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Article
July 28, 1989

Pregnancy and Travel: The Risks of Hepatitis and Scuba Diving

Author Affiliations

University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine Seattle

University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine Seattle

JAMA. 1989;262(4):497-498. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430040067015
Abstract

To the Editor. —  The article "Pregnancy and Travel"1 is a well-presented reference for physicians who practice travel medicine. Precisely because of its potential use as a general reference, comment needs to be made about the recommendations on scuba diving during pregnancy for recreational divers.Current recommendations of most hyperbaric physicians and the general consensus of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society are that women should not dive during pregnancy.2,3The experimental data from animal models are inconclusive and statistically suboptimal. Pregnancy produces dynamic changes in many body systems— cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary, hematologic, and endocrine. The interaction and subsequent effects of hyperbaria and the differential in the partial pressure of gases (molecular nitrogen, molecular oxygen, and carbon dioxide) are not known. Consequently, it is not possible to establish depth/time profiles that are safe for pregnant women.The recompression therapy of a pregnant woman who incurs decompression sickness or

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