In an emergency, it is often difficult to have everything you need immediately at your fingertips. And while it's never a bad idea to over prepare for an emergency, here are some recommended items to have in your Dive Emergency Care and Marine Medical Kit. It all starts with a waterproof case, like the Ditch Pack, to ensure everything is dry when you are ready to use it.
When Diving, an Oxygen System is Essential
Oxygen, in the highest concentration possible, is the first step in treating anyone with a suspected diving illness. The key to effectively treating diving illness victims is the administration of oxygen at or as close as possible to an inspired concentration of 100% (FiO2 ~ 1.0). In the breathing victim, this is only possible using either a BIBS in the hyperbaric chamber or a demand valve with a tight-fitting mask.
With the changes mandated in 1986 by the American Heart Association, CPR-modified demand valves had to be reduced to a flow rate of 40 liters per minute (LPM) for manual ventilation applications. However, that restriction made it possible for a victim to “out-breathe” a demand valve modified to 40 LPM.
LSP then introduced the MTV100 valve which delivers over 100 liters per minute oxygen to the breathing patient. In the non-breathing patient, when the manual ventilation feature is used, the flow is down at the 40 LPM rate. For this reason, the Dive/First Responder oxygen system uses this device as the principal means of oxygen delivery for the breathing or non-breathing victim. Furthermore, studies at the Center for Emergency Medicine in Pittsburgh have shown that there is no more risk ventilating a victim with the MTV100 manually triggered ventilator than by any other means. The Dive/First Responder oxygen system comes in a Pelican case and includes:
In place of the MTV100, one might consider using the CPR Medical Devices’ Oxylator since it will automatically, without electricity, ventilate a non-breathing patient with the appropriate frequency as well as permitting a breathing victim to inhale oxygen at the desired FiO2 at ~1.0.
DFRO2 come in two versions, MTV included MTV-100 demand valve and OXY includes the Oxylator.
About the Author
Dr. Richard A. “Doc” Cinchy has over 60 years prehospital emergency care experience and service to his nation and the communities in which he has lived. Starting as a firefighter in New York State, his EMS career has taken him to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the US Virgin Islands, Louisiana, and now Florida. He has shared EMS education and experiences with providers on every continent of the world other than Antarctica.
As CEO of Emergency Medical Resources, LLC, and president of TRIGENX, LLC, Doc consults and represents a variety of tactical and emergency care equipment manufacturers as well as being involved with the US military.
Doc is a paramedic with the Florida One Disaster Medical Assistance Team, part of the National Disaster Medical System, and serves as Training Officer, Planning Team Leader, and Acting Public Information Officer. Widely published in EMS periodicals, Doc is the author of several published works listed below. Dr. Clinchy is also a U.S. Navy veteran.