Medical Forum
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Specialist Forums > Medical Forum
Posted : January 16, 2007
,Dear Doctor Eden,

I am requesting advice and information connecting to a PFO diagnosis that I have recently been given.

I'm a fit and healthy 22 year old female and following a routine check up last week I mentioned that I was planning on taking up a position with an organisation involved with marine conservation. The consultant advised me to have an echocardiogram to ensure maximum safety when diving. We took the doctors advise and I had an echocardiogram earlier today; as a result of this procedure I was diagnosed with Patent Foramen Ovale, >50 micro bubbles, right to left atrium. My doctor advised against dives that would involve a 'staged assent'.

The position which I hope to take up would involve survey dives at 6-8m and 10-12m, although it may be possible to limit my dives to less than 10m. I have read various peices of generic advice on websites about PFO and the risks it poses for DCS etc. although this information is not tailored to the specifics of my particular condition. Although I am quite an experienced diver with over 130 logged dives (several of which were to greater than 30m) and have never experienced any symptoms of DCS, I would very much appreciate some advice on whether a specialised dive doctor would think my condition is severely serious to avoid diving all together and if not if there is a particular depth limit that you would advise me to stay within.
Many Thanks for your help,

Posted : January 17, 2007
I will reply personally to your other email you sent us directly
Dr J
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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