Royal Australian Navy School of Underwater Medicine

The Royal Australian Navy School of Underwater Medicine (RANSUM) is based at Sydney, Australia.

The Diving Section of HMAS Watson was afforded by the District Medical Officer, Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Shane A.C. Watson, whose interest in diving led to research in injuries related to marine animals.[1] Medical Director-General of the Royal Australian Navy, Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Lockwood, recognized the need for a specialisation in diving medicine shown by Dr. Watson and appointed Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Rex Gray to service in Underwater Medicine. Dr. Gray was an anaesthesiologist and accepted this commission on 20 February 1961.[1]

Dr. Gray was trained as a diver and sent to England for seven months to learn about modern diving medicine. He visited the Royal Naval Medical School at Alverstoke, the R.N. Physiological Laboratory, the Submarine Training School at HMS Dolphin, Diving School HMS Vernon, and the RN Air Medical School at Seafield Park.[1] Following his time in England, he travelled to the United States, where he spent two weeks each in the Experimental Diving Unit, Washington Navy Yard, and with the Medical Research Laboratory, Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, returning to Australia in July, 1962, aboard HMAS Supply.[1]

The first School of Underwater Medicine Report was issued in 1963 and outlined the need for communication with organizations with similar interests such as carbon monoxide poisoning and recompression chambers.[1] The first eight-day Underwater Medicine course was held in May 1963, when Surgeon Lieutenant Commander A.A. Reid, and was followed by a thirteen-day course by Surgeon Lieutenant Commander B.M. Wadham, in June 1963.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Gray, Keith (1969). "History of the RAN School of Underwater Medicine 1963–1969". Project. 2–69. Royal Australian Navy, School of Underwater Medicine. Retrieved 2009-05-14.

External links

Aerospace Medical Association

The Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) is the largest professional organization in the fields of aviation, space, and environmental medicine. The AsMA membership includes aerospace and hyperbaric medical specialists, scientists, flight nurses, physiologists, and researchers from all over the world.

Alternobaric vertigo

In aviation and underwater diving, alternobaric vertigo is dizziness resulting from unequal pressures being exerted between the ears due to one Eustachian tube being less patent than the other.


Barodontalgia, commonly known as tooth squeeze, is a pain in tooth caused by a change in ambient pressure. The pain usually ceases at ground level. Dental barotrauma is a condition in which such changes in barometric pressure changes cause damage to the dentition.


Barostriction refers to a restriction of pressure equalization ventilation that should normally be present. Sealed containers, such as Pelican cases and SKB cases, often have a pressure release vent that can become blocked and cause rupture of the container during change in elevation. Similarly, acoustic suspension speakers have such need for ventilation.

Ear clearing

Ear clearing or clearing the ears or equalization is any of various maneuvers to equalize the pressure in the middle ear with the outside pressure, by letting air enter along the Eustachian tubes, as this does not always happen automatically when the pressure in the middle ear is lower than the outside pressure. This need can arise in scuba diving, freediving/spearfishing, skydiving, fast descent in an aircraft, fast descent in a mine cage, and being put into pressure in a caisson or similar pressure-bearing structure, or sometimes even simply travelling at fast speeds in an automobile.People who do intense weight lifting, like squats, may experience sudden conductive hearing loss due to air pressure building up inside the ear. They are advised to engage in an ear clearing method to relieve pressure, or pain if any.

European Diving Technology Committee

The European Diving Technology Committee eV. (EDTC) is an association registered in Kiel, Federal Republic of Germany for the purpose of making professional diving safer by creating international standards. Membership is open to all countries of the continent of Europe, with each country having one representative from the medical, industrial, government and trade union sectors. Some major diving industry associations are also involved. As of May 2016, 22 nations and 6 international non-governmental organisations were represented in the EDTC.

Hydrogen narcosis

Hydrogen narcosis (also known as the hydrogen effect) is the psychotropic state induced by breathing hydrogen at high pressures. Hydrogen narcosis produces symptoms such as hallucinations, disorientation, and confusion, which are similar to hallucinogenic drugs. It can be experienced by deep-sea divers who dive to 300 m (1,000 ft) below sea level breathing hydrogen mixtures. However, hydrogen has far less narcotic effect than nitrogen (which causes the better known nitrogen narcosis) and is very rarely used in diving. In tests of the effect of hydrogen narcosis, where divers dived to 500 m (1,600 ft) with a hydrogen–helium–oxygen (Hydreliox) mixture containing 49% hydrogen, it was found that while the narcotic effect of hydrogen was detectable, the neurological symptoms of high-pressure nervous syndrome were only moderate.


