Friday, September 01, 2006

Ten Foot Stop has moved

This is to let you know that the address for the Ten Foot Stop has been moved to our in-house blog site at

Nothing has changed in the format - we will still post items as we find them and as they come in. We will send out a weekly compilation of the posts to our mailing list, just as before. You will also now be able to make comments.

We hope this upgrade will be to your advantage and make reading the posts more enjoyable.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

GALVESTON POLICE DEPARTMENT DIVE ACADEMY - Public Safety Diving Seminar - PSDA Underwater Crime Scene Investigator 1


Aug 25, 2006 Galveston, Texas

Public Safety Diving Seminar

PSDA Underwater Crime Scene Investigator 1
September 29, 30 and October 1, 2006

REGISTRATION FORM Please mail or Fax

DATE: ____________
AGENCY NAME:__________________________________
CONTACT PERSON: ________________________
ALTERNATE PHONE:_________________________
EMAIL ADDRESS: ________________________
Total Number of participants ________
Number of Divers _______________

This is a 24-hour Public Safety Diving Association Specialty course and TCELOSE credit WILL be available for law enforcement. Class size is limited to 30.


PREPAID advanced registration - $95.00 per person.
After September 21, 2006, registration will be $125.00.

Please make check or money order payable to: "Galveston PD Training Division" and return to 601 54th Street, Suite 200, Galveston, Texas 77552. For more information or to RESERVE spots, call 409-765-3642 or FAX Registration for to 409-765- 3641


These forms MUST BE COMPLETED and submitted before participants will be allowed to participate. These forms can be downloaded at www.psdiver

The forms may be submitted in advance or at the start of the course. Medical conditions that require a physician release will disallow divers participating in the scuba exercises if a medical release is not presented PRIOR to the start of the programs.

Scuba participants MUST be a minimum of OW certified with a dive log showing no less than 15 dives.

Students MUST participate in all evolutions to qualify for certificate of completion and payment will NOT insure certificate. Participants are requested to bring as much of their equipment as possible. If necessary, some extra gear will be available but prearrangement will be required to insure you will have what you need. Please bring tanks and weights if you are driving. Air refills will be provided at no cost. We would also encourage teams to bring as much of the gear they use to the seminar.

HOST HOTELS for the GPD Dive Academy

Baymont Inn
1 King Bed 65.00 Weekday 75.00 Weekend
2 Queen Beds 69.00 Weekday 79.00 Weekend
All non-smoking rooms – Just opened in August 2006!

Super 8 Galveston
1 King Bed 50.00 Weekday 60.00 Weekend
2 Queen Beds 55.00 Weekday 65.00 Weekend

To make reservations contact ASH at 409-744-3000
or email:

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Nearest Airport is Houston Hobby .

For driving directions use GOOGLE MAPS and enter: 601 54th Street, Suite 200, Galveston, Texas 77552

Download all forms CLICK HERE

PSDiver Monthly

PSDiver Monthly is a free Internet magazine for Public Safety Divers and Water Rescue Technicians. Go to the website and click on the subscribe link or just browse.

PSDiver Monthly
Mark Phillips
Editor / Publisher
phone: 409-658-7247


Mater Dei Hospital to be equipped with hyperbaric chambers

Diving interest on Malta and Gozo has intensified over the past several years emphasizing the need for facilities for early recompression of diving accidents. This article gleaned from the web shows that the people of the islands are doing something about the problem.

Mater Dei Hospital to be equipped with hyperbaric chambers

by Ruben Cassar, dive news

VALLETTA, Malta (dive news) -- August 28, 2006 -- 1605CEST -- Two new hyperbaric chambers to be used in the Mater Dei Hospital have arrived in Malta from Germany.

The main function of a Hyperbaric Unit is to provide elective and emergency baro-medicine treatment and also tutorials and practical training in baro-medicine.

These chambers are used to manage certain medical conditions and to treat divers who may encounter difficulties whilst diving. The Hyperbaric Unit at Mater Dei Hospital is designed to house three decompression chambers.

One of the new chambers is a Low Pressure Chamber, the second is a High Pressure Chamber while a third Hyperbaric Chamber is presently used at St. Luke's Hospital and eventually is to be transferred to Mater Dei Hospital.

Once at the Mater Dei Hospital the three chambers will be installed on a raised flooring to allow for the supply of cables and other services. In the same area, there is a control console for the personnel managing the chambers.

The two chambers costing €1.6 million and weighing 55 tons and 15 tons respectively are expected to arrive at the hospital on Monday evening.

The installation of these chambers is expected to start early on Tuesday morning.

Advanced Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Team Training Program in Costa Rica

Hyperbarics International and IIDEXO are please to offer a specialized training program in Hyperbaric Medicine. The Advanced Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Team Training Program is available to a wide range of interested students from the medical and professional diving communities.

The training will be held November 20-24, 2006. Seminars will be conducted in English by Dick Rutkowski of Hyperbarics International and translated to Spanish by Gene Condon of IIDEXO. Lectures will be held at the Best Western, Las Espuelas, in Liberia, Costa Rica. The location is approximately 15 minutes from the Liberia International Airport.

Payment for the course may be made by major credit card to Hyperbarics International. For hotel reservations, contact Best Western, Las Espuelas in Costa Rica, at 506-666-0144. Ask for the hyperbaric course rate.

The seminar is also offered monthly at the Hyperbarics International facility in Key Largo. For more information and reservations, contact:

Dick Rutkowski, Hyperbarics International
US Phone: 888-451-2551
Direct or International: 305-451-4107

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Cost and Utilization Survey

From Lisa Wasdin, UHMS

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Cost and Utilization Survey

Please complete and return both pages of this survey via fax (703-269-5501) by SEPTEMBER 13, 2006 . Contact Ushma Patel at 703-269-5720 with questions. Thank you for your help!


TO: UHMS Members

From: Sue De Santis, RRT, MBA
Executive Director, HOTA/AACWM

Date: August 24, 2006

Topic: Lewin Survey in Response to CMS Proposed Payment Rates for CY 2007 (SURVEY FORM ABOVE)

The CMS Proposed Rule for Calendar Year (CY) 2007 have been published. The following link is provided for your review of the data. Our rate is proposed at $98.02 per thirty (30) minute increment.

