Commercial diving companies require that all diving personnel be trained and proficient in the administration of a basic neurologic exam for post injury medical protocol. These widely accepted neurological tests have been designed to determine whether the central nervous system has been damaged as a result of air embolism or decompression sickness. The examination is quick, easy to learn and widely accepted within the medical community as the most important technique in the early recognition of decompression sickness or cerebral arterial gas embolism.
The test was designed to be performed in the field by non-medical personnel. The data obtained from the screening is then transmitted to the hyperbaric medical personnel supervising the medical care via marine radio.
How many sport divers or dive masters know of, or are competent in, the performance of this examination? Probably very few. Is it unreasonable to expect that proficiency in the administration of this screening tool be required of dive masters and instructors? (More information concerning this exam may be obtained by contacting our office.)