Medical Examiner of Divers

New Orleans, Louisiana
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Medical Examiner of Divers
Thursday, September 20, 2012 - Sunday, September 23, 2012

Westin New Orleans Canal Place
100 Rue Iberville
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
United States

Map and Directions

SEPTEMBER 20 - 23, 2012
UHMS Member: $850.00
NON-UHMS Member: $950.00
DMT/EMT:  $375.00

Physician Renewal only (last 2 days):
UHMS Member:  $425.00
NON-UHMS Member:  $475.00





----Attendees do not need to be a diver to attend ----

Course Co-Directors:  
John Freiberger, MD and Peter Bennett, PhD, DSc

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ONLINE (click the "REGISTER NOW" button to the upper right)


The Westin New Orleans Canal Place
00 Rue Iberville
New Orleans, LA 70130
Telephone: 504-566-7006 or 800-627-8189
You must identify yourself as attending this course to receive the special rate.

Room Rate: $139.00 s/d

Reservation Cut-off Date: Monday, August 27, 2012
Rates do not include applicable state and local taxes, currently 13%, or $2 per room per night occupancy tax.
Rates will be available 3 days prior and 3 days after the Event Dates, subject to availability.

General Information

The course content follows the approved curriculum of the Diving Medical Advisory Committee (DMAC), the European Diving Technology Committee (EDTC),  and the European Committee of Hyperbaric Medicine (ECHM) so  to reflect a uniformly balanced and internationally recognized program of instruction.

This is a specific training course preparing physicians to examine commercial, sport, research, and other related public service divers, and determine their fitness to dive. 

he course has been approval as a Level 1 - Medical Examiner of Divers course by the Diving Medical Advisory Committee/European Diving Technology Committee (DMAC/EDTCmed).  The course also carries 31.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits (TM).  A certificate will be provided to each registered attendee who completes the full course and passes the final examination with a score of at least 70%..

Course Goal and Objectives

The goal of this course is to prepare physicians to examine professional, sport, research and other related public service divers, and determine their fitness to dive.

As a result of this course, the participants should be able to:


  • Discuss hyperbaric physics to include gas laws, principles applied to buoyancy, pressure values, and the diver effects at depth;
  • Calculate/convert units of pressure and temperature;
  • Explain the interactions upon underwater equilibrium and the loss of visual reference points in poor visibility and some loss of proprioception concurrent with ear-clearing difficulties;
  • Recall the effect of hyperventilation on diver’s in-water neutral buoyancy due to increased rate of physical work and minute volume;
  • Discuss submersion and immersion, and the effects on cardiac output and tissue perfusion;
  • Explain the effects of gases, physical work and dive duration on the diver;
  • Discuss the development and history of decompression theory, and the related math hypotheses;
  • Define:  barotrauma, arterial gas embolism (AGE), patent foramen ovale (PFO), decompression sickness (DCS), decompression illness (DCI) and describe the consequences and influencing factors that can influence individual susceptibility;
  • Discuss the principles of recognizing the presence of an occupational condition in a particular population of workers such as diver, and the surveillance of individuals at risk for early diagnosis and management;
  • Discuss oxygen toxicity to include manifestations, synergistic effects with other gases, and the pathophysiology;
  • Explain unit pulmonary toxic dose (UPTD) and its calculation;
  • Describe influencing factors, resulting effect, and perceptions of residual risk and affecting factors;
  • Discuss the different theories and causes of pathophysiological inert gas effects;
  • Define high pressure nervous syndrome (HPNS) and describe its manifestations and effects, causative mechanisms and, methods for its control;
  • Describe how drugs can affect function in a diver and the effectiveness and side effects at deeper depths;
  • Discuss hypothermia to include impacts of depth and implications of body and respiratory gas heating;
  • Review common marine fauna that can present injurious or fatal hazards to divers and describe medical management of each;
  • Review other marine  hazards such as pathogenic bacteria, contaminated gas and sea-sickness;
  • Define “working” diver to include:  constraints upon a working diver versus a recreational diver, medical fitness and safety requirements, and the supervisory control;
  • Discuss the working diver to include types of equipment used, in-water decompression procedures; gas factors such as capacity of tanks, contamination, nitrogen mixtures; emergency procedures;
  • Discuss commercial diving equipment, surface decompression and types of breathing mixtures;
  • Define saturation diving as it relates to “bell” excursions;
  • Describe emergency evacuation procedures;
  • Describe the characteristics of marine divers (recreational, public safety, commercial and breath-hold divers), caisson and tunnel workers, and astronauts who train in water at depth;
  • Review and discuss all types of breathing apparatus including potential malfunctions;
  • Describe equipment used for continuous in-water and in-chamber diver monitoring;
  • Review hazards associated with compressors and gas mixing devices, gas storage and delivery;
  • Review the equipment that sat divers need;
  • Summarily review decompression theories noting the complexity and limitations of these theories;
  • Discuss decompression risk to include computer and table usage, compliance/non-compliance with table use, implications of informal changes to decompression profiles;
  • Identify regulations and Code of Practice (COP) for the United States and their relation t international codes;
  • Review each organ system, and interpret and apply the published clinical recommendations in relation to the fitness assessment of an individual diver or pressure worker;
  • Differentiate between needs of fitness assessments in long-term diver employees and recreational divers;
  • Explain to the non-diving clinician the critical aspects of a diving or pressure exposure that may be relevant to an individual being referred for consultant opinion;
  • Relate factors influencing personal DCI susceptibility, and how immaturity, youth disability or old age influence diving safety factors;
  • Perform, apply and/or interpret the clinical and physiological investigations needed to assess fitness of the working and recreational diver;
  • Recognize that legislative, legal requirements and organizational/training agency standards for fitness of working divers can vary between organizations, local and national authorities, and, each case should ensure that appropriate requirements have been met or exceeded;
  • Perform examination of and evaluate diver’s neurological, pulmonary function, audiology, and other systems in preparation for diving;
  • Define decompression sickness (DCS) and describe potential manifestations to include musculo-skeletal, cutaneous, lymphatic, respiratory, hypovolemic, and both peripheral and central neurological deficits;
  • Define pulmonary barotrauma (PB) and arterial gas embolism (AGE), and describe the pathophysiological mechanism and sequelae of decompression barotrauma on the pulmonary, systemic, and neurological systems;
  • Define decompression illness (DCI) to include range of symptoms, signs and patterns of presentation characteristically arising from different types of diving or chamber exposures;
  • Discuss DCI assessment including practical limitations on the on-site examination, time-scales of onset and the significance of subsequent deterioration, the importance and recognition of symptom denial, and, the prognosis of untreated DCI;
  • Recognize that:  the diver may fail to report symptoms; there are skin disorders which mimic DCI; and that other possible differential diagnoses need to be excluded;
  • Review management of decompression incidents at the surface;
  • Cite other networks which provide medical support in emergencies;
  • Explain that an on-site operational chamber is an essential component of surface decompression, or if none is available on-site, pre-dive planning should include availability of transport and a suitable chamber;
  • Describe the many treatment algorithms available including their relative merits and the application of different tables;
  • List the major failures of treatment;
  • Define therapeutic tables within treatment algorithms by pressure-time profile;
  • Discuss in-water decompression;
  • Discuss DCI in saturation diving;
  • Recognize the value of early discussion with treating physicians and appropriate follow-up for the individual;
  • Discuss diving incidents and accidents to include:  diver error, contributory factors, and when incidents may occur
  • Restate the importance of familiarity with all emergency drills and the identification of available emergency resources.


The Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the ACCME.

Credit Designation

The UHMS designates this live activity for a maximum of  31.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TMPhysicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.



All faculty members and planners participating in continuing medical education activities sponsored by UHMS are expected to disclose to the participants any releveant financial relationships with commercial interestes.  Full disclosure of faculty and planner relevant financial relationships will be made at the activity.





























































Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners

    All checks must be USD and made payable to UHMS.  If paying with check, please mail payment, along with copy of registration invoice to:

    21 West Colony Place,
    Suite 280
    Durham, NC 27705

    If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-877-533-UHMS (8467) or direct: 919-490-5140 x104

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