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (Association) division of the American Association for Wound Care Management has engaged the Lewin Group again this year to query the methodology utilized by CMS in the calculation of the payment rate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. With the assistance of the Lewin Group, we have been able to replicate a payment rate of ~ $115. per 30 minutes when costs are specifically related to hyperbaric oxygen departments.

We are attempting to establish replication of this data for three consecutive years to evaluate a fair and consistent methodology utilized by CMS now and in the future. We are, therefore, requesting that you provide the attached survey to your Hospital Administrator for completion by September 13, 2006. Our past experience helps us understand that the form requires approximately ten (10) minutes for completion. This is little time for long- term gain and understanding of a fair calculation method.

We appreciate your assistance in the very important endeavor as overall outpatient payment rates for hospitals are declining and we are making every effort to assist the hospitals by securing our specific payment calculations.

If any questions arise from your Administration, please feel free to contact me at and please include a phone number and contact person.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

News from PSDiver Monthly

PSDiver Monthly Announces
Aug 22, 2006 GREETINGS!

We are forced by GROWTH to change our distribution methods once again. For 29 issues we have managed to find ways to keep our costs as low as posible but we have finally reached a point where free or minimal cost distribution are no longer available.

The GOOD NEWS is our Sponsor support has allowed us to continue to offer PSDiver Monthly for free but we are counting on YOU to do some work.

To produce a NEW email distribution list that can be fully integrated into the new programing, we need you to do just TWO things.

FIRST: RECONFIRM your subscription.

If you haven't done so already, click to CONFIRM your interest in receiving email campaigns from us.

SECOND: If you have not done so already, Go to (the link is below) and download the CURRENT ISSUE of PSDiver Monthly - Issue 29

PSDiver Monthly - Issue 29

OAHU Seminar
Galveston Underwater Crime Scene Seminar **PRESS RELEASE TO FOLLOW! **
NIMS Resource Typing and How it Effects US
Firefighter Fatality - Swift Water Rescue
More Continuing Education

Once we have integrated the new system and reconfirmed YOUR email subscriptions, we will send out similar notices when the new Issues of PSDiver Monthly are available.

PSDiver Monthly will continue to be a download file but to save space and download time, it will be offered in TWO versions: PDF and ZIP.

We will be much more web site oriented and our web site will begin revision ASAP. Look for changes SOON!
This new method will allow us to continue to grow and offer even more services without overloading your email with attached files. With this service, we will be able to send email notices for:

and MORE

CLICK HERE to launch to the PSDiver Monthly Web Site

About PSDiver Monthly

PSDiver Monthly was created as a way to help improve awareness, education and safety for Public Safety Dive Teams and Water Rescue and Recovery Teams. PSDiver Monthly subscriptions are FREE.

PSDiver Monthly is an Internet E-zine specifically designed for Public Safety Divers and Water Rescue Technicians. News articles and information from around the world as well as independent articles, special features, safety notices and continuing education will be shared in each issue.

Corporations who believe in the work that Public Safety Divers and Water Rescue and Recover Teams perform and who wish to show their support sponsor this e-zine. This is and will be the place to get the most current news affecting the Public Safety Diving and Water Rescue community as well as the most current equipment and ocassionally, special pricing from our sponsors.

Fire Department Dive Teams, EMS Dive Teams, Police Divers, SAR divers and Flood and Swift Water rescue teams should all benefit from this publication.




PSDiver Monthly Website:
FREE Internet Discussion Group for Public Safety Divers and Water Rescue and Recovery Teams

We also offer a free RELATED Discussion Group for Public Safety Divers and Water Rescue and Recovery Teams.

Founded on Dec 9, 2000 this MODERATED discussion group has over 1,100 members worldwide, and provides an incredible resource for your team and team members!



Mark Phillips
Editor / Publisher

Trademark in progress.

Undercurrent Online Update


Undercurrent -- Consumer Reporting for the Scuba Diving Community since 1975

Dive News
August 23, 2006

Dive Luggage and Carry on Bags: The August issue of Undercurrent details airline restrictions coming in September that not only limit the weight of each bag a passenger checks, but also the total luggage weight. If you don't abide by the rules you'll be charged a fee. Too much weight and you'll be required to ship the bag (which means you'll miss your flight while you track down an airport shipper - and it will cost a fortune). The latest baggage restrictions, imposed August 11, should not affect divers, however, keep in mind that each country establishes its own rules. In many smaller countries, officious immigration and customs personnel can be haughty and arbitrary. They often order travelers to remove strobes, battery packs, even computers from carry on luggage. Be prepared. For information on US restrictions visit

Underwater Across the English Channel: Seven divers swam the Channel in an underwater relay in early August.They left Dover at 6 a.m. and arrived at Calais, France, 12 hours later. On each leg, the six men and one woman spent about 30 minutes in the sea before they exhausted their air and they handed over their baton - a surface marker buoy - to another team member and surfaced. They used the feat to raise nearly $100,000 for research into the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of testicular, prostate and penile cancer. It's great to see divers raising money for important causes, so ....

Help Save Coral Reefs: Undercurrent has raised more than $7000 to stop poaching and preserve reefs in Belize and Fiji. We need to double that amount, so for every dollar you give -- up to $7000 -- Undercurrent will match it, dollar for dollar. Please give back to the reefs you love by making a tax deducible contribution at Click on "Donate to Save the Reefs," for more information and to contribute. We will send you a receipt acknowledging your tax deductible gift. Send us any foreign currency you have collected, and we'll convert it to dollars. Undercurrent is a registered nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) organization.

