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April 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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An Unusual Cause of Diver Deaths and What You Can Do To Prevent It

from the April, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Last month in Undercurrent, Dan Clements wrote about the loss of older divers who went missing during separate dives in the Pacific Northwest. We also wrote about the repercussions of a diving fatality in Malta where the body was recovered and an autopsy revealed the fatality was the result of Immersion Pulmonary Edema (IPE) or Scuba Diver's Pulmonary Edema (SDPE).

This medical condition has caused a lot of discussion among diving doctors recently. Fluid leaks from the bloodstream into the lungs, where it accumulates in the air sacs and prevents oxygen from being absorbed, thereby making it difficult to breathe and possibly result in respiratory failure. It usually occurs early in a dive in temperate or cold water and while at depth. It appears to be more frequent among those who dive in colder water. However, the medical community doesn't fully understand the condition....

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