Diving injuries: a preventable catastrophe

J Trauma. 1994 Mar;36(3):349-51.


During a 5-year period from January 1987 through January 1992, 58 patients were admitted to the Allegheny General Hospital trauma center for non-scuba, non-suicidal diving injuries. There were 46 men and 12 women (mean age, 23 years). Forty-five patients were injured in swimming pools. Twenty-two patients had blood alcohol levels > 100 mg/dL. Cervical spine injury was the most common pathologic entity encountered in this group of patients. Closed head injury, pelvic fracture, thoracic vertebral fracture, and rib fractures were other injuries identified. Some patients had multiple organ failure syndrome. Aquatic recreational activities carry a risk for injury that is preventable. The mechanism, clinical data, and complications of 58 patients are presented and the importance of prevention is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / therapy
  • Critical Care
  • Diving / injuries*
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / mortality
  • Multiple Organ Failure / therapy
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Injuries / therapy