So, Where Have You Been Diving? We want your reports for the all new 2007 Chapbook, which will be mailed to all subscribers in December. If you have been diving any time since last September, by all means file your report at . The value of the Chapbook is only as good as the reports we get. Please send yours now. Or, you can email them to me at

Collect Fish in the Bahamas: The New England Aquarium needs divers to join their staff on a fish collecting expedition to Bimini from September 29th through October 8th 2006. They're collecting specimens for their giant ocean tank. The trip is open to beginners and experienced divers, and you'll dive with and learn from Aquarium professionals. The cost is $3,278 for accommodations aboard the R/V Coral Reef II (meals, lodging, cocktails), up to five dives per day, and a rare opportunity to dive in the Aquarium's 200,000 gallon Caribbean reef exhibit. (Since you're volunteering for a nonprofit organization, the costs are tax deductible, says our accountant). Call Sherrie Floyd, Senior Aquarist or Sarah Zibailo, Aquarist at 617-973-5248 or email or

Life Insurance: Many divers tell us that once they reveal they are divers, their life insurance cost skyrockets - or they can't get life insurance at all. Has that happened to you? Please let us know your experience. We'll follow up with insurance companies that take divers and let you know how to keep or get affordable life insurance.

Deeper into Diving: Here's the all new, comprehensive second edition of John Lippman's 1990 classic, the definitive book for serious divers who want to dig deep to understand their sport. Lippman and co author Dr. Simon Mitchell, cover virtually all decompression procedures, computers and their various algorithms) physical and medical aspects of deeper diving, including nitrogen narcosis, carbon dioxide, heat loss, decompression sickness, multi-level diving, and everything you ever cared to know about diving. At $65, it's a serious book for a serious diver's reference library. Click here: to order directly from the publisher. Mention Undercurrent in the comment section and Aqua Quest will donate 15% of your total purchase to our Belize and Fiji Reef Projects.

Dive Master Rip Offs: We've been informed recently of divers who have gotten into financial deals with an offshore dive operation, operator or dive master, only to find their money has disappeared. If this has happened to you or to anyone you know, please send us the details.

Free Chapbooks for Clubs: We have three hundred 2006 chapbooks left, so if you send us your club roster, will ship free you up to 30 books to pass out at your next gathering. Email

Note: Undercurrent is a not-for-profit organization. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher

Published with permission

Links and Articles That Might Interest You

Here are some links and news items that I found particularly interesting and thought that I'd pass them on to you.

---In the Divernet 'News for Divers' there is an article about a quadriplegic who reaches the highest level in diving certification. Titled "Wheelchair Diver Reaches Highest Level", it can be seen at this link: .
More about Disabled Divers at .

---We found this story on the BBC News website and thought you should like to read it.
Isle of Man | Divers urged to be more careful
** Divers urged to be more careful **
Divers are urged to take more care off the Manx coast following a spate of dangerous incidents.

---Here is an unusual occupational diving job that I found to be interesting.
"Getting TANKED"Diving crew checks out Cornelius’ water facility and comes up with a smidgen of sediment
By Mateusz Perkowski
The Forest Grove News-Times Aug 16, 2006

---In Scientific there is a section called Ask The Experts. This article purports to answer the question that many have asked: "How do deep-diving sea creatures withstand huge pressure changes?"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

PADI Response to August 11 blog: "Expert Warns That Scuba Crash Courses Are Putting Lives at Risk"

We have received the following request from PADI to publish a response to our posting of an article about "scuba crash courses". We are delighted to do so and hope that this lays this to rest. Here is the letter in toto. In order to understand this fully, we suggest that you follow the link to the original posting and read the article.

Dear Ern,

We would like to post a response to your 11 August Blog; would you be so kind as to consider including our comments, listed below, on your site archives for this date?

Best regards,

Heather Tremblay
Assistant to the President

PADI Worldwide
The Way the World Learns to Dive®
30151 Tomas
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Direct:949 858 7234 x2270
Main: 800 729 7234
Fax: 949 267-1265

Visit PADI:

Ref: Your item dated August 11, 2006 -

Expert Warns That Scuba Crash Courses Are Putting Lives at Risk

I would like to comment on some of the quotes listed in this article attributed to Dr Bryson. I work in PADI’s office in the UK and am very familiar with the diving scene here. I was one of the individuals quoted in the Guardian News article.

To clarify some points of fact that are, at best, unclear in the article: on the 8th August 2006 a Plymouth Coroner commenced a series of Inquests into four separate diving fatalities that had occurred on the south coast of England during the previous year. Of the four men who tragically died, two were trained by PADI. Both of these accidents occurred during non-training dives.

Dr Bryson from the Plymouth based Diving Disease Research Centre (DDRC) appeared at one of these four inquests where he made some comments about training that were widely reported in the British press at the time. Unfortunately, some of the media coverage was slanted so that it appeared that the quality of PADI training was being brought into question in all these investigations. In fact, (although his final report is yet to be published) the Coroner did not make any negative comments about PADI courses in any of the Inquests.

Dr Bryson has been reported as voicing some personal opinions that are controversial and need addressing with facts rather than emotion.

Dr Bryson states: “PADI have brought that reduction in training down and they claim they have done it with valid data and that there are very, very few problems. Other UK-based diving groups which had longer training regimes have had to come into line.” If this statement is true then one would expect there would have been a significant increase in diving accidents in the UK since PADI started to train large numbers of divers there. In fact this is not the case as the following data indicate.

PADI was little known in the UK prior to 1990, training less than 5,000 Britons a year. During the ten year period of 1980-1989, the average number of recreational diving fatalities per year was 12.1 in the UK1. This was a period when there were significantly less divers than in recent years; for example, the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), the main training provider at the time, had 34,861 members in 1985; by 1995 they had 52,364.1

From 1990 onwards, PADI training increased in popularity dramatically, and to date PADI has trained over 400,000 Britons as divers. During the last ten years the average number of recreational diving fatalities per year1 has been 17.8. This compares to the 12.1 average in 1989-89, yet the number of divers has risen dramatically, for example it is estimated that there are 699,257 active divers in the UK today,2 far more than in 1985 when the BSAC’s membership of 34,861 made up the bulk of the UK diver population. In proportional terms, the number of fatal accidents has decreased during a time when the number of divers trained by PADI has increased.

Dr Bryson is further quoted as making two comments concerning what he describes as advanced divers: “People want to be advanced divers. They want that certificate and they are willing to pay for it. We have people presently in diving who feel they are advanced but have no experience whatsoever. The diving community needs to be totally re-educated.” And: “I do not believe that someone with eight dives should be classified as an advanced diver. That is madness, end of conversation.”

