Divers Alert Network
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.