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Bodily functions

If you think Assessment of Diving Medical Fitness for Scuba Divers and Instructors sounds like a medical textbook, you're right. Though written for the layman, its format is as dry as its title, but it is full of valuable information.
A doctor who has carried out many of my annual diving medical examinations (as required by the HSE) always asks me if I am diving as regularly as ever. If I am, he says that I am obviously fit to dive!
This book is not so much about blobby divers who cant do 100 step-ups without getting wheezy, more about those medical conditions that might or might not affect your fitness to dive.
So its a useful reference book for anyone dealing with prospective newcomers to the sport, while also dealing with divers responsibility for their own fitness.
There are tips for reducing the chance of heartburn, something that seems more common as you get older. I was surprised to read that a colostomy would not preclude diving (only the chance of getting someone to help you off with your wetsuit), and that surgical repair of a hiatus hernia might bring disadvantages in diving.
Once youve diagnosed yourself, and providing the results dont involve you taking up golf instead, this is a useful book for any diving instructor.
John Bantin
  • Assessment of Diving Medical Fitness for Scuba Divers and Instructors by Drs Bennett, Cronjé and Campbell (Best Publishing, ISBN 9781930536319). Hardback, 240pp, US $30.