Dr Bryson is misinformed. Firstly, there is no PADI course named “Advanced Diver”; the nearest title is PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. Secondly, to attain that qualification, a diver must have made at least five confined water divers and nine open water dives. It is probable that Dr Bryson’s mental image of an “advanced diver” is coloured by long experience with the BSAC’s training syllabus. This does include an Advanced Diver qualification, a level that requires at least some sixty dives experience and which aims to qualify a diver to be able to organise groups of divers; a much more similar level to a PADI Divemaster in fact.

The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver in contrast, is designed to allow an Open Water Diver to increase their experience in a controlled way, literally to advance their open water diver skills so that they can begin to broaden their experience. This interpretation of the word ‘advanced’ is well understood in the rest of the recreational diving world. The objectives and limitations of the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course are also clearly explained to the divers themselves.

Even from a cursory reading of the original news story it is clear that there were factors that contributed to the accidents that were unrelated to whether or not the divers held an ‘advanced’ qualification. Fortunately, the Coroner noted these and restricted his findings to the hard facts available to him.

It is relevant to note that subsequently, Dr Bryson’s parent organisation, the DDRC, issued the following position statement:

“DDRC is an independent charity, which provides support and advice to members of all recreational diving agencies at every level of experience.

DDRC believes that where training guidelines, in particular the guidance on diving in different environments and conditions, and medical recommendations are followed diving is a pursuit that can be carried out and enjoyed safely in the UK. The underwater environment and its potential hazards must be respected. DDRC acknowledges the overall high quality of training provided in the UK but feels that divers must recognise their own limitations and gain experience safely in accordance with their training agency guidelines. It is well recognised that a series of small events before and during a dive can accumulate and result in a serious incident. DDRC recommends that all divers follow the procedures taught in their training before, during and after every dive.

Divers have a responsibility to themselves and their dive buddy to honestly and truthfully consider their personal fitness to dive before every single dive and seek advice if they are uncertain. Those guiding or teaching divers must have the confidence to express reservations or abort a dive if they have any doubts regarding the ability or fitness of a diver for the planned dive.

DDRC continues to provide medical advice to divers who contact us and will answer each question to the best of our ability and knowledge.”

In summary, it is unfortunate that Dr Bryson has made a number of emotive comments that are not supported by facts. It is pleasing however to see that the DDRC have clarified their position in responsible terms.

I apologise for the length of this comment but hope that you may be able to include it on your site.


Mark Caney
Vice President, Training, Education and Memberships
PADI International Ltd

cc: Dr. Drew Richardson
President & Chief Operating Officer
PADI Worldwide


1. British Sub Aqua Club Incident Reports, 1980-2005
2. Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s National Watersports Omnibus Report, June 2005

Monday, August 21, 2006

Toronto Hyperbaric Medicine Symposium

Toronto Hyperbaric Medicine Symposium

Friday September 29 /2006

- Mark Your Calendar!

The THMS is a one-day symposium that focuses on research level topics relevant to individuals involved in the provision of hyperbaric medicine and related physiology.

The symposium serves as a venue for learning and collaboration.

It will feature both thematic and plenary sessions provided by leaders in hyperbaric medicine.

The opportunity for interaction with faculty is a priority of the meeting: ... A post meeting sunset dinner cruise (at additional nominal fee) has been planned aboard the world class Tall ship, the Empire Sandy. Enjoy the lush greenery of Toronto Islands in front of the spectacular Toronto skyline. Enjoy the blue skies and spectacular sunsets. Superb food and hospitable crew also awaits you. Don’t miss out. We look forward to seeing everyone there! You won’t be disappointed!

Sunset Aboard the Empire Sandy

For more information, visit us at
A.Wayne Evans, M.D.
Assistant Professor - Department of Anaesthesia,
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Ontario Medical Association, Chair - Hyperbaric Medicine
Hyperbaric Medicine Consultant, Hyperbaric Medicine Unit,
Medical Consultant, Chiropody Wound Clinic, Adult Radiation Late Effects Clinic - University Health Network
GC 405, 200 Elizabeth St., Toronto, Ont. M5G-2C2
t.(416)340-4450 f.(416)340-4481

New UHMS Brazilian Chapter Scientific Meeting

UHMS Brazilian Chapter Scientific Meeting
(held together with the III Congress of the Brazilian Hyperbaric Medical Society)

City of Curitiba, State of Paraná

Sept. 07 - 09, 2006

Special guests
Don Chandler, UHMS Executive Director
Bret Stolp, MD, UHMS President

Contacts and reservations:
If you wish you can add my e-mail for contacts:

UHMS Gulf Coast Chapter 2006 Annual Scientific Meeting

For meeting details click here.

Call for Papers


Abstracts and Lectures are invited from all members of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and those other individuals who have demonstrated a clear interest in clinical, technical and safety factors germane to the hyperbaric and undersea environment.

Abstracts are due by September 15, 2006.

Abstracts will be selected for presentation on the basis of quality. Individual presentations as well as group presentations in the following topics are being solicited:

1. Diving Medicine Issues

2. Hyperbaric Medicine Issues

3. Research/Training Issues

4. Safety/Technical Issues

The name of the paper should be capitalized and the author and organization underlined. First sentence in each paragraph indented 5 spaces.

A LCD projector will be available in the session room. Other equipment can be made available if essential to the presentation and the author indicates the equipment needed on the abstract.

Language – All abstracts are to be written in English. The Program Committee reserves the right to alter abstracts where the English structure makes comprehension difficult.

Title - Capitalize all words.

Author(s) - List primary author first. List all names last name first with up to 2 initials with no spaces.

Affiliation(s) – At the end of the author list specify the primary lab affiliation name, city, state and zip/postal code. If other affiliations must be specified, these may follow the primary affiliation using appropriate superscripts to identify the associated authors (see second sample abstract below).

Abstract Body Format

· Must be 300 words or less, exclusive of title, author(s) names, and institutional affiliation(s).

