First aid kits for recreational dive boats, what should they contain?
Pye J., Greenhalgh T.
Background: Well-equipped first-aid kits are necessary but not always provided on recreational dive boats. We aimed to review the types of illness and injury likely to be encountered on such boats and inform a content list for such kits. Method: We conducted a 3-round Delphi study by email using a volunteer panel of 18 experts drawn from diving, dive medicine and nursing. In round 1, panellists shared examples of illnesses and injuries they had come across personally. These scenarios were circulated along with findings from a literature review, including existing recommendations. In rounds 2 and 3, the list of kit for dive boats in different settings was iteratively refined through online discussion and feedback. Main findings: Passengers and crew on recreational dive boats may encounter a range of medical problems from minor injuries to serious accidents and non-dive-related illnesses. Recommended kit varied depending on context and setting (e.g. distance from land, qualifications and experience of crew). Consensus was quickly reached on key first-aid items but experts' views on emergency medicines differed. Conclusions: The study highlights the diversity of medical problems encountered on recreational dive boats. We offer preliminary guidance on the content of suitable first-aid kits and suggest areas for further research. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd.