Home > Diving News > Rescue of an unconscious diver from depth: the new UHMS guidelines

Rescue of an unconscious diver from depth: the new UHMS guidelines

This is Professor Simon J Mitchell. Simon gave a presentation at EUROTEK.2012 entitled “Rescue of an unconscious diver from depth: the new UHMS guidelines”.

Simon Mitchell, Rescue of an unconscious diver from depth, UHMS diving committee guidelines, EUROTEK, TEKDiveUSA, Neal W Pollock, diving researcher, diving doctor, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving news, scuba diving pr, rebreather

Dr Simon Mitchell talking to EUROTEK.2012

This was probably one of the most important presentations delivered at EUROTEK.2012 and it was the first time this talk was given to a European audience.

Aspects of the correct course of action on finding an unconscious diver underwater have been debated on various internet forums;

– Should you try to replace the regulator?
– Should you wait until a seizure is finished before ascending?
– What procedures should be in place for a rebreather diver?
– Should you try to complete some decompression on a decompression dive?
– Should you try rescue breaths in water at the surface?

We are delighted that permission has now been granted by the UHMS Journal Editor to allow the recreational and technical diving community to access this valuable resource.

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is an international, non-profit organization serving over 2,400 members from more than 50 countries. The UHMS is a primary source of scientific information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide. You can help support them by becoming a member and you also get access to the journals.

Follow this link to The Dive Forum to download the paper. Please do not upload this paper elsewhere because the UHMS are tracking downloads from The Dive Forum.

  1. bret gilliam
    November 20, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I am researching current recommendations with regard to deep water rescue of an unconscious diver and was surprised that no one seems to have remembered the landmark paper published in 1972 by Dr. George Harpur (Canada) on this very subject. Harpur proved that an unconscious diver can have their BCD inflated and the diver then released to the surface without problems for AGE due to the clear patent airway. This eliminates accompanying the diver and speeds the entire process up. The rescuer then ascends independently to attend the diver who will be floating on the surface and ready for rescue breathing and CPR. Harpur’s paper was titled “Deep Water Scuba Rescue”. He used himself as the guinea pig!

    If anyone can amplify Harpur’s technique with additional info, please comment.

    Bret Gilliam

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