· All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format

· Only text and text tables will be accepted. NO graphs or images may be submitted.

· Contents should include the following sections:

o Introduction / Background

o Materials and Methods

o Results

o Summary / Conclusions

Slides - In addition to your abstract, a paper copy of your slides will be added as part of the participant handout. Please submit the powerpoint file of your slides to Suzanne Pack by Monday, October 9, 2006.


Body Format

· Title of Presentation

· Lecturer Name and Credentials (e.g. John Smith, MD)

· Introduction - A brief description of your presentation

· Objectives - List objectives that will be covered in your presentation (Upon completion of this presentation participants should be able to...)

· Commercial Interest

o If you have not Commercial Interest please list NONE

o If you do have Commercial Interest please list the name of the company and the nature of the relationship (e.g. ABC Company - Consultant). Remember to only list commercial interest that are relevant to your presentation.

· Lecture Outline - This section can be your slide presentation and will be due by Monday October 9, 2006. If you choose not to you use your slides as the hand out, please provide a detailed outline following your slides. If you have any questions about your handout please contact Suzanne Pack at or call 210-614-3688.

· References - provide a list of references applicable to your presentation


Abstracts and original papers will be scheduled for presentation November 2-4, 2006. Presenting authors will be notified of the disposition of the abstract and time for presentation in September 15, 2006. It is preferred that the selected papers be presented and discussed by the first named author.



September 15, 2006

Abstracts cannot be accepted without a completed Abstract Submittal Form, a Faculty Disclosure Form and a brief CV. All presenters will need to be registered attendees in the meeting.

Abstracts should be submitted by email to

or Mail CD to

Suzanne Pack

UHMS Gulf Coast Chapter

414 Navarro, Suite 502

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Saturday, August 19, 2006

MELAS (Mitochondrial myopathy) an unusual condition and diving

My husband has been diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy, namely MELAS. He so wants to dive again but I don't think it is safe. Is there any information for this disease subset and diving?

So sorry to hear of your husband's diagnosis. The disease consists of mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactacidosis, stroke (MELAS) and is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder.

The typical presentation of patients with MELAS syndrome includes features that comprise the name of the disorder such as mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes. Other features, such as diabetes mellitus and hearing loss, clearly are part of the disorder.

Organ systems included in the multisystemic involvement are the central nervous system, skeletal muscle, eye, cardiac muscle, and more rarely the gastrointestinal system.

First, there is nothing in the diving medical literature about the effects of pressure/depth on the condition; and second, there is nothing in the literature about the risks involved with this particular disease entity - in other words, his fitness to dive. The disease encompasses a broad range of organ systems and stages of incapacitation - thereby making it almost impossible to determine his fitness to dive from afar. We do not know the stage of the disease in your husband.

However, here are some factors that would increase his diving risks:
--Multiple strokes occur and are associated with seizures, adverse to diving. Residual neurologicals from the strokes would make it difficult to manage the physical requirements of diving.
--Myopathy would make it difficult to manage the gear and perform self and buddy rescue.
--Eye problems might make it difficult to gear up and read the gauges.
--Diving can effect hearing. Hearing loss should be quantified before diving.
--Cardiac myopathy might make diving quite risk, as there are changes in the central circulation that can put a borderline heart problem into heart failure.

It's doubtful that diving would make your husbands condition worse or speed up the changes that are bound to occur. If he's early into his condition and can handle his gear, entry and exits without difficulty, then he might dive in shallow, warm water without current or surge. He must be aware of the increased risks involved with the possibility of stroke and cardiac effects and inform all divers, divemasters and instructors of his condition. Shallow diving is a must because of the difficulty in differentiating his neurological illness from the effects of decompression illness.

My husband's illness is at a point of "TIA" symptoms frequently, heart disease, gait difficulties, orthostatic hypotension and muscle atrophy. He had a heart attack in 1996 and bypass in 1997. He has diabetes but has always been controlled with oral meds. After 2 years, he received 3 stents for restenosis. He passed a stress test and was allowed to dive to 45 feet only by his cardiologist. The last time we dove was 3 1/2 yrs ago in Cozumel. He did fairly well but I did notice he tired easy. So since that time his neurological symptoms starting showing up and over the course of the 3 years, he has had 7 more stents, an MI in April and a positive muscle biopsy for mitochondrial disease. CT scans and a PET scan do not show strokes but he has had to do PT for 9 months for residual stroke like symptoms. Speech therapy to work on cognitive memory issues. But looking at the prognosis for the disease and his complicated medical history....of course he wants to dive again. He is also on parkinson drugs and neurontin for peripheral neuropathy.The neurologist told him no way so he is having a hard time accepting that loss to. Thanks again for your information. He is only 51 so it is very hard to deal with. I guess since he has seen people with MS dive he was holding out hope! Sorry if I wasted your time. It's very hard for men to loose independence!! thanks

My answer:
You did not waste my time! This is a very interesting case and I really would like for him to be able to participate in some water activity - but on the surface! I invariably suggest that people try snorkeling over shallow reefs. This usually turns out to be a good second choice to diving and the dive shops on your trips always know of good places to enjoy the reef fish.
He really does not need to be underwater with his situation.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cave Diving: A dangerous hobby if untrained

In the Suwannee Democrat, August 17, 2006

Published: August 17, 2006 06:06 pm Reprinted with Permission

Cave Diving: A dangerous hobby if untrained

Cave diving is dangerous! In Suwannee County, according to Chief Suwannee County Deputy Ron Colvin, there have been five cave-diving related deaths in the past five years.

John Orlowsky is the Sheriff’s Office go-to guy for recoveries. Colvin said often they don’t have to call someone to recover a dead diver because their buddies go in, find them and bring them out. For river rescues and recoveries, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office uses the Taylor County dive team.

Orlowsky has been on many recoveries. He pulled two out of Convict Springs in Lafayette County in the early 90s. In May of 2003 Orlowsky pulled a diver out of Cow Springs. According to Orlowsky, the diver was found in the upstream section of the spring with gas in the tanks and a full buddy bottle.

