Sight Search

COVID-19 Advisory

As you might imagine, DAN has received a number of enquiries regarding the current COVID-19 Pandemic.
We have already issued travel advisories for DAN Southern Africa Members, and for SouthAfricans there are the restrictions on travel issued by our President as part of the 21-day lock-down. Other countries in and outside our DAN Southern Africa region have issued similar restrictions, and these should be heeded.
There is a lot of fake news floating around, so we encourage you to verify facts and consult reputable sources for information.  The formal COVID-19 websites of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases contains up-to-date information and we will post (verified) information that is relevant to divers as they become available.
So, with that preamble, I want to start by saying that we will not be addressing the typical COVID-19 issues in this Factoid Issue, but rather selected responses to questions posed by DAN Members, including those who may still be in remote areas and may be wondering how to manage their limited resources optimally. There is something relevant for everybody.

Here are four questions we received that offer a backdrop for the answers we would like to provide:
Firstly: Could you help me to get a plan on how to assist somebody with breathing problems (due to Covid 19) with the oxygen that we keep here at the dive center?
Secondly:  As we are without any medical assistance in a remote area and would like to have a simple protocol to follow if any of my family gets sick and we have some oxygen available for diving emergencies. How much oxygen should we give? By what method; and for how long? Please advise.
Thirdly: I am a DAN O2 Provider and Instructor and have the following question for you: I have a DAN O2 rescue pack with two 6-Liter cylinders. Would a flow rate of 15 Lpm be of any use to a person with respiratory symptoms due to COVID-19? If not, what do you suggest?
And Fourthly: Could Hyperbaric Oxygen help people suffering from COVID-19
These are all very relevant questions. For the first three, I would like to refer you back to the downloadable DAN Guidebook “Prepare don’t Panic” which is on the DAN SA Blog. I do want to speak to the issue of oxygen utilisation, moving symptomatic individuals, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, however.
Limited supplies of oxygen and difficulties in gaining access to specialised medical assistance are definitely some of the pressing challenges.

But, before addressing these, let us not forget the primary advice on social distancing, self-quarantining and self-isolation. Self quarantining means staying in the same building with other potentially exposed but asymptomatic individuals. Self-isolation, means isolating symptomatic individuals (where there is a very high suspicion that their symptoms are due to COVID-19 due to contact with other COVID-19 positive individuals or travel from high-risk areas). These individuals should keep themselves in a separate room and use only their own linen and cutlery.
The main concern is for individuals in self-isolation: when should one move them to further medical care and, if the decision is made to do so, how to optimise the use of any available oxygen?
To keep things simple I would like to offer four key considerations which may be relevant depending on the specific situation:
1. As with all our DAN First Aid Courses, Provider Safety is vital. So, wear gloves, and use or improvise masks and eye protection, if you do not have professional masks and splash guards, as necessary, but try to shield your own mouth, nose and eyes while assisting a symptomatic individual.

2.  Remember that there may be other diseases like influenza, tick-bit fever, malaria, traveller's diarrhoea or dysentery that may mimic COVID-19 infection and for which isolation may lead to a disastrous outcome completely unrelated to COVID-19, particularly malaria. If you are in a malaria area, and the individual started developing symptoms after being in an area with infected mosquito exposure for at least 7 days (especially if there are no or only incidental respiratory symptoms), please assume the high probability of malaria and treat them for it if fever and flu-like symptoms develop, while keeping the person isolated from other asymptomatic individuals. Refer to our material on malaria for this purpose. Also advise individuals who are still at risk of contracting malaria to implement the prescribed anti-malaria precautions, especially during the 21-day period of the lockdown, including taking doxycycline or Malarone/ Malanil and even Mefloquine (Lariam) as they are not going to be diving for a while, and the risk of malaria becomes greater than the risk of adverse medication reactions after 14 days.

3. Encourage honesty so that people admit symptoms earlier. If respiratory symptoms and breathlessness reach the point where the individual is showing obvious signs of escalating respiratory distress (and especially if there is relentless coughing, breathing at rates in excess of 25-30 per minute, or cyanosis (which is where the lips and skin takes on a bluish colour; this is a definite turning point in moving a symptomatic individual if there is a reasonable chance of getting to a higher level of medical care and respiratory support.

