CAN DIABETIC PEOPLE SCUBA DIVE?

DIVING WITH THE FFESSM (French Federation of Undersea Studies and Sports)

Scuba diving under the auspices of the FFESSM while being diabetic is possible if certain conditions are met.

1.1. Conditions for no contraindication for recreational scuba diving due to diabetes
- At least 18 years of age
- Regular diabetes monitoring (at least 3 times / year) for at least 1 year by the same diabetes specialist
- Taking insulin for at least 1 year
- HbA1c below 8.5%
- Regular glycemic self-monitoring (at least 4 times/day)
- No severe hypoglycaemia (third party assistance and/or hospitalisation after being taken ill) nor any ketoacidosis in the year prior to the delivery of the certificate
- Correct hypoglycaemia perception threshold (above 0.50g/l).
- Knowing how to recognise hypoglycaemia and how to react to it alone.
- Absence of other illnesses due to the diabetes

 

Orsane vendeuse Decathlon Marseille Bonneveine
Alexandre vendeur Decathlon Toulon

1.2. Obtaining of the FFESSM double certificate of no diving contraindications

- First certificate obtained from the attending diabetes specialist, using the form (http://medical.ffessm.fr) and, on the back, indicating the conditions for no contraindication for diving due to diabetes
- Final certificate of no contraindication signed by a federal physician or hyperbaric specialist after a review of the prior certificate
- Delivery to the insulin-dependent diabetic of an information letter listing the diving restrictions, with comments by the federal physician or hyperbaric specialist.

 

 

1.3. FFESSM water entry protocol

- The evening before the dive: decrease the dose of lente insulin by -30% of the usual dose
The day of the dive: -30% decrease of lente and fast-acting insulins
- 3 capillary glycemia checks are demanded: 60, 30 and 15 minutes before the dive with the glycemic objective being water entry while above 2 g/l

1.4. Technical restrictions for diving (updated on 14/06/2015)

Insulin-dependent diabetics (types 1 and 2):
- Maximum depth: 40 m
- supervised by a minimum E2 and an E1 in an artificial setting up to 40 m (i.e. PE40)
- autonomous up to 20 m (i.e. PA20)
- Maximum duration : within the "no decompression limits"
- No more than one diabetic per dive group
- Diving is prohibited if the diving and water entry conditions increase the risks of hypoglycaemia (swell, current, temperature < 14°C except if wearing a dry suit, difficult implementation of the water entry protocol and return to the boat).
- Glucose ingestion while submerged (except in case of hypoglycaemia) is possible provided that the required technique has been mastered.

Monitoring authorisation (CTN – January 2015) :
- For a supervisor that becomes diabetic, possibility of continuing this activity within the 20 m zone
- Access to the initiator for N2 and N3 diabetic divers

conseil plongée sous-marine contre indications subea

1.5. Diving prohibitions
 

- Temperature < 14°C except if wearing a dry suit
- Dives potentially requiring extra effort (current, swell)
- Unfavourable conditions for water entry and/or return to the boat

 

 

1.6. Recommended behaviour relative to the dive director, supervisor and group members

- Warn them of your diabetes
- Inform them of how to behave in case of hypoglycaemia on the surface and while submerged

 

 

1.7. Equipment
 

Materials required on the boat:
- Blood sugar and ketosis meters (with strips and lancets)
- Lente and fast-acting insulins
- Glucagon
- Sufficient quantity of glucose administration (> 100g)

Equipment to have in the water:
- Suitable glucose administration means in the BCD pockets

 

conseil plongée sous marine diabète lecteur glycémie subea

 

 

DIVING WITH PADI

Diabetics face no contraindication when diving with PADI. Nevertheless, though diabetes is listed in the liability release, a medical certificate authorising participation in scuba diving will be requested

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                ARTICLE CO-WRITTEN WITH

                association diabète et plongée
                "Diabète et Plongée" association

                Created in 2012 by a team of diabetic divers, the main mission of the "Diabète et Plongée" association is to promote access to underwater sports, such as scuba diving, for persons suffering from diabetes. It is an independent association, not attached to any diving structure or institution.

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