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AD 2016 Q4

Alert Diver is the dive industry’s leading publication. Featuring DAN’s core content of dive safety, research, education and medical information, each issue is a must-read reference, archived and shared by passionate scuba enthusiasts. In addition, Alert Diver showcases fascinating dive destinations and marine environmental topics through images from the world’s greatest underwater photographers and stories from the most experienced and eloquent dive journalists in the business.

DIVE SLATE BOARD OF

DIVE SLATE BOARD OF DIRECTORS more user friendly. DAN’s impact and influence in recreational diving and beyond is stronger than ever before. Harry Rodgers is a “fish head” — he’s been an avid angler, aquarist and diver since he was a kid. He’s also an expert in insurance. What goals do you have for DAN, and what initiatives are you most excited about? Beyond seeing DAN be the leader in dive safety and the No. 1 service provider for divers who encounter problems, I want to see DAN’s efforts promote a renewed interest in diving, particularly among young people. If we can keep the sport safe and take care of divers, that helps diving grow. I’m really enthusiastic about the new professional liability program — it’s a natural extension of our safety and risk-management efforts. Bill Anlyan, former vice chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), was very involved in the school’s marine science program. What are some highlights from your time in diving and at DAN? Many of my best underwater experiences involve Aquarius Reef Base. UNCW ran Aquarius, and we would host researchers from around the world. Learning from them and seeing what they were working on are experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything. My time at DAN has likewise been inspirational. The subject matter — diving, safety, science, the marine environment — is inherently interesting, and everyone at DAN is so committed to the mission. During meetings we are always asking ourselves, “How do we make diving safer?” Doug Stracener, J.D., is a solo private attorney and scuba instructor who also teaches motorcycle safety classes for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety. He works with law enforcement and public safety dive teams and has been accused of being a collector of instructor certifications. What is DAN’s role in the dive industry? My predecessor on the board, Dick Long, told me to constantly ask myself, “What have we done today to save divers’ lives?” In the dive industry there are multiple agencies with competing interests, but DAN is like the United Nations — we try to stay out of the politics and be a resource for everybody. DAN exists to save divers’ lives; everything we do is geared toward that. AD 24 | FALL 2016

A surgeon prepares to place an occluder in the heart of a patient with a patent foramen ovale (PFO). PATENT FORAMEN OVALE AND FITNESS TO DIVE By Petar J. Denoble, M.D., D.Sc. BSIP/OTO/CHU BORDEAUX/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY The Patent Foramen Ovale and Fitness to Dive Consensus Workshop was held June 17, 2015, in Montreal, Canada. The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) and DAN® invited experts to review the current state of knowledge about diagnosis of patent foramen ovale (PFO), evaluation and mitigation of individual risk, and how PFOs affect divers’ safety. DAN published the proceedings of the workshop, including the consensus statement, which are available online at DAN.org/research/workshops. A PFO is a passage in the wall between the right and left atria of the heart that can be found in about 25 percent of adults. Its size and the degree of blood flow through it vary. In a small percentage of people, a PFO allows for a continuous passage of blood from the right atrium to the left atrium — a spontaneous right-to-left shunt (RLS). In some people, the RLS occurs when pressure in the right atrium exceeds pressure in the left atrium. This may happen after relieving a temporary obstruction to blood flow to the heart such as with a Valsalva maneuver or straining while lifting, sniffing, coughing or defecating. Spontaneous or provoked RLS may be seen in 10-15 percent of adults. A PFO with RLS has long been suspected for paradoxical embolism, wherein particles carried ALERTDIVER.COM | 25