4. Lastly, the issue of Oxygen: Breathing oxygen via a demand valve remains the least wasteful way of providing oxygen. If the person has the strength to breathe through an O2 Demand Valve they should do this at a frequency that is just sufficient to offer some relief of critical symptoms.  Pulses of oxygen will allow supplies to last longer. If there is no oxygen demand valve, connect the oxygen supply to a pocket mask, set the flow rate on 0.5-1 Lpm oxygen and have the person breathe through the filter fitted to the Pocket mask. Using a pocket mask also protects those caring for the individual to some extent. Try to stretch your supplies as best you can while considering the distance and time to getting to medical care. Also, the longer the distance, the earlier you may want to consider moving the individual. Note that nasal prongs may aerosolise viruses; non-rebreather masks require flow rates that are too high and wasteful. So both of these are impractical with limited supplies of oxygen. Some serious cases can deteriorate rapidly within 2-3 hours, so do not delay cases where the suspicion of COVID-19 is high. Be aware of the potential fire risk when using oxygen in enclosed spaces and – as said before – rather give “bouts” of oxygen as required to ease symptoms as you make your way to a medical facility.

Importantly, we would advise you (as far as possible) not to attempt to treat a person getting ill with potential COVID-19.  

Some high-risk individuals have deteriorated quite fast and it is therefore important to have medical care available if this is possible, rather than thinking that oxygen alone would cure the disease.
In closing, just a brief comment on Hyperbaric Oxygen: It is not readily available and requires highly trained critical care staff who are familiar with the complications of using hyperbaric oxygen, if its use is to be considered in COVID-19 patients. It is most certainly not considered a standard of care at this stage. For those interested, a reference is provided on a series of cases treated with HBO. However, this is a relatively low level of evidence and should not delay getting persons to conventional intensive medical care.
Thank you for watching this DAN Factoid on oxygen and COVID-19. Please remember to refer to the guidebook on “Prepare, don’t panic”, by DAN.

We also invite you to visit the COVID-19 Updates section of our website, where you will find regular updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak
Posted in
Tagged with


