The most effective emergency responses result from effective teamwork, which reduces the risks for both rescuers and the victims.
Preparation increases the speed and efficiency with which the rescuer handles the most common scuba diving, and non scuba diving emergency situations.
An emergency action plan is simply the information, for where you’re diving, that you will need in the event of a dive accident.
Emergency Action Plan - Your emergency action plan should consider your team, yourself, other divers, the local emergency response team (EMS or local fire department), and local medical services.
A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in administering first aid, and may be made up of different contents dependent on who has assembled the kit and for what purpose.
Common contents include items to help control bleeding, such as bandages, protective breathing barriers for performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and may also contain some medicines.
First Aid Kit Tip - The contents of first aid kits should be kept clean and dry, and should be regularly checked and restocked if any items are damaged or out of date, especially the seasickness tablets for dive boats.
A pocket mask, or CPR mask, is a device used to safely deliver rescue breaths during a cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest. Air is administered to the patient when the emergency responder exhales through the one-way filter valve.
Modern pocket masks have either a built in one-way valve or an attachable, disposable filter to protect the emergency responder from the patient's potentially infectious bodily substances, such as vomit or blood.
Pocket Mask Tip - Many pocket masks also have a built-in oxygen intake tube, allowing for an administration of up to 50-60% oxygen. Without being hooked up to an external line, exhaled air from the provider can still provide sufficient oxygen to live, up to 16%. The Earth's atmosphere consists of approximately 21% oxygen.
A recent dive accident report by DAN (Divers Alert Network) revealed that less than 33% of injured divers actually received emergency oxygen in the field, and even fewer of those did not receive oxygen concentrations approaching the recommended 100%.
DAN and all major diving instructional agencies recommend that all divers should be qualified to provide 100% oxygen in the field to those injured in a dive accident.
Portable Oxygen Units are now almost standard equipment at any dive site, and they are available in sturdy watertight plastic storage containers.
Oxygen Unit Tips - Whenever high concentrations of oxygen are being delivered, please remember the two 'E's. The first 'E' stands for the 'Environment', which means that all naked flames should be extinguished and there should be ample ventilation.
The second 'E' stands for the 'Equipment, and careful attention is necessary to determine how long the oxygen supply will last, and the unit should never be allowed to run empty while it is attached to the patient.
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