Undersea Medicine (or Diving Medicine) is the study of the underwater and high pressure environments, immersion effects, marine life injuries, and diving-related issues.
Recreational, scientific, public safety, NOAA, and commercial diver physicals are comprehensively conducted at UTMB by a fellowship-trained and board-certified Undersea Medicine physician who is also trained at the level of DMAC/EDTC (Diving Medical Advisory Committee and European Diving Technology Committee) Med Level 2D for medical management of diving accidents and illnesses.
Diver physicals are not the usual occupational or health physicals. It is a mistake and a disservice to the overall health and safety of a diver to think that the quick or routine physical exam that is normally conducted in the occupational medicine or primary medical setting is sufficient or adequate. A true diver physical involves: thorough review of the medical history and diving history, comprehensive examination from head to toe with concentration on the neurological system, extensive discussion of the physiological effects and risks of diving, description of the signs and symptoms of DCS, AGE, and other illnesses and injuries afflicting divers, and review of the interventional protocols to follow when sustaining a diving-related illness.
Divers are a special segment of the population that may have a higher risk of negative sequelae on their lungs from diving if they have been affected by COVID-19. You are urged not to dive until you have been evaluated by an Undersea Medicine specialist if any one of the following circumstances applies to you:
- You are a diver who has been ill from COVID-19.
- You tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
- You have had symptoms* after being exposed to someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19, even if your initial testing was negative for COVID-19.
*CDC information on symptoms of Coronavirus
If you have a chronic or acute health issue or have a health question that you think may affect your ability to safely dive, you are urged to discuss this with an Undersea Medicine specialist at UTMB who will be able to provide you with the most expert medical advice.