Charity Number: 279652



Assess Airway & Breathing

  • Rapid ascent can lead to pneumothorax or emphysema

Administer 100% oxygen continuously as part of ventilation management

  • Never administer Entonox to a person who is suspected of suffering from Decompression Illness (DCI or the bends).
  • Continue oxygen therapy despite any apparent clinical improvement.
  • Keep the patient warm and out of the wind.


  • Administer IV fluids: 1000ml 0.9% Saline (Hartmann’s if available)
  • Administer PO fluids (non-caffeinated) if no IV access and the patient can tolerate oral fluids
  • Monitor pulse and blood pressure


  • Monitor level of consciousness
  • Examine neurologically for any gross weakness or sensory loss

Other Points

  • Symptoms can rapidly deteriorate. Reassess frequently for change.
  • Do not give analgesia or other medication (except for resuscitation purposes) unless discussed with a Diving Physician.

If unstable, or problem is identified on the Primary Survey, discuss with a Diving Physician regarding transfer to a Hyperbaric Unit or nearest Emergency Department. 

DDRC Healthcare on +44 (0)1752 209999 

BHA National Diving Accident Helpline on 07831 151 523

In Scotland call 0345 408 6008

At sea call the Marine Coastguard Agency on VHF Channel 16, DSC Channel 70 or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Diving Incident Flow Chart