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Underwater medicine: a neglected area in Accident and Emergency specialist training.
  1. G D Braatvedt,
  2. B G Mathew,
  3. R J Corrall
  1. Department of Medicine, Royal Infirmary, Bristol, UK.

    Abstract

    We have evaluated the available medical care to sports divers by a postal questionnaire sent to consultants and senior registrars in Accident and Emergency medicine in the UK, assessing their training in underwater medicine. Replies were received from 60 of 96 consultants (63%) and 32 of 58 (55%) senior registrars. Thirty-two per cent of consultants and 50% of senior registrars had previous personal experience in managing an underwater diving accident. Thirty per cent of consultants and only 19% of senior registrars had prior formal postgraduate training in underwater medicine. Twenty-seven per cent of consultants and 13% of senior registrars replying did not know the pattern of referral for specialist advice nor where the nearest recompression chamber was to be found. We believe that more formal postgraduate training in underwater medicine is needed by A and E medical staff. Furthermore, clear guidelines about emergency management and patterns of referral for diving accidents should be displayed prominently in all A and E departments.

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