensive educational approach to diving physiology and first aid. Ultimately, enhancing our knowledge and understanding of how our bodies react to the pressures and stresses of diving lead to safer diving practices.

Dive Medicine for Divers is for individuals interested in better understanding dive physiology and dive safety. It includes topics not normally addressed in dive training, including fitness to dive, safety planning and basic physical examinations. The modular approach presents a number of lecture topics and discussions presented by a DAN Instructor integrated with video segments and additional self-study information.

Upon completing the components of each level, divers will learn the various basic first aid skills involved in assessing and caring for an injured diver. They will learn ways to prevent dive accidents and how to respond to them when they do happen. Taking dive first aid courses is highly recommended for skill development.

Dive Medicine for Divers Level 1 topics:
  • Fitness to dive - Discusses physical fitness and medical conditions that can keep divers out of the water and explains basic ear-clearing techniques.
  • Safety planning - Addresses processes and procedures to make your dives safer and actions that can be used in dealing with the aftermath of a dive accident including handling of the diver's equipment for an investigation and taking care of the rescuers' emotional needs.
  • Basic examinations - Introduces the use of a stethoscope in determining the presence (or absence) of breathing sounds.

  • Dive Medicine for Divers Level 2 topics:
  • Decompression Illness and Barotrauma - Reviews decompression theory and provides an overview of decompression illness including a short discussion of neurological symptoms. Presents an introduction to dive accident management and what happens during a hyperbaric chamber treatment. Explains the various potential barotraumas to which a diver can be exposed and their identifying symptoms. Participants will examine several dive accident cases and how they were treated. A final discussion will address important elements of accident and injury reporting.
  • Equipment related issues - Teaches essentials of cleaning, sanitizing and maintaining equipment with emphasis on accident prevention.
  • Allergic reactions and taking blood pressure - Participants learn proper use of an EpiPen® and how to take a blood pressure.

  • Dive Medicine for Divers Level 3 topics:
  • Gas toxicities and partial pressure - Covers nitrogen narcosis, hypercapnia and oxygen toxicity and examines gas laws and the physiological impacts the human body experiences under pressure.
  • Drowning - A discussion of the cascade of events that can lead to a diver's death and preventative measures.
  • Providing care and the Good Samaritan Law - Understand the obligation and/or consequence of providing care. Emphasizes the appropriate role of the rescuer.
  • Ear barotrauma - Introduces the Teeds Scale and includes photos depicting various ear injuries. Covers basic ear anatomy and visualization with an otoscope.

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  • Find a DMFD Instructor near you.
  • Want to teach Dive Medicine for Divers? Find out how to become qualified.