Aqua Pool Noodle ExercisesUnderwater Photographer and DAN Member Madelein Wolfaardt10 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Underwater PhotographyCOVID-19 and Diving: March 2021 UpdateDiver Return After COVID-19 Infection (DRACO): A Longitudinal AssessmentGuidelines for Lifelong Medical Fitness to DiveExperienceFitness Myth or Fitness Fact?The Safety of Sports for Athletes With Implantable Cardioverter-DefibrillatorsCardiovascular Fitness and DivingHypertensionPatent Foramen Ovale (PFO)Headaches and DivingMiddle-Ear Barotrauma (MEBT)O’Neill Grading SystemMask Squeeze (Facial Barotrauma)Sinus BarotraumaInner-Ear Barotrauma (IEBT)Middle-Ear EqualisationAlternobaric VertigoDecompression IllnessOn-Site Neurological ExaminationTreating Decompression Sickness (The Bends)Top 5 Factors That Increase Your Risk of the BendsHow to Avoid Rapid Ascents and Arterial Gas EmbolismUnintended Rapid Ascent Due to Uncontrolled InflationUnexpected Weight LossFlying After DivingWisdom Tooth Extraction and DivingYour Lungs and DivingScuba Diving and DiabetesDiving after COVID-19: What We Know TodaySwimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa)Motion SicknessFitness for DivingDiving After Bariatric SurgeryWhen to Consult a Health-Care Provider Before Engaging in Physical ActivitiesFinding Your FitnessHealth Concerns for Divers Over 50Risk Factors For Heart DiseaseJuggling Physical Exercise and DivingSeasickness Prevention and TreatmentMember to Member: Guidelines for SeniorsHigh-Pressure OphthalmologyOver-the-Counter Medications
immersion and bubble formation Accidents Acid reflux Acute ailments After anaesthesia Air Quality Air exchange centre Air hose failure Air supply Airway control Air Alert Diver Magazine Alternative gas mix Altitude changes Altitude diving Altitude sickness Aluminium Oxide Ama divers Amino acids Anaerobic Metabolism Animal life Annual renewal Apnea Apnoea Aquatic life Aquatics and Scuba Diving Archaeology Arterial Gas Embolisms Arterial gas embolism Arthroscopic surgery Aspirin Aurel hygiene BCD BHP BLS BWARF Back adjustment Back pain Back treatment Backextensors Badages Bag valve mask Bahamas Balancing Bandaids Barbell back squat Barometric pressure Barotrauma Basic Life Support Batteries Becky Kagan Schott Bench press Benign prostate hyperplasia Benzophenones Beth Neale Beyond Standards Bilikiki Tours Biophysics Black Blood flow Blood thinners Blue Wilderness Blue economy Blurred vision Boat safety Boesmans gat Boesmansgat Bone fractures Bouyancy compensators Boyle's Law Boyle\'s Law Bradycardia Brain Breast Cancer Breath Hold Diving Breath holding Breath hold Breath-hold Breathing Gas Breathing gas contamination Breathing Breathold diving Bright Bank Broken bones Bruising Bubbleformation Buddy Exercise Buddy checks Buoyancy Burnshield CGASA CMAS CO2 COVID-19 Updates COVID-19 COVID CPR Cabin pressure Caissons diseas California Camera equipment Camera settings Cameras Cancer Remission Cancer treatments Cancer Cannabis and diving Cannabis Cape Town Dive Festival Cape Town Dive Sites Cape Town CapeTown Carbon Monoxide Carbon dioxide Cardio health Cardiological Cardiomyopathy Caribbean Carmel Bay Catalina Island Cave diving Challenging Environments Chamber Safety Chamber science Charging batteries Charles' Law Charles\' Law Charles\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' Law Charlie Warland Chemotherapy Chest compressions Children diving Chiropractic Chlorophll Christina Mittermeier Citizen Conservation Cleaning products Closed Circuit Rebreathers Cmmunity partnership Coastalexcursion Cold Water Cold care ColdWater Cold Commercial Fishing Commercial diving Commercial schools Composition Compressed Air Compressed gas Consercation Conservation Photographer Conservation photography Conservation Contact lenses Contaminants Contaminated air Coral Conservation Coral Reefs Coral Restoration Coral bleaching CoralGroupers Corals Core strength Corona virus Coro Costamed Chamber Courtactions Cozumel Cristina Mittermeier Crohns disease Crowns Crystal build up Crystallizing hoses Cutaneous decompression Cylinder Ruptures Cylinder handwheel Cylinder valves DAN Courses DAN Profile DAN Researchers DAN medics DAN members DAN report DCI DCS Decompressions sickness DCS theories DCS DEMP DM training DNA DReams Dalton's Law Dalton\'s Law Dalton\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Law Danel Wenzel Dangerous Marinelife Dauin island Dean's Blue Hole Dean\'s Blue Hole Deco dives Decompression Illness Decompression Sickness Decompression Stress Decompression illsnes Decompression treatment Decompression Decorator crabs Deep diving Deep water exploration Deepest SCUBA Dive Delayed Offgassing Dental Dever Health Diaphragms Diopter Diseases Disinfection Dive Buddy Dive Chamber Dive Computer Dive Destinations Dive H Dive Industry Dive Instruction Dive Instructor Dive Medical Form Dive Medical Dive Practices Dive Pros Dive Research Dive Safety Tips Dive South Africa Dive Training Dive Travel Wakatobi Dive Travel Dive accidents Dive buddies Dive computers Dive courses Dive excursions Dive exercise Dive experience Dive fitness Dive gear Dive heallth Dive health Dive medicals Dive medicines Dive medicine Dive operators Dive