Australian Dive Medical Information
Australia is well known for it’s top scuba diving locations in the world and for having some of the strictest regulations, requirements and medical standards in order to dive in Australia. Although, scuba diving is considered to be fairly safe, there are some risks involved and certain medical conditions that may increase the risk for death. Therefore, the Australian dive medical questionnaires are in place to reduce the risk of injury or fatality when diving many of Australia’s top diving destinations.
For your own safety, the strict requirements must be abided by or there are consequences for not adhering to the guidelines. While not all recreational diving requires dive medical forms to be completed, many open water dive locations and recreational diving operators require the dive medical to be carried out to the Australian Standard AS4005.1.
The dive medical examination standards closely resemble those on the South Pacific Underwater Medical Society (SPUMS) to assess a diver’s fitness and suitability for diving. There are different standards that must be followed depending on if a diver is a recreational or an occupational diver.
The main objectives to the Australian dive medical questionnaires are to evaluate for cardiac, pulmonary, general health issues and neurological conditions that may put a diver at risk for decompression sickness, pulmonary over-inflation syndrome, loss of consciousness and other conditions that may result in drowning.
The medical dive questionnaires are to determine whether or not a preexisting condition, such as asthma, will put a diver at risk. Example questions of the Australian dive medical questionnaires include:
Are you presently taking prescribed medications?
Do you have a family history of heart attack or stroke?
Are you pregnant?
Have you ever had or do you currently have Asthma, wheezing with breathing or wheezing with exercise?
Even if a question is answered with a “yes” you aren’t automatically excluded from diving in Australia. Some medical conditions may only be temporary, such as ear and sinus infections, which won’t hinder a diving expedition.
Although it may seem tedious and unnecessary to complete the Australian dive medical questionnaires, it has proven to be beneficial to safety and reducing deaths associated with scuba diving. According to the Australian government, only 1 death per 430,000 dives in Queensland are fatal, and only 1 fatality per 120,000 dives in Australia occur. The low fatality levels are in part attributed to the use of the diving standards. Play it safe and abided by the Australian diving regulations.