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May 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Why Divers Should Know CPR

especially when you’re doing dive trips in the Third World

from the May, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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There are so many articles we've written stating how important it is to be prepared for worst-case scenarios while diving in Third World countries - medical issues, lost-at-sea situations - and know how to be self-reliant if they occur. Take heart issues - we wrote in March 2012 about how automated external defibrillators are a great medical tool to treat someone in cardiac arrest, but they're not available on many dive boats worldwide. In that case, it's important to know CPR --whether it's the new version or old style, it could be the difference between life and death, as divers Bill and Hilary Greenberg found out. Here is a condensed article of their story, written by Ryan Jaslow, health editor at CBS News.com.

In April 2010, the Greenbergs, from Scarsdale, NY, took their three boys to Costa Rica for a family dive trip. They thought the Catalina Islands was the perfect setting for the boys' first openwater dive and planned the boat trip for April 6. On the boat, the boys were given an instructor, while their parents were in the second group with a divemaster. The first dive went off without a hitch. The next dive was going to 35 feet, so the Greenbergs assumed it would be an easy dive. The six divers got in a single-file line to move along the rock formations; Hilary was last. While underwater, the divemaster warned that a surge was coming. To Hilary, it felt like a terrible shoving -- and that was the last thing she remembered....

"Her heart was beating, but we didn't
know anything, as far as her brain
function, what was going to happen.
What was going through my head was,
'Did I do the right thing?"

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