open access

Vol 71, No 1 (2020)
Original article
Published online: 2020-03-21
Submitted: 2020-01-07
Accepted: 2020-02-18
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Temporary and permanent unfitness of occupational divers. Brest Cohort 2002–2019 from the French National Network for Occupational Disease Vigilance and Prevention (RNV3P)

Richard Pougnet, Laurence Pougnet, Jean-Dominique Dewitte, Brice Loddé, David Lucas
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2020.0014
·
Pubmed: 32212151
·
International Maritime Health 2020;71(1):71-77.

open access

Vol 71, No 1 (2020)
HYPERBARIC MEDICINE Original article
Published online: 2020-03-21
Submitted: 2020-01-07
Accepted: 2020-02-18

Abstract

Background: In France, the monitoring of professional divers is regulated. Several learned societies (French Occupational Medicine Society, French Hyperbaric Medicine Society and French Maritime Medicine Society) have issued follow-up recommendations for professional divers, including medical follow-up. Medical decisions could be temporary unfitness for diving, temporary fitness with monitoring, a restriction of fitness, or permanent unfitness. The aim of study was to point out the causes of unfitness in our centre.

Materials and methods: The divers’ files were selected from the French National Network for Occupational Disease Vigilance and Prevention (RNV3P). Only files with a special medical decision were selected, between 2002 and 2019.

Results: Three hundred and ninety-six professional divers are followed-up in our centre and 1371 medical decisions were delivered. There were 29 (7.3%) divers with a special medical decision, during 42 (3.1%) medical visit. Twelve (3.0%) had a permanent unfitness. The leading cause of unfitness was pulmonary diseases: emphysema (3), chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (2), asthma (2). Sixteen (4.0%) divers had temporary unfitness. The leading causes were cardiovascular (4 times) and neurological (6 times). Twelve (3.0%) divers had had at least one decompression sickness.

Conclusions: Judgments of permanent unfitness for diving were rare (3.0% of divers), but were because of life-threatening disease. Medical follow-up of occupational divers was justified to decrease the risk of fatal event during occupational dives.

Abstract

Background: In France, the monitoring of professional divers is regulated. Several learned societies (French Occupational Medicine Society, French Hyperbaric Medicine Society and French Maritime Medicine Society) have issued follow-up recommendations for professional divers, including medical follow-up. Medical decisions could be temporary unfitness for diving, temporary fitness with monitoring, a restriction of fitness, or permanent unfitness. The aim of study was to point out the causes of unfitness in our centre.

Materials and methods: The divers’ files were selected from the French National Network for Occupational Disease Vigilance and Prevention (RNV3P). Only files with a special medical decision were selected, between 2002 and 2019.

Results: Three hundred and ninety-six professional divers are followed-up in our centre and 1371 medical decisions were delivered. There were 29 (7.3%) divers with a special medical decision, during 42 (3.1%) medical visit. Twelve (3.0%) had a permanent unfitness. The leading cause of unfitness was pulmonary diseases: emphysema (3), chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (2), asthma (2). Sixteen (4.0%) divers had temporary unfitness. The leading causes were cardiovascular (4 times) and neurological (6 times). Twelve (3.0%) divers had had at least one decompression sickness.

Conclusions: Judgments of permanent unfitness for diving were rare (3.0% of divers), but were because of life-threatening disease. Medical follow-up of occupational divers was justified to decrease the risk of fatal event during occupational dives.

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Keywords

diving, occupational medicine, decompression sickness, France, contraindications

About this article
Title

Temporary and permanent unfitness of occupational divers. Brest Cohort 2002–2019 from the French National Network for Occupational Disease Vigilance and Prevention (RNV3P)

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 71, No 1 (2020)

Article type

Original article

Pages

71-77

Published online

2020-03-21

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2020.0014

Pubmed

32212151

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2020;71(1):71-77.

Keywords

diving
occupational medicine
decompression sickness
France
contraindications

Authors

Richard Pougnet
Laurence Pougnet
Jean-Dominique Dewitte
Brice Loddé
David Lucas

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