Right after New Year’s Eve in 2005, Orlowsky pulled a diver out of Peacock 3. This diver was cavern-certified only and Orlowsky found him 1300 feet into the system. From the diver’s wrist-mounted computer, Orlowsky determined the diver had descended as far as 180 feet. He was found at 55-60 feet. His death was ultimately attributed to a heart attack, according to the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office.

On Nov. 8 in 2002, a diver was recovered from a Peacock Springs cave. This diver also died of a heart attack.

All these deaths could have been prevented by paying attention to Orlowsky’s first rule. “If it doesn’t feel right turn around,” Orlowsky said.

Colvin echoes that sentiment. “If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.”

Orlowsky said mind games play with you when you’re really deep inside a system. That’s called the time/stress factor.

“I teach my students to listen to it,” Orlowsky said. “As soon as something feels wrong mentally or physically, turn around.”

Since Peacock Springs became a state park, the numbers of divers dying in caves in Suwannee County has dropped. Rangers at the state park only allow certified CAVE divers to dive the springs. According to Orlowsky, it’s not cave divers that die in caves, but open water divers. There are signs clearly posted at Peacock Springs that say “No open water divers.”

A local dive instructor and owner of Cave Excursions Bill Rennaker, a dive shop specializing in cave diving instruction and outfitting Bill Rennaker, says his number-one rule for cave diving is always have a continuous guide-line to the surface.

Rennaker says there is a whole new set of rules for “overhead environment diving.” That can be diving under rock (caves), under steel (shipwrecks) or diving under ice. The separation between open-water diving and overhead environment diving is when air bubbles from the divers can’t reach the surface.

“You can’t put an open-water diver in a cave,” Rennaker said. “Everything we do in training is in total darkness because that’s the environment.”

Rennaker stressed the darkness factor. He said without any light in water, humans get mixed up and turned around so badly, they can’t tell up from down. That’s why he stresses the guide-line. If the lights go out, it’s a cave divers only path to the exit.

Because of the danger of cave diving, there are no open-water divers allowed in Suwannee’s cave systems. Divers have to take special classes, (and that’s where Orlowsky comes in), to become certified in cave diving. Even after becoming certified, divers can only enter some caves if they have a certain number of recorded dives to their credit.

Even for certified, experienced cave divers, cave diving can be deadly. Suwannee County’s Sheck Exley was one of the most famous cave divers ever. He was a pioneer in cave diving and lived near Falmouth Springs. Exley owned Cathedral Sink Hole in his back yard. This sink connects to the Falmouth Springs system. As experienced as Exley was, he died pushing himself to the limit in a very deep cave in Mexico. Exley died at over 900 feet trying to dive deeper than any man had gone before in a cave.

The National Speleological Society, NSS, cave diving section, has a great website at At this website it says, “Are you planning a CAVE DIVE but you are . . .

1. Neither formally trained nor certified in Cavern or Cave Diving?

2. Making one of your initial dives into a spring, cave, or blue hole?

3. Not using at least two dependable underwater lights, a guideline on a reel, a submersible pressure gauge, and an additional second stage?

If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then you are typical of most cave-diving fatalities. Since 1960, more than 431 divers fitting the above description — that is, untrained, inexperienced, and improperly equipped — have died in cave diving accidents in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The website states that no amount of previous open water diving experience or training can adequately prepare you for cave diving.

According to the NSS-CDS website, regardless of the prior open water experience, most cave diving accident fatalities were untrained in cave-diving procedures, inadequately equipped for the planned dive, and/or making one of their initial cave dives. Many were extremely experienced in other types of diving. No less than 19 were FULLY CERTIFIED OPEN WATER SCUBA INSTRUCTORS — but without any training in the specialized area of cave diving.

Interviews with some of the surviving dive buddies suggest that frequently the divers originally planned only to take a quick peek “just inside the cave entrance” — that they weren’t really planning a full-fledged “cave dive.” But in many instances the divers got into trouble immediately — “just inside the cave entrance!” In other cases, they decided to continue further into the cave despite their plan and became hopelessly lost. When their bodies were recovered later, there was every evidence that their pre-death experience was panic-stricken and horrifying. At the website, you can read the rules and learn how to become certified.

The Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office said they support the rules of the NSS-CDS. “We encourage all divers to practice all of the rules of cave diving,” Colvin said.

Monday, August 14, 2006

New 6th Revised Printing of Diving Physiology in Plain English

Hello ScubaDoc friends,

We have come out with the new 6th revised printing of Diving Physiology in Plain English
The new cover is above. It was designed by Lisa Wasdin at UHMS.

New book will be off the presses in the next few days. For orders, Contact
Lisa Wasdin
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS)

new address:
10020 Southern Maryland Blvd
Suite 204, The Gateway Center
Dunkirk Maryland 20754
(410) 257-6606
work fax (410) 257-6617

Executive director

Good Things,
Dr. Jolie Bookspan
Director, Neck and Back Pain Sports Medicine

Transient Global Amnesia and PFO

Right-to-left shunts in the heart are associated with low arterial oxygen, TIA, decompression illness, migraine with aura and transient global amnesia. The most frequent cause of a right-to-left shunt is a large persistent (or patent) foramen ovTransient global amnesia ale (PFO).

is a condition that seems to be associated with PFO and has been reported in divers. See this thread on our Scuba Clinic forum with discussion by DocVikingo.

Usually, the diver relates normal diving activity with little or no current, surge or wave action. The dives are usually relatively shallow and leisurely, with little in the way of exertion. Occasionally, there is the history of some difficulty clearing with excessive valsalva maneuvers. The problem is that the diver cannot remember any activities after leaving the water for variable periods of time, usually only a couple of hours. There may or may not be associated decompression illness symptoms.

Valsalva-like activities often precede the occurrence of attacks of transient global amnesia (TGA) and abnormalities consistent with hypoperfusion (decreased blood flow) of deep limbic (brain) structures have been reported during a typical TGA episode. The search for an increased frequency of PFO in TGA patients has yielded conflicting results. In the first study, PFO was found in 55% of TGA patients, in 26% of stroke patients and in 26% of controls (Kloetzsch et al., 1966). Another study was unable to replicate this finding in a cohort of 46 consecutive patients in whom the prevalence of PFO (19.5%) was no higher than that found in 33 age-matched control subjects ( 19,6 %) and nonsignificantly lower than in 31 TIA patients (33.3%) (Anzola et al., 2000).

