Completed Studies

For decades, DAN Research has conducted valuable studies on topics of interest to the diving community. These studies, conducted both in and out of the laboratory, provide a solid foundation for globally accepted standards and recommendations for safe diving. Some of the topics DAN researchers have investigated include surface intervals for divers who plan to fly after diving, effects of aging and cardiac health on diving safety, the medical implications of diving with insulin-requiring diabetes, and many more.

See all of DAN’s completed research studies here.

VRAK Expedition – Effects of One Week of Repeated Recreational Closed-Circuit Rebreather Dives in Cold Water

Immersion, cold water, hyperoxia, exercise or the work of breathing on a Closed-Circuit Rebreather could challenge the cardiopulmonary system. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of CCR diving on lung function and autonomous cardiac activity after a series of CCR dives in cold water. If we focus on the lung function, […]

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Comparative Testing of Ultrasound Devices in Monitoring VGE

In some divers, tiny bubbles called Venous Gas Emboli (VGE) present in the blood after a dive. Typically, these bubbles cause no harm and are filtered out by the lungs, but in some divers these bubbles can pass through a right-to-left shunt into the arterial circulation and become problematic. Researchers can detect and quantify VGE […]

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Caustic Cocktail – DAN Rebreather Survey

DAN researchers asked rebreather divers to share their experiences with caustic cocktail(s) while diving and any first aid treatments used subsequently. Currently, there is not much data about how common caustic cocktail events are, who suffers them and how often, if they occur more in highly experienced or less experienced rebreather divers, how long into […]

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Hypoxia Signatures in Closed-Circuit Rebreather Divers

Daniel Popa, UCSD, Hamilton Award Recipient 2018 Malfunctions in closed circuit rebreathers (CCRs) can cause hypoxia if oxygen is not added to the breathing loop and the diver remains unaware of decreasing oxygen levels. Hypoxia, dangerously low oxygen levels, can lead to confusion, loss of consciousness underwater and drowning. Pilots in a low-pressure (hypobaric) exposure […]

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Diabetes and Diving

Historically, DAN advised divers with insulin-dependent diabetes against diving because of the threat of a hypoglycemic episode underwater. However, two studies helped reevaluate the guidelines for recreational diving with diabetes.

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Risk Mitigation for Divers With a Known PFO

A PFO, or a “hole in the heart,” is a known risk factor for DCS. This study sought to determine if closing this hole in a surgical procedure would decrease the risk of DCS and compared these findings to divers that were advised to dive more conservative profiles.

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Predive Checklists Increase Diving Safety

Many of the risks and hazards associated with scuba diving can be effectively mitigated or avoided by taking appropriate predive safety precautions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of predive checklists in reducing the incidence of diving mishaps and injuries.

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Project Dive Exploration (PDE)

In 1995, DAN undertook a project to prospectively collect data about how recreational divers dive and how often they get decompression sickness. For the first time, the dive exposures were described in detail thanks to the availability of dive computers with recording capability.

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Decompression Stress and Microparticles

The aim of the study was to establish the effects of scuba diving on microparticles — cellular debris — in the blood and their possible role in the mechanisms of DCS.

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Incidence of Decompression Illness in Scientific Diving

Scientific diving is generally held as one of the safest forms of diving. The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of decompression illness associated with scientific diving activity by reviewing official records.

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Miskito Fishermen Divers and Decompression Illness — Effects of Delay

The purpose of this study was to help clinicians understand the impact of delayed recompression treatment of decompression illness (DCI) among Miskito fishermen divers.

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Physical Fitness of Divers

Adequate levels of physical fitness are necessary to meet both typical and emergent demands of diving. But sometimes, guidelines have unrealistically high bars that not all divers can meet.

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