planning Dive procedures Dive safety 101 Dive safety Dive safe Dive skills Dive staff Dive travels DiveLIVE Diveleader training Diveleaders Diver Health Diver Profile Diver infliencers Diver on surface Divers Alert Divesites Diving Divas Diving Kids Diving Programs Diving Trauma Diving career Diving emergencies Diving emergency management Diving fit Diving guidelines Diving injuries Diving suspended Diving Dizziness Dolphins Domestic Donation Dowels Dr Rob Schneider Drift diving Drysuit diving Drysuit valves Drysuits Dyperbaric medicines EAPs EAP Ear pressure Ear wax Ears injuries Eco friendly Education Electronic Emergency action planning Emergency decompression Emergency plans Emergency underwater Oxygen Recompression Emergency Enviromental Protection Environmental factors Environmental impact Environmental managment Equalisation Equipment care Equipment failure Equipment inspection Evacuations Evacuation Evaluations Even Breath Exercise Exhaustion Exposure Protection Extended divetime Extinguisher Extreme treatments Eye injuries FAQ Factor V Leiden Failures FalseBay Diving Fatigue Faulty equipment Female divers Fetus development Fillings Fire Coral Fire Safety Firefighting First Aid Equipment First Aid Kit First Aid Training First Aid kits Fish Identification Fish Life Fish Fit to dive Fitness Training Fitness to dive Fitnesstrainng Fitness Flying Focus lights Foundations Fractures Francesca Diaco Francois Burman Fredive Free Student cover Free diving Free flow Freedive INstructor Freedive Training Freediver Freediving Instructors Freediving performance Freediving Gar Waterman Gas Density Gas consumption Gas laws Gas mixes GasPerformance Gases Gass bubbles Gastoeusophagus Gastric bypass Gastroenterologist Gear Servicing Germs Geyer Bank Giant Kelp Forest Giant Kelp Gobies Gordon Hiles Great White Sharks Guinness World Record Gutt irritations HCV HELP HIRA HMLI HMS Britanica Haemorhoid treatment Hazard Description Hazardous Marine life Hazardous marinelife Health practitioner Heart Attack Heart Health Heart Rate monitor Heart fitness Heart rates Heart rate Heart Heat stress Helium Hepatitis C Hepatitus B Hiatal Hernia High Pressure vessels High temperatures Hip strength Hip surgery Hippocampus History Hot Humans Hydrate Hydration Hydrogen Hydroids Hydrostatic pressure Hygiene Hyperbaric Chamber Hyperbaric research Hyperbarics Hypothermia Hypoxia I-52 found INclusivity IdentiFin Imaging Immersion Immine systems In Water Recompression Indemnity form Indian Ocean Indonesia Inert gas Infections Infra red Imaging Injections Inner ear Instinct Instruction Instructors Insurance Integrated Physiology International travel International Interval training Irritation Irukandji Syndrome Isotta housing Joint pain Junior Open Water Diver KZN South Coast Karen van den Oever Kate Jonker KateJonker Kidneys Kids scubadiver Komati Springs KwaZulu Natal Labour laws Lake Huron Laryngospasm Lauren Arthur Learning to dive Legal Network Legal advice Legislation Lembeh Straights Lenses Leukemis Liability Risks Liability releases Liability Life expectancy Lifestyle Lightroom editing Live aboard diving Liver Toxicity Liver diseas Liz Louw Lost at sea Low blood pressure Low pressure deterioration Low volume masks Lung Irritation Lung function Lung injuries Lung squeeze Lung surgery Lung MOD Macro photography Maintenance Malaria Mammalian Dive Response Mammalian effect Mandarin Fish Marine Biology Marine Science Marine Scientists Marine conservation Marine parks Marinelife Masks Master scuba diver Maximum operating depth Medical Q Medical emergencies Medical questionaire Medical statement Medicalresearch Medication Mehgan Heaney-Grier Mermaid Danii Mesophotic Michael Aw Middle ear pressure Mike Bartick Military front press Misool Resort Raja Ampat Mixed Gas Mono Fins Mooring lines More pressure Motion sickness Mozambique Muscle pain Mycobacterium marinum National Geographic Nausea Nautilus Ndibranchs Neck pain Neoprene layers Neuro assessments Neurological assessments Nitrogen Narcosis Nitrogen build up Nitrox No-decompression Non-nano zinc oxide Non-rebreather Mask Nonrebreather masks Normal Air North Sulawesi Nosebleeds Nuno Gomes O2 providers O2 servicing OOxygen maintenance Ocean Projects Ocean Research Ocean pollution Oil contamination Open water divers Optical focus Orbital implants Oronasal mask Osteonecrosis Out and about Out of air Outer ears Outreach Overhead Envirenments Oxygen Administration Oxygen Cylinder Oxygen Units Oxygen deficit Oxygen deicit Oxygen dificiency Oxygen ears Oxygen equipment Oxygen masks Oxygen supplies Oxygen supply Oxygen systems Oxygen therapy Oxygen P J Prinsloo PADI Freedivers PFI PJP Tech Parentalsupervision Part 3 Partner Training Perspective Philippine Islands Philippines Phillipines Photographers Photography tips Photography Physical Fitness Physioball Physiology Physiotherapy Pills Pistons Planning Plastic Pneumonia Pneumothorax Poison Pollution Pool Diving Pool workout Post-dive Pre-dive Predive check Pregnancy Pregnant divers Preparation Prepared diver Press Release Preventions Professional rights Provider course Psycological Pulmanologist Pulmonary Barotrauma Pulmonary Bleb Pulmonary Edema Pulse Punture wounds Pure Apnea Purge