18 Aug 2019 | Tessa Berghout

DCS in the Maldives

Imagine enjoying a well-deserved holiday on the exotic Maldives and being able to go on diving trips to see the beautiful coral reefs…This is what a 60 year old DAN member from France was doing, until he found himself one day coming up from a dive feeling ill and disorientated.

It was only about ten minutes after his first dive, in the morning at Gaaf Alif, that he had a sudden onset of dizziness, nausea and vomiting. 100% oxygen was applied by demand valve on the boat for one hour, however, without major improvement. Being aware of the fact that DAN operates through an international network of alarm centers, active 24 hours a day, DAN Europe was alerted by the dive-guide of the safari boat who asked for assistance. DAN recommended to send the patient to the nearest hyperbaric facility. Being in the middle of the sea, this was easier said than done! After checking the options of transport available, DAN arranged for an emergency speed boat to pick up the patient from the safari boat and bring him to the medical hyperbaric centre at Villingili on the Atoll of Addu. In the meantime, the medical centre was alerted by DAN and was on stand-by for the patient’s arrival.

During the transfer the injured diver was administered normobaric oxygen twice an hour. Upon arrival, the patient was unable to walk on his own and continued to suffer from nausea and dizziness. After initial medical examination, inner ear Decompression Sickness was diagnosed and hyperbaric chamber treatment according to Table 6 of the US Navy was started. After the therapy the patient was able to walk on his own, but was still not 100% recovered. Another Table 5 treatment was necessary the next day for the symptoms to disappear completely.

DAN was very pleased to hear that the treatment had the desired effects. Since the diver was insured with a Sport Silver policy, the costs for the speedboat evacuation and the hyperbaric treatments were fully covered. He also had been reimbursed the cost of re-fuelling the speedboat (that he happened to pay for during the emergency) and the extra accommodation charges incurred during the time of therapy. The total costs added up to about 12.000 Euro.

With a DAN membership, you can count on DAN wherever you are!

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