Covid-19 lung effects worry diving doc

Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Divernet

An indication that scuba divers should be especially wary of contracting the Covid-19 coronavirus has emerged from a report by a senior doctor in Austria.

Also Read: DDRC needs divers’ help on lungs

Dr Frank Hartig, himself a diver, heads the emergency unit at Innsbruck University Clinic and is crisis co-ordinator for Covid-19 patients.

He has told the Austrian Press Agency that he has observed “massive changes” in the lungs of patients who have recovered from the infection – even though their cases had not seemed serious enough to warrant admission to hospital. 

“This is shocking, we don’t understand what’s going on here,” says Dr Hartig, who is concerned that for divers the lung changes could significantly increase the risk of accidents under water.

Six active divers were among Covid-19 patients seen at the hospital since the coronavirus pandemic began, but none of them was considered to be badly enough affected to require hospital treatment. 

After several weeks all six were considered to have recovered, and showed no outward residual symptoms beyond coughs and “reduced performance”. Yet according to Dr Hartig their lung CT scans suggested that the damage sustained could be “irreversible”.

“They are probably lifelong patients,” he said. “As an emergency doctor with 20 years’ experience, you gulp when you see something like this in a 40-year-old patient.”

Two of the divers showed significant oxygen deficiency when under stress, normally a sign of persistent lung shunt. Two displayed the kind of symptoms usually observed in asthmatics, and in four cases the scans revealed such significant changes to the lungs that Dr Hartig had to check with the X-ray department that the files hadn’t been mixed up. 

The doctor said he wanted to issue a warning to all divers because, while he couldn’t tell how long the effects would last, he found it difficult to believe that his patients’ lungs could heal completely.

“After a Covid infection, even if you have had only mild symptoms and your medical certification to dive is still valid, you should definitely have a diving doctor examine you thoroughly before diving again,” he said.

Dr Hartig also cautioned against diving using elevated levels of oxygen, such as when using nitrox, suggesting that this could be dangerous if the lung tissue was still sensitive.

And he said that any coronavirus patients hoping to dive again in the short term should be very cautious, because scientific studies would not be available before 2021.

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#askmark, Heyo! Longtime listener, first time caller, etc. Went with a BP/W for my first set and I'm having a really hard time keeping the power inflator on my shoulder; the corrugated hose keeps flipping off my shoulder and getting twisted up or just ending up behind the backplate and dangling down the back of the wing. Is there something I can add to my harness to keep it in place? I don't want to tie it to the D ring since I wouldn't be able to lift it to deflate. I'm using the cheap DGX Gears wing for reference. Thanks!

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@jaketarren
#askmark, Heyo! Longtime listener, first time caller, etc. Went with a BP/W for my first set and I'm having a really hard time keeping the power inflator on my shoulder; the corrugated hose keeps flipping off my shoulder and getting twisted up or just ending up behind the backplate and dangling down the back of the wing. Is there something I can add to my harness to keep it in place? I don't want to tie it to the D ring since I wouldn't be able to lift it to deflate. I'm using the cheap DGX Gears wing for reference. Thanks!

#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
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How Do You Keep Your Corrugated BCD Hose in Place? #askmark

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We partner with https://www.scuba.com and https://www.mikesdivestore.com for all your gear essentials. Consider using the affiliate link above to support the channel.

The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.
00:00 Introduction
01:17 Ears
05:13 Scuba.com
06:05 Hydrate
08:12 Clean

#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
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We partner with https://www.scuba.com and https://www.mikesdivestore.com for all your gear essentials. Consider using the affiliate link above to support the channel.

The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.
00:00 Introduction
01:17 Ears
05:13 Scuba.com
06:05 Hydrate
08:12 Clean

YouTube Video UEw2X2VCMS1KYWdWbXFQSGV1YW84WVRHb2pFNkl3WlRSZS42QTlDMjkyRjNGMEYwQzcz

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