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A 20-year analysis of compressed gas diving-related deaths in Tasmania, Australia


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Ascencio-Lane, JC, Smart, D and Lippmann, J 2019 , 'A 20-year analysis of compressed gas diving-related deaths in Tasmania, Australia' , Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, vol. 49, no. 1 , pp. 21-29 , doi: 10.28920/dhm49.1.21-29.

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Introduction:This study reviews diving deaths that occurred in Tasmanian waters over a 20-year period. Methods:Detailed analysis was undertaken of deaths that occurred from 01 January 1995 to 31 December 2014. The cases were collated from numerous sources. Utilising a chain of events analysis, factors were identified and assigned to predisposing factors, triggers, disabling agents, disabling injuries and cause of death. These were then scrutinised to ascertain regional variables, remediable factors and linkages which may benefit from targeted risk mitigation strategies. Results: Seventeen deaths were identified across this 20-year period, which included one additional case not previously recorded. All were recreational divers and 15 were male. Five were hookah divers, 12 were scuba divers. Important predisposing factors identified included equipment (condition and maintenance), pre-existing health conditions, diver experience and training. These factors can now be used to promote public health messages for divers. Conclusions: This 20-year study highlighted regional variations for Tasmanian deaths and presents opportunities for strategies to prevent diving deaths in the future. Of particular concern was the diving practice of 'hookah' diving, which has no governing regulations. The study highlighted the importance of applying a structured methodology such as chain of events analysis to scrutinise diving deaths.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ascencio-Lane, JC and Smart, D and Lippmann, J
Keywords: diving deaths, diving incidentsm incidents, risk management, root-caused analysis, safety, case reports
Journal or Publication Title: Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine
Publisher: South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Inc.
ISSN: 1833-3516
DOI / ID Number: 10.28920/dhm49.1.21-29
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