Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

2017 Aug 2
Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), personality traits, and iterative decompression sickness. Retrospective analysis of 209 cases
Lafère P., Balestra C., Caers D., Germonpré P.

Introduction: There is a need to evaluate the influence of risk factors such as patency of foramen ovale (PFO) or “daredevil” psychological profile on contra-indication policy after a decompression sickness (DCS). Methods: By crossing information obtained from Belgian Hyperbaric Centers, DAN Emergency Hotline, the press, and Internet diving forums, it was possible to be accountable for the majority if not all DCS, which have occurred in Belgium from January 1993 to June 2013.

Read more

2018 Mar 27
Echocardiography is able to detect morphological and functional changes of the right heart in sport Scuba Divers
Pudil R, Horakova L, Rozloznik M & Balestra C.

Introduction: Scuba diving represents stressful event for cardiovascular system. Breathing with compressed air, hyperbaric environment and microbubbles formation are the main factors are the most influencing factors for pulmonary circulation. Hypothesis: The aim of the study was to evaluate the change in morphology and function of the right heart after scuba dive with compressed air.

Read more

2014 Dec 1
Preconditioning as a tool to improve diving safety
Balestra C, Blatteau J, Gempp E & Rozloznik M

Vascular gas bubbles are considered the principal element in decompression sickness (DCS) development. Traditionally these bubbles were called VGE (venous gas emboli), however scientific knowledge indicates that similar bubbles may also be present in the arterial circulation, therefore we propose to use “VGE” for “Vascular Gas Emboli”, and we will do so throughout the text. Reduction of VGE production represents an interesting endpoint to decrease decompression stress and DCS risk. Here we will discuss state of the art pre-dive techniques and approaches, commonly known as preconditioning, used to reduce post-dive VGE load and decompression stress. Evidence based approaches clearly show that some types of preconditioning are more potent in VGE reduction, some indecompression stress reduction and there are some with a positive impact on both. Nevertheless, further research is required to investigate the mechanisms underlying these positive effects.

Read more

2017 Mar 1
Tenth European Consensus Conference on Hyperbaric Medicine: recommendations for accepted and non-accepted clinical indications and practice of hyperbaric oxygen treatment
Mathieu D, Marroni A, Kot J.

The tenth European Consensus Conference on Hyperbaric Medicine took place in April 2016, attended by a large delegation of experts from Europe and elsewhere. The focus of the meeting was the revision of the European Committee on Hyperbaric Medicine (ECHM) list of accepted indications for hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT), based on a thorough review of the best available research and evidence-based medicine (EBM).

Read more

2018 Mar 23
Safety Priorities and Underestimations in Recreational Scuba Diving Operations: A European Study Supporting the Implementation of New Risk Management Programmes
Lucrezi S., Egi S. M., Pieri M., Burman F., Ozyigit T., Cialoni D., Thomas G., Marroni A., Saayman M.

Introduction: Scuba diving is an important marine tourism sector, but requires proper safety standards to reduce the risks and increase accessibility to its market. To achieve safety goals, safety awareness and positive safety attitudes in recreational scuba diving operations are essential. However, there is no published research exclusively focusing on scuba divers’ and dive centres’ perceptions toward safety. This study assessed safety perceptions in recreational scuba diving operations, with the aim to inform and enhance safety and risk management programmes within the scuba diving tourism industry.

Read more