Divers Alert Network (DAN)
has created a simple, four-hour oxygen provider course. This new
entry-level DAN course, Oxygen First Aid in Dive Accidents ,
includes both lecture and application training experiences. The lecture
portion of the course reviews anatomy and physiology, the signs and
symptoms of major diving injuries (DCS, AGE and near-drowning), oxygen
delivery systems, recommendations for oxygen use, and the benefits and
safety practices of oxygen administration. The extensive hands-on portion
of the classes encourages familiarity with all components of the
easy-to-use DAN Oxygen Unit. Participants learn to resuscitate breathing
and non-breathing divers. Practice sessions involve the use of live
"buddies" and mannequins in a variety of simulated scenarios. The course
concludes with a written examination. All successful participants receive
a DAN Oxygen First-Aid Provider wallet card and recognition materials.
Increasingly, knowledgeable diving physicians agree that emergency
oxygen is the single most effective first-aid measure for decompression
sickness, air embolism, and near drowning. With oxygen therapy, nitrogen
elimination from the surrounding tissues is significantly increased which
may help the injured diver recover more rapidly and reduce the likelihood
for permanent residual damage.
Support for using oxygen as first aid throughout the diving community
has been positive, but until recently, access to instruction in the use of
oxygen equipment for the general diving public has been seriously lacking.
DAN has initiated a major effort to provide training for the general
diving public in administration of emergency oxygen in the field. Since
its inception in 1991, the course has trained more than 30,000 providers
through the 2,500 DAN-trained instructors and instructor trainers in the
field. Many dive stores have DAN Oxygen Instructors on their staff. If you
cannot find a course in your area, call DAN's Training Department at (919)
684-2948 for information or refer to the DAN Oxygen Course listing in each
issue of Alert Diver magazine.
This training is valuable for divers of all certification and
experience levels and is especially valuable for diving leaders
(instructors, divemasters, etc.) and rescue divers who are responsible for
the safety and welfare of others. The DAN oxygen course, in addition to
being a stand alone course, can be included as part of a comprehensive
rescue specialty program.