First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries
A diver surfaces from a dive in an area abundant with coral, removes his fins and finds redness, swelling and blisters just beginning to show on his left ankle. He also experiences a stinging sensation on the same ankle.
A diver, following a dive to an area filled with marine life, notices a small bite pattern on his lower right leg and some stiffness; he also experiences difficulty swallowing, has a generalised weakness and a slight numbness in the area of the bite.
A diver experiences pain, nausea and some swelling associated with a purple-andblack puncture wound in his left knee.
The common thread from each of the three injuries is that they likely came from contact with some form of hazardous marine life. Given similar circumstances with you or a dive buddy, would you be able to appropriately treat each injury?
Although serious hazardous marine life injuries are rare, most divers experience minor discomfort from unintentional encounters with fire coral, jellyfish and other marine creatures at some point in their dive careers. Knowing how to minimize these injuries helps you reduce diver discomfort and pain.
The First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries programme is designed to provide knowledge regarding specific types of marine creature injuries and the general first aid treatment for those injuries.
The objectives of this course are to train and educate the general diving public and interested non-divers in the first aid techniques for a suspected hazardous marine life injury. In addition, this course will introduce divers to the identification of potentially hazardous marine life and how to avoid hazardous marine life injuries. This programme also provides an excellent opportunity for experienced divers and instructors to continue their education.
Recommended minimum hours of training:
Knowledge development (lecture) = one hour
Skills development (practice) = three hours
This course should be taught as a four-hour module. The time the course actually takes to teach varies depending upon many factors including the number of students and their ability to process the educational components of the programme. Instructors desiring to include subjects or training beyond the course requirements may do so only before or following the course. Any additional training must not be required for completion of course requirements.
The nature and scope of this course is limited to training divers and interested nondivers such as boat captains, water enthusiasts and non-diving family members to identify potential hazardous marine life; to provide first aid for a hazardous marine animal injury; and to prevent injuries caused by hazardous marine life. This course does not provide training for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or scuba diving rescue. The training exercises of this course presuppose that the ill or injured diver has already been brought to shore or is aboard the boat.
Skill Performance Objectives
To successfully complete the DAN First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries course, participants must demonstrate skill and confidence providing first aid to injured divers who have simulated hazardous marine life injuries.
At the end of this programme, First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries course, participants will be able to:
- Identify the four types of hazardous marine life injuries.
- Name at least five venomous marine animals.
- List five common warning signs of envenomation.
- Describe the appropriate first aid procedure for managing a venomous marine animal injury.
- Name at least three aquatic animals that may bite a diver.
- List two common warning signs of marine animal bite.
- Describe the appropriate first aid procedure for managing a bite from a marine animal.
- Name at least three marine animals that may cause irritations to the diver.
- List at least four common warning signs of irritations.
- Describe the appropriate first aid procedure for accidental contact with aquatic life.
- Identify two common types of seafood poisonings.
- Name at least three types of fish that can cause seafood poisoning.
- List three common warning signs of seafood poisoning.
- State the reason why evaluation by a medical professional is necessary when seafood poisoning is suspected.
- Describe the appropriate first aid procedures for managing suspected seafood poisoning.
- Perform a scene safety assessment.
- List the steps in performing a scene safety assessment.
- Assess the Airway, Breathing and Circulation (ABCs) of an injured diver.
- Demonstrate a caring attitude towards a diver who becomes ill or injured.
- Establish and maintain the Airway and Breathing (perform Rescue Breathing) for an injured diver.
- Describe the importance of the use of supplemental oxygen as a first aid measure for injured divers.
- Demonstrate the techniques for controlling bleeding including direct pressure, elevation and the use of pressure dressings and pressure points.
- Locate and demonstrate the use of pressure points to control external bleeding.
- Apply dressings and bandages to manage wounds caused by hazardous marine life.
- Demonstrate an ongoing assessment and manage shock.
- Demonstrate the pressure immobilization technique.
- List the components of an Emergency Assistance Plan.
- Describe at least five techniques or guidelines that minimize the risk of injury from marine animals.