A study in the Archives of Neurology, "Arch Neurol. 1996 Jun;53(6):504-8.
showed an increased frequency of patent foramen ovale in patients with transient global amnesia. Fifty-three consecutive patients with TGA were evaluated by the 2 centers between 1988 and 1995. Using contrast transcranial Doppler sonography they have observed a PFO in 55% of the patients with TGA, compared with 27% of a control group of 100 patients. This difference was statistically significant (P < .01). Twenty-five patients with TGA (47%), 15 of them with a proven PFO, reported a precipitating activity, such as the lifting of heavy weights, immediately before the TGA occurred.

So, here we have another symptom complex from patent foramen ovale in divers that we need to be aware of - the diver who has a temporary but complete loss of memory coming on immediately after a dive and often associated with valsalva-like exertions, such as lifting or climbing right after a dive.

Should the defect be closed? Probably so in the working diver who cannot call his shots; possibly not in sport divers who can control their dives (and consequently the venous bubble load).

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Traveler's Emergency Kit (or A MASH Unit?)

I ran across this article on eScuba and thought you might want to have this information available for your next diving expedition, particularly if you have a doctor along on the trip. Permmission to publish by the author - who is a personal friend.

A Traveler's Emergency Kit
by Dr. Bruce Miller

This section lists supplies and medications that you should consider taking along when you travel to areas where little or no medical care exists. If you're a physician, you'll find plenty of problems in the indigenous population that can use your help.

For those who want to avoid collecting the supplies and medications, I enthusiastically recommend DAN's DSS Guardian First Aid Kit. It contains most of the supplies I've listed in a handy, compact travel kit. You can easily customize it to your own specifications as well. For example, you can't take along too many one-inch Band-Aids®-I carry at least 100-and several rolls of 1-inch-wide cloth adhesive tape. You'll be the most popular diver on the trip! All of this fits inside a zipper bag the size of a loaf of bread.

5 disposable scalpels with #15 blade*
1 needle holder*
1 pair pickups (e.g., Adson™)*
2 small hemostats*
2 3.5cc syringes with 25-gauge needle or dental syringe with 30-gauge needles*
1 tissue scissors*
1 oto-ophthalmoscope*
1 disposable airway*
1 Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool-really useful to have along!
1 stethoscope

2 packs each 4-0 Ethanol-Vicryl™ sutures on a PS-2 needle*
1 bottle 1 percent Xylocaine®* with epinephrine (or 2 percent dental capsules)
Ed. Note: The use of the epinephrine in the hand or foot...especially the fingers or toes is contraindicated. There is the possiblity of an ischemia serious enough to lose a digit.
12 packets alcohol swabs
2 sterile drapes with eyeholes
2 pair each sterile and disposable gloves
2 rolls 3-inch Ace™ elastic wrap
2 rolls 1" cloth tape
1 box Steri-strips™
1 box Telfa™ pads
1 box 1" Band-Aids® #100
2 rolls self-adherent roller gauze (wide)
1 roll Coban™
1 packet of Duoderm™ (thin)

1 tube fluorinated steroid (Temovate®, Diprolene® AF)*
1 tube 1 percent hydrocortisone cream
1 tube antibiotic ointment
1 tube topical antifungal cream (Naftin®, Lotrimin®, etc.)
1 tube Duolube™*
20 Tylox® caps
30 Ibuprofen® or Aleve®
30 enteric coated ASA or Tylenol® tablets*
30 prednisone tablets (20mgm)*
20 Cipro® or Cephalexin® tablets (500mgm)*
20 Famvir® or Valtrex® 500 mgm tabs or Zovirax® 800 mgm tabs*
20 oral antifungals (Sporanox®, Diflucan®, Lamisil®)
20 acid blockers (Pepcid®, Tagamet®) or Prilosec®*
20 nonsedating antihistamines with pseudoephedrine (Claritin®-D or Allegra®-D)
1 bottle Jungle Juice
1 box Pepto-Bismol® tablets
1 Ana-Kit®
#15 (or higher) broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) waterproof sunscreen and Chapstick®
1 bottle Domeboro Otic®*
1 bottle Afrin® Nasal Spray
1 box Transderm-Scop® patches*
1 water filtration device
* Indicates either a prescription drug or equipment that requires specialized training to use, so tailor this list to your own skill level.

Oregon physician Dr. Bruce Miller's recommendations are based on 20-plus years' experience backpacking, climbing, ski patrolling (in the Pacific Northwest), travelling, scuba diving around the world, and, "most hazardous of all, spending water-ski weeks in a houseboat on Lake Shasta."
Reader/diver Jan Kempiak writes in response:
Ern, wouldn't a person need an RX to get a "mash" unit like that, containing steroids and antibiotics? It didn't mention any instant ice packs, jan
My response:
You're absolutely right! That's why I called his kit a 'MASH unit 'in jest; a lot of his items require a prescription or have to be bought by a physician. However, it is a well stocked kit for a physician. Note that I state that it would be good particularly if you have a doctor in the group. Also note that he provides an asterisk for those items requiring a prescription.

You're also correct in that instant ice packs and heatable packs would be a good idea.

Recommended Diving Medical Books

We recently had a question concerning which Diving Medicine books I would recommend. There are many excellent books available, each with advantages in certain areas. Here are the books that I have on my desktop and that I use on a regular basis. in no particular order.

Assessment of Diving Medical Fitness for Scuba Divers and Instructors by Peter B. Bennett, Frans J. Cronje, and Ernest S. Campbell
Order from or email
Order from .

