Volume 3, Number 4, Page 2


December 2000


It’s almost that celebrated time of year again…..Tri Air kit testing! Kits will be mailed out to units January 22, 2001 . Units need to perform this testing procedure on their dive air compressor within a day or two of receipt and immediately mail the kit back to TRI. Otherwise late fees will be assessed by TRI. If your vessel will not be in port or no one in your unit will be available to perform this testing, please contact Laurie Barber to reschedule the test. Also, a reminder when performing the test to replace the testing caps on the air sample test tubes with the original solid black cap after sampling. If the sampling cap is left on the test is incomplete and void. If this reminder makes no sense to you, then read the instructions accompanying the test kit! Charges for late fees and retests will be passed directly to the unit. Please contact TRI Technical Support at (800) 880-8378 (M - F, 0800 - 1700 CST) with any questions about sampling procedures. end of article


A reminder to please keep the Elder Valve Test Kit rotation moving along. Four kits were sent out several months ago to rotate through all NOAA diving units. After receiving the kit, follow the instructions enclosed to perform a simple test on the emergency oxygen kit’s Elder valve. After the test is completed, forward the results to NDC and send the kit to the next unit on the enclosed Federal Express mailer. The manufacturer and repair facility for the oxygen delivery equipment instructed NDC to perform periodic tests on the equipment versus overhauling the units every two years. All Elder valves not meeting the required performance specifications will be scheduled for service. Enclosed laminated testing instructions should reflect that the gauge tolerance range is 32-48 mm Hg (An incorrect maximum allowable pressure of 40 mm Hg is listed). Tested valves with values found in this range do not require service. end of article


The staff at NDC would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season end of article


The following is a requested reprint on physical examinations:

The following is an attempt to clarify the role of primary health care providers “certifying fitness for diving duty” on NOAA diving physicals (form SF-88, Report of Medical Examination). Some units have encountered health care providers reluctant to “sign off” on a NOAA diving physical and want additional tests, well beyond what the organization requires. This reluctance may stem from an unfamiliarity with diving, a desire to be thorough, liability/litigation concerns, regional policy, etc., or from a legitimate health concern. If the evaluation of a diver indicates the legitimate need for further tests or specialist evaluation, then the health care provider’s analysis may be warranted. This additional work-up may provide further insight if there is a potential medical issue that may keep the diver from being found fit for diving by NOAA. Additional, unwarranted tests for other purposes are not required by NDP. The ultimate interpretation of the fitness for diving standard remains within the NOAA organization. Please contact LT Cobb at NDC with any questions about whether additional testing is warranted to determine fitness for diving duty.

On a different, but related note….. It is acceptable to have a Physician’s Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or Osteopath approve a dive physical if these persons are serving as the primary health care provider. Approval by a physician is not required. Veterinarians and Palm Readers are not acceptable as primary health care providers. end of article


Just a reminder to everyone that Dave Dinsmore, Steve Urick, and Bill Cobb will be in Key West, FL, for most of the month of January for the Working Diver course (somebody has to do it…). Laurie Barber, Sondra Huber, and Andrea Lim will be holding down the NDC fort in Seattle. Please direct any questions or problems during that time to them. They will have contact information for the Florida folks if necessary. end of article

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