Monday, June 20, 2005

DAN News Releases, June 20, 2005

DAN Launches Dive Emergency Hotline for Korea

DAN South East Asia-Pacific (SEAP) has launched a separate dedicated 24-Hour Diving Emergency Hotline to serve divers in Korea and nonEnglish-speaking Korean DAN Members. The number is (010) 4500-9113.

DAN SEAP has organized hyperbaric chambers and diving physicians throughout the Southeast Asia-Pacific region into a 24-hour dive emergency network similar to the DAN referral networks in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

The main purpose of this line is to provide instant dive medical advice to injured divers within Korea. However, this service may be useful for Korean-speaking divers who are unable to communicate in English through the other available DAN hotlines. The doctors who will answer the telephones speak Korean and English.

The Coordinator of the Hotline in Korea is Dr. Young Choen Kang , who lives in Daegu, Korea. Dr. Kang will be supported by several other doctors who will provide assistance with answering hotline calls.

DAN America and DAN SEAP recently sponsored dive medical seminars in Korea to provide some ideas and support for the on-call doctors, as well as for other physicians in Korea who may receive dive-related calls.

Headed by DAN America, DAN public service dive safety organizations DAN SEAP, DAN Europe, DAN Japan and DAN Southern Africa operate a global network of dive safety and medical assistance services linking the world's hyperbaric chambers and diving physicians to provide 24-hour, seven-day-a-week expert consultation on the treatment and prevention of diving injuries.

All DAN organizations are nonprofit institutions dedicated to helping injured divers and improving safety through their emergency services, research and education programs.

For additional information on dive safety and dive medical issues, see www.danseap.org <http://www.danseap.org/> or www.diversalertnetworkorg <http://www.diversalertnetworkorg/> . You can also contact the DAN medical department at +1-919-684-2948, extension 222; via email at medic@diversalertnetwork.org; via fax +1-919-493-3040; or write DAN, Attn: HOTLINE, 6 West Colony Place, Durham, NC 27705, USA.

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David J. Doolette Ph.D. Takes Dual Paths; It’s All Research

David J. Doolette Ph.D., a researcher in diving physiology and hyperbaric medicine from Australia, has joined Duke University Medical Center as assistant research professor in the department of Anesthesiology. As such, he will be attached as a research physiologist to the U.S. Navy and the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) in Panama City, Fla.

For a research scientist like Doolette, this arrangement allows him to step away from basic science to real-world applications of research into the nature of decompression sickness.

At NEDU he will work in the unit’s decompression research program, collecting dive profiles and using U.S. Navy field data. “This time we will use a mathematical model, from actual measures of data; our results will not be a theoretical guess,” he said. DAN will help the Navy to develop its field data collection program based on DAN’s experience with Project Dive Exploration.

Said Richard Vann, Ph.D., Vice President for DAN Research: “We at DAN look forward to working with Dr. Doolette on problems of common interest to both DAN and the Navy.”

In June of this year, he presented a paper to the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society in which he discussed exchange of gases across tissues of the muscles and brain in sheep from his native Australia. Doolette said the physiology of sheep tissues is similar to that of humans, and such research applies to human tissues too.


Interestingly, his foray into the depths of decompression science began in the United States before he pursued his Ph.D. in Adelaide. “I came to the states in 1985 and worked for a dive shop in Washington, D.C.,” he said during an interview at DAN Headquarters. “I worked as a diving instructor and divemaster.


“Two friends and I went diving off Morehead City in North Carolina. One of my buddies got bent, but I didn’t. I thought, ‘Why only him?’ From then on, I was fascinated about the nature of decompression sickness.”


He returned to Australia, to his native Adelaide where he took a Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide. He studied hypoxia (subnormal levels of oxygen in blood and tissue), further advancing his interest in dive physiology. His first post-doctoral research brought him — front and center — into dive practices in the tuna industry. Such research into the real world of diving helped improve training and equipment in the Australian fishing industry.