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Don’t Self Diagnose: Seek proper diving medical advice

13 Mar


Written by DAN Asia-Pacific

“It was during the extended surface interval that my symptoms commenced with chest pain that felt like muscle strain. Upon lying down I felt nauseous, the chest pain intensified, and then severe itching of my chest and stomach began. Red welts appeared and spread over my torso.

I spoke to the Divemaster and suggested I should breathe O₂ but the Divemaster said the rash was an allergic reaction and I didn’t need it.

Over the coming hours the rash became dark red and very painful, so I sought advice from the Captain, who was also a Divemaster. Again I suggested breathing O₂, but he was also positive there was no need given it was more likely to be an allergic reaction.”

As it happens, this incident on a liveaboard in Malaysia is not an unusual scenario. Finally a call was made to DAN AP, and it was confirmed that the diver had a skin bend with some additional neurological symptoms that had gone unnoticed. She was advised to breathe O₂ until the boat returned to port the following day. Fortunately, the diver’s symptoms improved greatly with oxygen first aid and only one recompression treatment was required. The situation could have been much worse: It is inappropriate and unwise for dive professionals to withhold oxygen.

Comment by DAN Asia-Pacific’s John Lippmann

It is important for dive professionals not to try to diagnose whether a diver in their care has suffered a significant diving injury. Unless medically-qualified and trained or adequately orientated in diving medicine, most dive professionals simply don’t have the expertise and experience to diagnose a medical problem.

There are a variety of first aid-related courses available through diver training agencies as well as general first aid training organisations, and DAN. Although these are valuable for all divers and essential for dive professionals, they are focussed on the provision of first-line care, which is by definition first aid.

That is why, unless the problem is very minor and it is blatantly obvious what the issue is, it is important to contact a diving medical specialist for advice for any medical problems that have developed during or after scuba diving.

You might wonder why advice from a diving doctor is usually preferred. The diving environment exposes a diver to a variety of physical and physiological changes as a result of increased pressure, the effects of immersion, breathing compressed gas, and certain other factors. Most medical training includes little or no education on diving medicine and, as a result, many doctors have little idea of the impact of these changes, especially in divers with certain pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, heart disease, among others).

By calling the DAN Diving Emergency Hotline (available 24/7, 365 days a year) you will speak to a diving medical specialist who will give advice on the appropriate first aid and appropriate follow-up assessment and treatment. The injured diver or caller doesn’t need to be a DAN member to get advice – it is available to anyone for free. The difference with a DAN Member, is that DAN will become involved in the management of the situation, and costs will be covered within the limits of their Membership and optional Dive Injury (Treatment) coverage.

It is certainly wise for dive professionals to use this service to help achieve the best outcome for divers in their care. It also transfers the decision-making from the dive professional to the doctor, removing the opportunity for the dive professional to make a bad decision and reducing potential liability. 

Calls to the hotline are toll-free within Australia by dialling 1800-088200. The hotline can be reached from outside Australia by dialling +61-8-8212 9242.

In the event of a diving accident or illness, seek proper medical advice.

Congratulations, 2016 PADI Elite Instructor Award Recipients

6 Mar

Elite Instructor 2016

Top certifying PADI Instructors will be receiving their Elite Instructor Award for issuing 50, 100, 150, 200 or more than 300 certifications in 2016. The Elite Instructor Award distinguishes PADI professionals by highlighting their experience as PADI Members and gives them the means to promote their elite status to student divers, potential students, prospective employers and others.

Elite Instructor Award recipients receive an acknowledgement letter and recognition certificate (both signed by PADI President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Drew Richardson), a decal to add to their instructor cards, and an e-badge they may use on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages. Elite award instructors may authorize PADI Dive Centres or Resorts with which they associate to display their Elite Instructor Award on the business’ digital site as well.

Check out the 2016 Global Elite Instructor Recipient List to see who earned an award for their 2016 certifications. Listed PADI Instructors can go to the “My Account” tab on this site to download their 2016 Elite Instructor e-badge, and should also be able to see their e-badge on their PADI Pro Chek results page.

Visit the PADI Elite Instructor information page to read about the 2017 program.

PADI Webinar: Negligence, Standards and the Dive Instructor

15 Feb

logoPlease join PADI Asia Pacific for our Webinar – ‘Negligence, Standards and the Dive Instructor,’ on Thursday 16th February, 2016 6PM – 7PM AEDT 

During this live presentation you will get to see the how the concepts of negligence effect our work as professional divers plus you can test your knowledge with a series of fun and interactive poll questions. We will discuss the principles of criminal and civil negligence, and how these principles apply to the PADI quality management system

How to join the webinar

  1. Click the link you were emailed to join the webinar at 6PM AEDT on Thursday 16th Feb.
  2. Choose one of the following audio options
    If you wish to use your computers audio you will automatically be connected using your computer’s microphone and speakers (VoIP) when the webinar begins.A headset is recommended.
    If you prefer to use your phone, please select ‘Use Telephone’ after joining the webinar and call in using the numbers below.
    Australia: +61 3 8644 7030
    Access Code: 765-401-521
    Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar
    Calling from another country? 

