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Some divers exploring the ocean depths
Photo by olaszmelo, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Are you fit to dive?

A diver exploring the ocean depths
Photo by PHC John S. Stadelman, used under Public Domain license

Consider a fitness to dive medical evaluation.

Some Spiral Wire Coral
Photo by Nick Hobgood, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Fitness to Dive Evaluation

Safe diving always begins with a thorough medical evaluation which will identify the individual risk factors for diving. A fitness to dive evaluation is mandatory for all commercial divers and should be the initial evaluation for the individual contemplating recreational diving.

The Fitness to Dive Evaluation includes:

  • Medical History
  • Complete Physical Examination
  • Pertinent Medical Studies which very according to the individual but may include lung function testing, chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, exercise stress testing and eye visual acuity/ear audiology testing. Echocardiogram with bubble study is required in individuals suspected to have a patent foramen ovale (hole in the heart) and those with severe or recurrent decompression sickness or decompression illness.
  • Identification of Risk Factors

Absolute disqualifying medical conditions for diving:

  • Poorly Controlled Asthma
  • Chronic Cystic, or Restrictive Pulmonary Disease
  • History of Spontaneous Pneumothorax
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Middle Ear Surgery with Placement of Prosthesis
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Detached Retina
  • Patent Foramen Ovale and Ventricular Septal Defect
  • Symptomatic Bradycardia (Slow Pulse)
  • Pregnancy

Relative disqualifying medical conditions for diving:

  • Poorly Controlled Type I Diabetes
  • Chronic Tympanic Membrane Perforation (Ear Drum)
  • Previous Severe Decompression Sickness or Decompression Illness
  • Previous Arterial Gas Embolism
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Angina Pectoris or Cardiac Stent
  • Hernias
  • Recent Orthopedic Injury
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Certain Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse and other Cardiac Structural Abnormalities
  • Many Other Medical Conditions

Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Care
at Walnut Creek

216 N. Wiget Lane
Walnut Creek, California 94598

Phone: +1 (925) 357-8834
Fax: +1 (925) 357-8382

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