Medical Forum
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Question
Posted : October 20, 2013
Hi
Back in April 2013 I had a motorbike accident. I broke 3 ribs and punctured my lung. I was placed on Morphine to enable me to breathe properly and enable my lung to re inflate properly and prevent infection. I didnít need a chest drain.
I have now made close to a full recovery apart from muscular discomfort around the rib cage area.
I am currently an advanced diver but a friend who is a dive master has mentioned that I should get proper advice before diving again as some people warn against diving after a punctured lung.
I cannot find any conclusion on the internet
Can you please advise
Thank you
Chris


Answer
Posted : October 21, 2013
Thanks for the query.

What you had would be classed as a traumatic pneumothorax. There are UK Sport Diving Medical Committee guidelines on how to manage this here:

http://www.uksdmc.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9:pneumothorax-and-diving&catid=4:respiratory&Itemid=2

Essentially they view a traumatic pneumothorax (ie. one caused by injury, such as yours) as less of a problem than a spontaneous one. They suggest a CT scan to look for any underlying lung abnormality, and lung function tests. If these are normal, then diving is deemed permissible.

Your GP can organise a CT scan, or you can get one done privately through your local private hospital. Once you have the results, you'll need a fit to dive medical with your local dive doc for a final decision.

Hope that helps

Regards, Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
Disclaimer:
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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