Hypocapnia or hypocapnea (from the Greek words υπό meaning below normal and καπνός kapnós meaning smoke), also known as hypocarbia, sometimes incorrectly called acapnia, is a state of reduced carbon dioxide in the blood. Hypocapnia usually results from deep or rapid breathing, known as hyperventilation.

Hypocapnia is the opposite of hypercapnia.

In-water recompression

In-water recompression (IWR) or underwater oxygen treatment is the emergency treatment of decompression sickness (DCS) of sending the diver back underwater to allow the gas bubbles in the tissues, which are causing the symptoms, to resolve. It is a risky procedure that should only ever be used when the time to travel to the nearest recompression chamber is too long to save the victim's life.Carrying out in-water recompression when there is a nearby recompression chamber or without special equipment and training is never a favoured option. The risk of the procedure comes from the fact that a diver suffering from DCS is seriously ill and may become paralysed, unconscious or stop breathing whilst under water. Any one of these events is likely to result in the diver drowning or further injury to the diver during a subsequent rescue to the surface.

Instinctive drowning response

The instinctive drowning response is an instinctive reaction that occurs in humans when close to drowning.

Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory

The Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) is located on the New London Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut. The laboratory's mission is to protect the health of American sailors, focused on submarines and scuba diving. It is a subordinate command of the Naval Medical Research Center.

Rubicon Foundation

Rubicon Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization devoted to contributing to the interdependent dynamic between research, exploration, science and education. The foundation, started in 2002, is located in Durham, North Carolina and is primarily supported by donations and grants. Funding has included the Office of Naval Research from 2008 to 2010. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has provided pro bono services to assist in copyright searches and support.The Rubicon Foundation projects make it easy for recreational divers, aviators, and researchers worldwide to find the answers to questions on diving medicine, aerospace physiology, and space medicine, as well as historical information.

Salt water aspiration syndrome

Salt water aspiration syndrome is a rare diving disorder suffered by SCUBA divers who inhale a mist of seawater from a faulty demand valve causing irritation of the lungs. It is not the same thing as aspiration of salt water as a bulk liquid, i.e. drowning. It can be treated by rest for several hours. If severe, medical assessment is required.

Siebe Gorman Salvus

The Siebe Gorman Salvus is a light oxygen rebreather for industrial use (including by firemen and in coalmine rescue) or in shallow diving. Its duration on a filling is 30 to 40 minutes. It was very common in Britain during World War II and for a long time afterwards. Underwater the Salvus is very compact and can be used where a diver with a bigger breathing set cannot get in, such as inside cockpits of ditched aircraft. It was made by Siebe Gorman & Company, LTD in London, England. It was designed in the early 1900s.

South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society

The South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS) is a primary source of information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide.

Southern African Underwater and Hyperbaric Medical Association

The Southern African Underwater and Hyperbaric Medical Association (SAUHMA} is an organisation of voluntary members with a special interest in the subject of underwater and/or hyperbaric medicine, recognised by the Council of the South African Medical Association as a special interest group. The Association promotes the practice and facilitates the study of underwater and hyperbaric medicine. Membership includes members and associate members, and may include medical practitioners; registered nurses; registered paramedics; qualified hyperbaric chamber operators; diving instructors; dive operators, and any other person with a special interest underwater or hyperbaric medicine.

Surfer's ear

Surfer's ear is the common name for an exostosis or abnormal bone growth within the ear canal. Surfer's ear is not the same as swimmer's ear, although infection can result as a side effect.

Irritation from cold wind and water exposure causes the bone surrounding the ear canal to develop lumps of new bony growth which constrict the ear canal. Where the ear canal is actually blocked by this condition, water and wax can become trapped and give rise to infection. The condition is so named due to its prevalence among cold water surfers. Warm water surfers are also at risk for exostosis due to the evaporative cooling caused by wind and the presence of water in the ear canal.

Most avid surfers have at least some mild bone growths (exostoses), causing little to no problems. The condition is progressive, making it important to take preventive measures early, preferably whenever surfing.

The condition is not limited to surfing and can occur in any activity with cold, wet, windy conditions such as windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, jet skiing, kitesurfing, and diving.


Taravana is a disease often found among Polynesian island natives who habitually dive deep without breathing apparatus many times in close succession, usually for food or pearls. These free-divers may make 40 to 60 dives a day, each of 30 or 40 metres (100 to 140 feet).

Taravana seems to be decompression sickness. The usual symptoms are vertigo, nausea, lethargy, paralysis and death. The word taravana is Tuamotu Polynesian for "to fall crazily".

Taravana is also used to describe someone who is "crazy because of the sea".

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