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October 28, 1992

Diving and Subaquatic Medicine

Author Affiliations

Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC

JAMA. 1992;268(16):2307-2308. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490160177038

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This is the third edition of what is now a classic textbook of diving and undersea medicine. The reader who wishes to find something about almost any aspect of diving will be rewarded by delving into this extremely readable text. The new edition incorporates new discussions of stress responses, panic and fatigue, the female diver, and undersea environments (water movement, kelp, cave and wreck diving, ice diving, night diving, altitude diving, and fresh water).

The chapter "Why Divers Die: The Facts and Figures," a discussion and interpretation of recreational diving fatality statistics from three countries, breaks new ground. Causes of death include medical, training, and judgment factors. The list of medical factors in death includes pulmonary barotrauma, cardiac conditions, asthma, and vomiting. Poor diving practice also appears to be a major contributor, as over half of the divers who died are either low on air or out of air. Failure