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April 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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To Avoid Hypothermia, Divers Should Stay “in the Hood”

from the April, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Steve Muscat, chief diving medical officer for the government of Malta, says most of the hypothermia problems he sees as a dive doctor are usually a result of thermal cooling of the head. Heat loss from the head in cold water can account for more than half the resting metabolic heat production.

"Dive schools do not usually give head protection to novice divers in warm water for the initial dives, as this gives a greater sense of freedom, reduces claustrophobia and enhances hearing," Muscat wrote in his regular column, "Dive Medic," for Asian Diver magazine. "The reasoning is that there is then a greater chance of their booking a course for more dives. The problem is that dive schools commonly end up losing business because the diver has ear and sinus problems related to exposure."...

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