The Dive Medical Examination
The Dive Medical is only to be conducted by a physician who has had the approved training to medically examine recreational divers.
The Dive Medical is basically an assessment of the ability of the diver to survive unexpected underwater or on-surface emergencies, and the risk of death, unconsciousness, impaired judgement, disorientation, impaired mobility, or decompression sickness that may be associated with diving with a particular condition or disorder.
As a general part of the examination, age factors and overall physical fitness are assessed, as well as vision function, ear nose and throat condition, hearing, dental condition, balance, blood pressure, lung function, musculo-skeletal function, and the gastro-intestinal tract.
A urine test will also be carried out to detect previously undiagnosed conditions including diabetes and pregnancy.
Any conditions or disorders highlighted as a result of the Medical Questionnaire will also be clinically assessed in terms of the risk that they pose to the diver, as will any medications currently being taken by the diver. The latter is particularly important in terms of decompression sickness risk, nitrogen narcosis, and the cardiovascular, respiratory or neurological side-effect risks associated with the medications being used in underwater and compressed air environments.
Certain medical conditions develop with age, and the physiological strain of regular diving can damage the body anyway, so a regular dive medical examination is recommended every 5 years for those under 30 years of age, every 3 years for those 30-50 years of age, and every year for divers over 50 years of age.
An AS4005-1 dive medical examination will cost between $45 and $70 depending on where you go. Quite often it will work out cheaper to get your dive operator to arrange one for you as they have pre-arranged rates with the doctors of their choice. The Dive Medical cannot be claimed under MediCare.
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