If you have any questions, please e-mail Michelle Brunton at

1st Quarter 2017 Editon of the Undersea Journal Now Available Via PADI Library App

6 Feb

Every quarter of The Undersea Journal is filled with stories and articles that help you stay informed and inspired as a PADI® Professional. In addition to choosing a printed magazine, there are several digital reading options for this publication:

1. Using the PADI Library App (Apple App Store | Play):
From your mobile device, open the Library in your PADI Library App, download and view.
On your computer, select Certification Paks from the Log In tab at the top of From there you’ll be able to view the magazine in the Online Manuals portal.

2. Via the Zinio app on your computer or mobile device.

3. As a PDF on the PADI Pros’ Site. Log on to the Pros’ Site and click on the References tab. You can download the entire magazine or choose to download it in sections.

Each quarter, the latest edition of the publication will be added to the PADI Library.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you’ll continue to receive an email notification that your publication is available for viewing on Zinio. If you’ve opted for the printed version, it will continue to be delivered to your mailing address.

Implementing the Updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course

4 Jan


There’s a lot to like about the revised and updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course: the obvious and necessary content updates, the new Thinking Like a Diver section, the cool new PADI Advanced Open Water Diver materials and, from an immediate implementation perspective, the fact that the new course is at once new and exciting yet still essentially familiar. Perhaps the neatest benefit and the greatest opportunity is the streamlined relationship between the Adventure Dives and PADI Specialties.

Now’s the perfect time to review the specialties you (and your staff) teach and seriously consider expanding what you offer. Evaluate the specialty dive opportunities in your area, and those you are particularly passionate about, which you couldn’t link to the previous Advanced Open Water Diver course. This is the perfect opportunity to create your own special course that reflects your unique area and benefits, and which excites divers.

Now, the first dives of all standardised PADI or AWARE Specialty Diver courses may be offered as Adventure Dives. You can offer these “new” Adventure Dives – for example, an Ice Dive or a Dive Against Debris™ Adventure Dive – if you’re certified as an instructor in the specialty, and the student diver meets the specialty prerequisites. (Also, while the PADI Rebreather Diver course is not a PADI Specialty Diver course, the first, task-intensive, confined water dive counts as an Adventure Dive.) There’s a complete list of the revised Adventure Dives and the standardized PADI Specialty Diver courses, and a lot more information, in the 3Q2016 The Undersea Journal accessible via the PADI Pros’ Site or the PADI Library App.

A few obsolete Adventure Dives are gone, but you can offer more than ever before. A great example is the Digital Underwater Imaging Adventure Dive, which replaces both the Underwater Photography and Underwater Videography Adventure Dives. This new dive focuses on modern cameras that shoot both stills and video, and develops basic skills and knowledge in both – though you and your student divers may favor one or the other. The dive still credits as the first dive in the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course, even though it differs from the specialty (which will be revised in the future).

The opportunities are nearly endless. Depending upon your location and market, you can get divers started in sidemount, ice, cavern, full face mask, delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB), diver propulsion vehicle (DPV), enriched air or any other standardized specialty using existing specialty materials.

Tie in the new Adventure Dives by having the PADI Specialty Instructor ratings for the new opportunities, and grab this unique moment to make your new Advanced Open Water Diver course truly special.

PADI Master Scuba Diver Application Fee Waived in 2017

21 Dec


Help your divers join the best of the best in recreational scuba diving and live the dive life as a PADI Master Scuba Diver in 2017. The PADI Master Scuba Diver rating places them in an elite group of respected divers who have both significant experience and extensive scuba training.

To earn this rating they must log 50 dives and have their PADI Open Water Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and PADI Rescue Diver certifications, as well as five PADI Specialty course certifications.

In 2017, when they complete their training at a PADI Dive Shop in the Asia Pacific region, the usual Master Scuba Diver application fees will be waived.

So encourage them to take the plunge in 2017, earn their PADI Master Scuba Diver rating and become part of an elite group of highly skilled and trained divers.

Download the 2017 PADI Master Scuba Diver Voucher (Asia Pacific).

Contact PADI Asia Pacific for more information.

* Offer only valid in the PADI Asia Pacific region.

PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Course Becomes Standardised

29 Nov


With the release of the updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, the PADI Self-Reliant Diver distinctive specialty course is now a standardized PADI Specialty Diver course.

If you are a PADI Self-Reliant Diver Distinctive Specialty Instructor or Trainer, you may qualify to change your rating so that you can teach this new standardised course and allow your divers to credit Dive One as an Adventure Dive.

To change your rating, download the Specialty Change Request Form from the Pros’ Site and submit it to your PADI Regional Headquarters.

You are no longer required to have 25 divers certification to apply for the self-reliant diver specialty instructor rating if you use method 1. (Complete a specialty Instructor course with the PADI Course Director).

You are still required to be at least 18 years old however, and be a PADI Self-Reliant Diver or PADI TecRec Diver, or have a qualifying certification from another training organisation and have 20 logged dives if using method 1 or 2.

The distinctive self-reliant diver specialty instructor guide is now removed from the Pro Site. If you wish to get the newly updated standardised self-reliant diver Instructor guide, it is now available on the online shopping cart; Product code: 70248.

You are also welcome to order it by emailing us on