Here’s the secret that smart divers know:
Don’t ask for – or take – medical advice online. Period. Full Stop. No exceptions.
- I don’t care if the person on Facebook has Doctor in their name, that doesn’t mean they are actually a Doctor.
- I don’t care if the advice sounds reasonable, if you did not get it from a verified source like your personal physician, don’t take it.
- I don’t care how minor you think the problem is, if it’s medical, it’s not something to take chances with.
Where to get medical advice on scuba diving
There are only two places you should trust scuba diving medical advice.
- Divers Alert Network
- Your personal physician
In most cases, you want to consult with both of them, not just one.
DAN is by far the expert on medical questions for scuba divers. They have a blog with great articles on things like Recognizing and Preventing Barotrauma. These are well-researched articles that provide scuba divers with solid medical advice. Through their blog and their “Ask a Medic” service, they answer questions and help divers understand medical issues surrounding scuba diving.
DAN is great, but they know scuba diving, not you personally. When you have a question about how scuba diving will affect you, you want to talk to your personal physician. They know you, and they know your medical history. They might not be an expert in scuba diving medicine, but they can help you take the information that DAN provides and apply it to your situation.
Scuba diving is as safe as you make it. One of the ways you can make it safe is to get good advice from reputable sources. When it comes to medical advice, get it from those who have the proper knowledge and the credentials to dispense it. It doesn’t matter if you are diving a quarry, off your favorite dive boat, or a shore dive like the beautiful Blue Heron Bridge, scuba divers need to dive safely. When you have a question about whether it’s ok for you to dive, contact your buddy DAN, and your personal physician. They will help you understand so that you can dive safely, and dive confidently.
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