Medical Examination of Sport Scuba Divers, 3rd Edition, AA Bove, MD
Technical Diving in Depth by B. R. Wienke
Order from

Bennett and Elliotts' Physiology and Medicine of Diving by Alf Brubakk and Tom Neuman
Order from

Diving Medicine by Alfred A. Bove and Jefferson Davis
Order from

United States Navy Diving Manual, Revision 4, Vol. 5: Diving Medicine & Recompression Chamber Operations

Diving and Subaquatic Medicine (A Hodder Arnold Publication) by Carl Edmonds, Christopher Lowry, John Pennefather, and Robyn Walker
Order from

Diving Science by Michael Strauss and Igor V. Aksenov

Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine by K. K. Jain, Richard A., M.D. Neubauer, S. A. Baydin, and Jolie Bookspan

Diving Physiology in Plain English by Jolie Bookspan
Order this at

Hyperbaric Medicine Practice, Second Edition by Eric P. Kindwall

NOAA Diving Manual: Diving for Science and Technology, Fourth Edition

Deeper Into Diving by John Lippmann and Simon Mitchell, MD 2nd Edition, 2005 [DAN S.E. Asia - Pacific]

The Sports Diving Medical: A Guide to Medical Conditions Relevant to Scuba Diving by John Parker

Here are some other publication sources:
UHMS-Publications -
Medical Seminars -
Best Publishing -

Finally, I have a Diving Medicine Bookstore on my web site at .

I hope this is helpful!

Ern Campbell

US Navy Hyperbaric Tables in Metric

We received a question concerning operation of a new Hyperbaric chamber in an island nation. Good questions were asked that might be beneficial to others who are opening or running chambers calibrated to the metric system.

"I am concerned with getting a copy of the USN tables for treatment in metric, so far no luck, do you know of any links, although it is not a problem shooting anyone down to 60ft (18m), I really would prefer if the instructors and nurses all had metric tables in front of them as this is a metric machine, even the manufacturers had a hard time finding any.

Another question, not related to diving, but hyperbarics, is how would a doctor go about prescribing treatment for a diabetic injury? We know it is around 30 treatments of 30 minutes, but is there a reference for this anywhere, though there is now a trained staff, I feel it is going to be "my baby to bathe and care for", so I had better find as many refrences and texts as I can before it becomes official.

Any ideas?


Marine Manager


Here is the British Hyperbaric Association tables for recompression that has the British Royal Navy tables in meters. These are comparable to the USN tables. .

Also, here is a web site that gives extensive background and rationale in the use of HBO in the treatment of diabetic [and other non-healing] wounds, as well as it's use in approved conditions other than decompression illness. .

I hope this is helpful!

Ern Campbell, MD

DAN Announces DEMA Show Seminar Schedule

From DiveNewsWire

Important information, updates to be presented by DAN staff proffesionals during DEMA Show 2006

A complete list of DAN seminars at the DEMA Show follows. For more information about these offerings, call (919) 684-2948 ext. 626.

DAN’s DEMA Show Seminars

Wednesday Nov. 8

10 a.m.–11 a.m.
Topic: DAN Research Presentation
“Diving with Diabetes”
Presenter: Donna Uguccioni

11 a.m.-noon
Topic: Instructor Update
“What’s New with DAN Dive Safety Courses”
Presenter: Jeff Myers, Vice President, DAN Training

1 p.m.-2 p.m.
Topic: DAN Research Presentation
Presenter: Donna Uguccioni, M.S.

2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Topic: DAN Medical Presentation
Presenter: DAN Doctor TBA

Thursday Nov. 9

10 a.m.-11 a.m.

Topic: DAN Medical Presentation
“Steps to Recognizing DCI in Divers”
Presenter: Marty McCafferty, DAN Medic

11 a.m.-noon

Topic: DAN Research Presentation
“Risk Factors for Decompression Sickness”
Presenter: Richard D. Vann, Ph.D.

1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Topic: Instructor Update
“What’s New with DAN Dive Safety Courses”
Presenter: Jeff Myers, Vice President, DAN Training

2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Topic: DAN Research Presentation
“Most Common Disabling Injuries and Adverse Events in Fatal Diving Accidents”
Presenter: Petar J. Denoble, M.D., D.Sc.

Friday Nov. 10

10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Topic: DAN Medical Presentation
“Hyperbaric Chambers and Their Use for Dive Accidents”
Presenter: Marty McCafferty, DAN Medic

11 a.m.-noon

Topic: Aptitud para el Buceo: Consideraciones de Salud y Restricciones que todo Instructor Debería Conocer
Presenter: Cuauhtemoc Sanchez, M.D.

Noon-1 p.m.
Topic: Latin American Forum and Lunch

1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Topic: DAN Research Presentation
“The History of Special Operations Diving: Part I”
Presenter: Richard D. Vann, Ph.D.

2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Topic: Instructor Update
“What’s New with DAN Dive Safety Courses”
Presenter: Jeff Myers, Vice President, DAN Training

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Web Stuff from Larry "Harris" Taylor, PhD


First, and most importantly, last weekend, the University of Michigan Human Powered Sub team won the 2006 Human Powered Submarine Competition in Escondido, CA. Their first run was 3.99 knots with the final winning run at 4.587 knots This represents some very impressive work from a group of dedicated university students. Attached is a picture I took of 4 of the human sub team divers at their first in-water testing (at the University of Michigan Naval Architecture's Tow Tank Facility) this spring.

For more information:

The 2006 Competition:
U of MI Sub Team:

While on the topic, here are some more HPS sites:

Australian HPV Resources:
Bath U:
Blue Space:
History of World Submarine Invitational:
HPS 2004:
Human Sub-Tools:
Human-Powered Vehicles:
International Submarine Races:
Norwegian University:
Pictures & Results:
St Augustine Sub:
Submarine Races:
Texac A & M:
U Iowa:
U Maine:
U Michigan Naval:
U of MI-Wilson Center:
U Washington:
Virginia Tech:
WildCatfish-Progress Report:

This month's additions, re-appearances, and bunches of updated/re-directs this month to my list of about 8000 links at

( the dive only links section of this list is at: )

Scuba Guru:
Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes:
Ghost Ships:
Phantom Ships:

Submarine Volcanoes:
Marine Affairs (U RI):

Jack & Sue Drafahl:
World of Underwater Photography:

GAP recently made its gas-mixing appllication (part of its larger dive planning software) available as freeware at

Dive long and prosper,