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Need Help with Article on Getting Bent

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by Jill Heinerth, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Jill Heinerth

    Jill Heinerth RebreatherPro ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: High Springs, Florida
    I'm working on an article for DIVER Magazine about DCI hits. If you are willing to answer a few questions, please email your response to:


    Please let me know if you wish to be anonymous or if you would not mind sharing your name with a quote:


    Have you been bent?

    How many times do you think you have been bent?

    How many times did you seek treatment?

    Did you use DAN insurance?

    Do you consider your incident to be minor or major?

    Do you think there was a root cause for your DCI hit? If yes, what do you think was the underlying cause?

    Do you think your hit was a sport’s injury?

    After your hit, did you return to the same level of diving as prior to the incident?

    After getting bent, were you able to look back on your diving career and see other times when you might have been close to bent or bent and did not seek treatment?

    How many times do you think you might have been bent?

    Did you feel social pressures to hide your incident?

    Did you experience any negative feedback from the internet or other sources after getting bent?

    Please share any personal anecdotes that might be important to our readers.


    Do you think DCI is a sport’s injury?

    Do you think that people who have been bent did something to deserve their hit?

    Why do you think that people get DCI?

    Would you dive with someone who has been bent several times?
    Why or why not?

    Do you think that your diving practices will protect you from getting bent?

    If you are willing to share your name, please indicate how you would like it to be referenced.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  2. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    35 years of diving, of which coming on 20 years of technical diving and I've never been hit. Part of the reason why I think this is the case is because I have a thorough understanding of decompression theory and I put effort into keeping current.

    Yes, although it can also be considered an occupational hazard depending on context.

    Some medical conditions can result in DCI even when the diver has faithfully followed all of the recommendations. We all know about the phenomenon of the "undeserved hit".

    However, I have never heard of a fatal accident involving DCI that did not result from either diver error or an equipment malfunction. I don't know the statistics world wide but a number of years ago I attended a seminar in which *all* accidents in our local area over the preceding year had been analysed (50 cases in the span of a year) and not a single incidence of DCI resulted from a hidden medical condition. All cases in that particular year were caused by diver error. I can't draw any hard conclusions from that sample but it is an indication to me that the statistics, if well analyzed, would probably favour diver error as the primary cause of DCI.

    That said, to broadly assign blame would be sloppy thinking. The question, therefore is loaded. Each case should be carefully analysed and not subject to "hand sweeping" generalizations.

    A medical condition results from breathing compressed air/gas under >1.6 bar of ambient pressure, in most cases, probably exceeding recommended limits.

    This is also a loaded question because you read between the lines you appear to start with the premise of blame and the assumption of higher risk. It would be relevant to me to know how and why the diver had been bent in the past.


    I specifically do NOT want to be referenced or quoted in your article. Thank you.

  3. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
  4. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    This is my fiftieth year of diving and I've never had a hit. Sure, I've had the sleepies, but nothing worthy of clinical treatment.
    Sure it is. We're one of the most competitive, non-competitive sports out there! :D :D :D
    Always. We may not always understand the vectors, but they crossed a line. Relegating hits to being "undeserved" suggests that we are helpless and should look no further.
    Most of the people I know of who have been bent are instructors and I blame CESAs. Multiple bounce dives on a questionable practice expose instructors to needless "bubble pumping". I've met so many instructors who have retired from teaching or actually get other instructors to do CESAs for them, because their injuries. I'm surprised there hasn't been a class action suit about this.
    I have and will continue to do so. Not only have I never been bent, but no one who has been on a dive with me has been bent.
    Yes. Diving is all about limits. Know your limits and respect them. It's important to never be in a rush before, during or after the dive. It's a big ocean, so don't try to see it all on one dive. Don't push or "ride" NDLs. I ascend more slowly than most, especially the last 20 ft and my safety stops are five minutes or longer. I also have a five minute rest on shore dives before I try to leave the water and limit aerobic and especially anaerobic activities.

    Please feel free to quote me in any way you see fit.

    Thanks for thinking of us, Jill. Please let us know if we can ever be of assistance and feel free to share some of your awesome stories and pictures here! :D
    markmud and chillyinCanada like this.
  5. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    I also think it's very important to discuss PFO's in diving since it's estimated that 30% of the population {un-knowingly} has one of varying size.

    That means if you are sitting on a dive boat with a diver to your left and a diver to your right,,,,,,odds are one of you 3 could be a candidate for being bent if you push the limits.
  6. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    The same math applies to instructors doing multiple bounce dives in a class during CESAs. Instructors get bent at a far higher rate than the rest of the population, and I believe this is why. The industry requires them to do something they would tell their students to not do. Bad example and bad results.
    Johnoly likes this.
  7. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    Jill. Do you want info from divers with only skin hits? There are quite a few of us here on SB.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  8. Dominik_E

    Dominik_E Nassau Grouper

    I would however be more careful.

    The situation is that we have something that is very common (PFO) that people think may be correlated to something that is very rare (DCS). And there is an exceedingly sexy explanation that may link both things (arterialisation of venous bubbles). From the viewpoint of statistics, such a setup is ripe for big mistakes.
    Johnoly likes this.
  9. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    CESA's are a specific issue that I would characterize as an occupational hazard.

    The hazard can, however, be managed to some degree.

    (a) you don't need to do CESA's with all of your students on the same dive
    (b) you can choose to do the CESA's at the beginning of the dive as opposed to later in the dive
    (c) you can choose to use a high Nitrox mix during training dives for the OW course (For example, use 36% for OW training dives)
    (d) you can limit your depth during the dive. During OW courses I seldom did training much deeper than about 12m for logistical reasons but you are also free to determine this for yourself for safety reasons.

    As an instructor you DO make a lot of ascents and descents during training dives and because you are there to make sure your students are safe, you may not always have 100% control over your own profile. No matter how good your skills are, the reality is that being an instructor means making a lot of zig-zag profiles, which we know increases risk and therefore requires the instructor to take measures to keep themselves safe and healthy too.

  10. krbailey

    krbailey ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA
    Experienced a Type II DCS incident last summer. Hospital stay including 7 hyperbaric treatments. Will email you a detailed description/answer.

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