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Flying After Diving

Flying after Diving - DAN Current Guidelines


Divers Alert Network and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors clarify the current safety recommendations of how soon divers can fly to altitude after using scuba underwater.

Flying, or otherwise ascending, to a higher altitude having dived can predispose a diver to decompression illness unless there has been sufficient surface interval time to allow excess gas to diffuse from the body?

If sufficient time has not been allowed and the ambient pressure is reduced, gas bubbles may form, or existing asymptomatic bubbles may increase in size and cause symptoms of decompression illness.

We can never be exactly sure when it becomes 'safe to fly' after a dive since it will depend on the bubble formation and how long it persists.

Many authorities recommend that as a general rule, you should wait at least twenty four hours before flying after making an air dive. Sometimes this may be overly conservative, while on other occasions it may not be conservative enough.

If you have had symptoms of decompression illness and have not received appropriate recompression treatment, flying can be risky even more than a week afterwards.

After a long flight, one is often jet-lagged and dehydrated. Since you may have an increased susceptibility to DCI in this condition, is not advised to use scuba again until after a complete recovery from the flight.

DAN Current Recommendations for Flying after Diving

Dives within the No-Decompression Limits

Dives Requiring No-Decompression Stops

There is little experimental or published evidence on which to base a recommendation for decompression dives.

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Diving at Altitude

Diving at Altitude (300 meters/1000 feet or greater) requires use of special training and procedures.