Advances in Diving Medicine

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. We attended the annual meeting of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society this June. The UHMS is the scientific and professional organization that is devoted to the science of diving and hyperbaric medicine. The annual meeting consists of presentations of original research, clinical reports and workshops. This meeting also gives…


Hypertension and Diving

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects more than 12 million Americans, and when untreated causes serious illness and shortens life. Questions often arise about diving with hypertension while taking medication. The Nature of Blood Pressure Blood pressure is the pressure that is present in the arteries of the body. The pressure…


Letters from Readers

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. Difficulty Breathing Q: During a pool training session, my wife had shortness of breath. After the pool session she suddenly became sick. Within two to four hours of the session, she developed flu-like symptoms, including malaise, chills and fever. Although she did not experience other symptoms such as headache, trouble…


Hard Hats Off to Diving Docs

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. During 1999, I had the opportunity to visit two Navy diving schools and teach military physicians about diving medicine. One school is in Toronto, where the Canadian Navy teaches their medical officers to become diving medical officers who support diving and submarine operations. Their training includes several weeks of classroom…


Long Term Diving Effects

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. Since the mid 1980s there have been reports of unusual findings from the MRIs of patients with no evidence of a brain disorder. These studies suggested that certain bright objects seen on MRI scans indicated that the brain had sustained injury in the past. Some of these early studies were…


Oxygen and Diving

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. Nearly all of the energy-producing reactions that we are familiar with in our daily lives involve the combination of a fuel with oxygen to produce energy. These include burning gasoline in a car engine, heating with a wood stove or burning fuel oil in a furnace to heat a building.…


Diving Medicine and Managed Care

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. A diver recently sent me an e-mail about an odd symptom that he experienced after diving. He is an experienced diver who noted vertigo, hearing loss, nausea and vomiting after a dive. The symptoms lasted about two hours and disappeared. Similar symptoms occurred the next day after diving, so he…


Coronary Angioplasty, Stents and Diving

By Fred Bove, M.D. Ph.D. We have received a number of queries about diving after having a balloon angioplasty with stents implanted in the coronary arteries. These questions arise because of the large number of people who develop coronary disease and the newer methods of correcting the problem, often without the need for heart surgery.…


Dietary Supplements and Alternative Medicines

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. In the past several years, a variety of medications have become available without prescription in the form of dietary supplements. As their use increases, we find that some of the supplements can cause health problems that outweigh any benefit they may provide. Sports Illustrated (January 17, 2000) featured an article…


An End to Decompression?

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. If you have been a diver for any period of time you understand the importance of proper decompression. Research during the last 100 years has provided an understanding of the problems caused by inert gas breathed at increased pressure. Divers have dreamed for many years of methods to eliminate decompression…