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AIDA introduces first aid course designed for freedivers



AIDA is pleased to announce the launch of the FEMR (Freediving Emergency Medical Responder) course, a new first aid course that includes a special emphasis on freediving-related medicine. While traditional first aid/CPR courses contain useful information for daily medical incidents such as basic first aid, CPR, and AED use, they do not include sufficient material on specific freediving-related injuries that can occur while training. AIDA Education Officer Brian Crossland realised the importance of this and decided to make a change.

After attending a Diver Medic course run by Chantelle Newman, Brian approached her and asked her to collaborate on a first aid course that is specifically for freedivers. Chantelle, founder and publisher of The Diver Medic, member of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame 2016, and member of The Explorers Club, channelled her EMS background and 34 years of scuba experience to create the FEMR course. Along with Brian Crossland and Dr Oleg Melikhov, Chantelle put together a first aid course for freedivers. Divers Alert Network also contributed to the course materials, in addition to information gathered from multiple scientific papers written by professors in diving medicine.

first aid course 1

The FEMR course differs from traditional first aid courses by introducing the pathophysiology of illnesses and injuries, with an emphasis on freediving-related injuries such as barotrauma, squeezes, lung injuries, hypoxia, narcosis, decompression illness, immersion pulmonary edema (IPE/IPO), and ear injuries and treatment. Participants will also learn how to examine the ear with the use of an otoscope, how to use two airway adjuncts: OPAs (oropharangeal airways) and NPAs (nasopharyngeal airways), and learn how to activate a diver’s insurance plan and ensure successful emergency treatment of the diver. Participants will take the theory in person or online, and then go through practical elements and learn skills such as taking full vital signs, including blood pressure and pulse oximetry, while also treating non-freediving related trauma injuries and medical illnesses.

The first FEMR Instructor courses will be held in Shanghai, China and in Seoul, Korea.


Photo credit: Chantelle Newman and Kostas Madouros

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Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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