RAID South Africa RCAP REEF Radio communications Range of motion Rashes Rebreather diving Rebreatherdive Rechargeable batteries. Recompression chamber Recompression treatment Recompression Recycle Reef Chcek Reef Conservation Reef safe Reef surveyors Refractive correction Regulator failure Regulators Regulator Remote areas Renewable Report incidents Rescue Divers Rescue Procedure Rescue breathing Rescue breaths Rescue training Rescue Resume diving Return To Diving Return to diving Risk Assessments Risk assesments Risk assessment Risk elements Risk management Roatan Marine Park Roatan SABS 019 SMB SafariLive Safety Gear Safety Stop Safety SaherSafe Barrier Salty Wanderer Sanitising Sara Andreotti Sardine Run Saturation Diving Save our seas Schrimps Science Scombroid Poisoning Scuba Air Quality Scuba Guru Scuba Injury Scuba Instructor Scuba children Scuba dive Scuba education Scuba health Scubalearners Scubalife Sea Horses Sea slugs Sealife Sea Shallow dives Shark Protection Shark Research Shark conservation Shark diving Sharks Shipwrecks Shoulder strength Sideplank Signs and Symptoms Sit-ups Skin Bends Skin outbreak Skin rash Snorkeling Snorkels Social Distancing Sodwana Bay Solomon Islands Sonnier bank South Africa Spinal bends Spinal cord DCS Spinal pain Splits Squeezes Squid Run Stability exercise Standars Stay Fit Stents Step ups Stephen Frink Stepping up Strobe Lighting Stroke Submerge tech Submerged Sudafed Sulawesi Sun protection Sunscreen Supplemental oxygen Surface Marker Buoys Surface supplied Air Surfaced Surgeries Surgery Suspension training Symbiosis TRavel safety Tabata protocol Talya Davidoff Tattoes Tec Clark Technical Diving Technical divng The Bends The greatest Shoal The truth Thermal Notions Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Tides Tips and trick Tooth squeeze Transplants Travel smarter Travel tips Travel Tropical Coastal Management Tunnelling Tweezers Ultrsound Umkomaas Unconsciousness Underground work Underseaa world Underwaater Photos Underwater floral Gardens Underwater hockey Underwater photographer Underwater photography Underwater pho Underwater University of Stellenbosch Urinary retention. Vaccines Vagus nerve Valsalva manoeuvers Valve stem seals Vape Vaping Vasopressors Vasvagal Syncope Venting Verna van Schak Virus infections Volatile fuels WWII wrecks War stories Washout treatments Wastewater Watchman device Water Resistance Water Weakness Weigang Xu Weights West Papua Western Cape Diving Wet Lenses Wet diving bell Wetsuit fitting Wetsuites Wetsuits White balance Wide Angle Photos Wide angles Wildlife Winter Wits Underwater Club Woman in diving Womans health Woman Women In Diving SA Women and Diving Women in diving Womens health Work of Breathing Workout World Deeepst Dive Record World Records Wound dressings Wreck divers Wreck dive Wreck diving Wreckdiving Wrecks Yoga Youth diver Zandile Ndholvu Zoology abrasion absolute pressure acoustic neuroma excision adverse seas air-cushioned alert diver altitude alveolar walls anemia antibiotics anticoagulants antiseptics bandages barodontalgia bent-over barbell rows bioassays body art breathing air calories burn carbon dioxide toxicity cardiovascular cerebrospinal fluid cervical spine checklist chemo port children child chronic obstructive pulmonary disease clearances closed circuit scuba corrective lenses currents cuts dead lift decompression algorithms decongestants decongestion dehydration dive injuries dive medicing dive ready child dive reflex dive tribe diver in distress diver rescue diver training dive diving attraction doctors domestic travel dri-suits drowning dry mucous membranes dry suits dry e-cigarettes ear spaces elearning electrolyte imbalance electroytes emergency action plans emergency assessment emergency training environmentally friendly equalising equalizing exposure injuries eyes fEMAL DIVERS fire rescue fitnes flexible tubing frediving freedivers gas bubble gas poisoning gastric acid gene expression health heartburn histidine hospital humidity immersion and bubble formation immersion pulmonary edema (IPE informal education isopropyl alcohol jaundice join DAN knee laparoscopic surgery longevity lower stress malaise marielife marine pathogens medical issues medical procedures medical risk assesment medications mental challenge mental preparedness micro-organisims micro minor illness mucous membranes nasal steroids nasal near drowning nematocysts neurological newdivers nitrogen bubbles off-gassed operating theatre operations orthopeadic otitis media outgas pain perforation phillippines phrenic nerve physical challenges pinched nerves plasters pneumoperitoneum polyester-TPU polyether-TPU post dive posture prescription mask preserve prevention proper equalization psychoactive pulmonary barotrauma. pulmonary injury. pulmunary barotrauma radiation rebreather mask rebreathers retinal detachment risk areas safety stops saturation scissors scuba equipment scuba single use sinus infections smoking snorkeling. spearfishing sterilising stings strength sub-aquatic sunscreen lotion swimmers ears tattoo care tecnical diver thermal protection tissue damage toxicity training trimix unified standards upwelling vision impaired warmers water quality zinc oxide