Scuba diving

I have always been advised by doctors and nurses that I shouldn't scuba dive with a pacemaker/ICD, however I saw a post here showing lots of you all scuba dive.

I always took the advise I'd been given, but it's clear that isn't the whole picture.

What are peoples' thoughts on scuba diving? 


4 Comments

Pacemaker or ICD

by Jimmy Dinfla - 2020-03-29 23:47:21

First, follow the advice of the medical professionals who know your specific situation.

In my case, I have an ICD.  I stopped scuba diving because I am not only responsible for myself but also my dive buddy. I would not want to have a cardiac episode under water that could threaten the safety of either of us.  

My cardiologist/EP said it is fine to swim and snorkel, so I snorkel wearing a swim vest and with my wife. 

Jimmy

 

St Judes

by Tracey_E - 2020-03-30 15:47:30

I called St Judes and they looked up for my specific model, which is good up to I believe 4atm in saltwater. 

Great idea!

by RandomICD - 2020-03-30 16:06:20

Tracy,

Thanks for the idea. Why didn't I think of that before?! Have now emailed manufacturer.

SCUBA

by Selwyn - 2020-03-31 09:28:31

There are a number of problems with having a PM and diving. I stopped diving once my PM was inserted after about 15 years of diving in all sorts of conditions from UK cold waters, cave diving, wrecks, and around the world.

Can you dive safely?

The PM I have could go down to 20m.   In a group dive situation we regularly used to dive below this. I certainly remember a dive to 37m.  You would have to leave the rest of the group behind. Do I really want to put to the test the manufacture's specification?

What happens if you develp an arrhythmia underwater at depth, and with the necessary safety stops? You would be a liability. You could be quite short of air. 

The idea of having an ICD discharge at depth means you put yourself and your dive buddy at risk. 

I have recently returned from snorkelling in Tanazania. I was really tempted to do a little diving ( as we were at a dive centre). Wisely, I resisted. I doubt whether my insurance would cover me in the event of a mishap.  There is no way, with an ICD you will be certified as fit to dive medically. 

You know the old joke about PADI  = "pay and die in the water". Well, I have certainly known from the dive boat I dived off that the following week they had a fatality due to a heart attack underwater for one of their divers. Diving is a stress that may well induce an arrhythmia.

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