For obvious reasons dive accidents happen mainly on boats or remote locations, far away from hospitals or any other medical aid, therefore the first aid provided at the dive site can make the difference between a serious accident and a minor event.
Many of us are not well prepared to provide, or remember the necessary steps required to aid someone in a rescue situation, even though we’ve been through first aid courses. The issue is that (luckily) we just don’t do it often enough to get everything out of the top of the head when we need to.
The trick here is to be prepared and carry the necessary information with you all times when you go diving. For that there are a bunch of sources, but in my opinion the Quick Accident Response from Dr Ernest Campbell is the best. So I rewrote his document in a more practical form factor for divers. Water being an adverse environment to paper the best practical solutions is to adopt a slate approach to the problem, much like your dive tables and stuff them in your bag or first aid kit.
The creation of the slates is pretty easy, you just need to print out the diveslates.pdf document using a page size of Letter, fold them in the middle and cover them with transparent adhesive plastic.
What do you need to create the slates?
1.A computer 🙂
2.The diveslates.pdf file
3.The Adobe Acrobat Reader
4.A printer, the document is in color so if you have a color printer at hand, use it, you will get better results.
5.The highest grade paper your printer can support
6.Transparent adhesive plastic
7.Last but not least, a brain 🙂
After downloading the document and opening it in Acrobat, you’ll have to do the following:
1.Read the disclaimer carefully and decide if agree with it
2.Open the File menu and select Page Setup
3.Check if the paper size is Letter and the orientation is Portrait, click Ok
4.Open the File menu again and select Print and after the print pop up window shows up select the printer you want to use and click OK
5.The computer genius stuff is over now!
6.Now that you have the printed version of the document you just need to fold each page in the middle carefully. If you used high-grade paper it should be hard enough to handle the future “pain” of the dive bag.
7.Complete the information on the slates writing down on page 2 your Local Emergency Phones.
8.That being done, you need to wrap all the slates with the adhesive plastic to make them harder and water tight.
9.To make them easier to use I made a hole in the top left corner of the slates and used a stainless steel ring to hold them together.
That is it, you’re ready to hit the water!
Diving is a beautiful sport, and a safe one too, as long as we dive well within our limits, have the right equipment and know the rules of the game. Keeping a healthy fit body and having a responsible mindset is the first step to enjoy it for many years to come.
Don’t forget that being a safer diver makes you a better diver.
Ernest S. Campbell, M.D., FACS
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