Divers need to know when to abort: inquest

Posted: 12/11/2012 in all marine news

From AAP –

More research is needed into a little-known medical condition that killed a woman scuba diving off Sydney’s shoreline, a coroner has found.

Scuba divers must be better educated about the risks of a little-known breathing condition that killed an experienced diver off Sydney, a coroner says.

Carol Martin, 52, a Scottish-born nurse, died from immersion pulmonary oedema – a condition which leads to an accumulation of fluid in the lungs – while diving with a group near La Perouse in the city’s east on February 3 last year.

Glebe Coroners Court on Thursday heard Ms Martin – a highly-experienced diver who had logged 1000 dives before her death – had experienced breathing difficulties during a previous dive near Newcastle in 2010 and was actively researching the problem.

Handing down her findings, Coroner Sharon Freund said the evidence indicated that divers who have previously suffered an episode of immersion pulmonary oedema “are at high risk” of a potentially fatal recurrence.

“It’s important that the diving community knows the risks of continuing to dive if they have had this condition,” Ms Freund said.

She recommended further education and research into the effects of the condition.

“It’s important that her death was not in vain,” Ms Freund said.

Tasmanian-based associate professor in diving and hyperbaric medicine, David Smart, earlier told the inquest there was still much to learn about immersion pulmonary oedema.

Full article…

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