SCUBA in Older Aged Divers

SCUBA in Older Aged Divers


Michael B. Strauss, MD

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As the population gets older, coupled with increased awareness of good health practices and the recognition that fitness contributes to participation in activities generally appropriate for younger individuals, decisions need to be made about what are appropriate activities for the older-aged SCUBA diver.

This article discusses the factors critical for making decisions as to whether or not the older aged diver should continue SCUBA diving activities. If you are a physician, diver or dive leader this article is for you!

  • Defining "Old"
  • Judement vs. Other Age-Related Factors
  • Body Systems Affected By Aging
  • High and Low Fitness Diving Conditions
  • Case Scenarios

This artice was first published in Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Volume 4 Issue 3. It is now available as a downloadable PDF.


Michael B. Strauss, MD, FACS, AAOS. Dr. Strauss’ expertise of undersea and hyperbaric medicine is vast beyond compare. After completing U.S. Navy Submarine and Diving Medical Schools, Dr. Strauss served on a nuclear submarine, with salvage divers in the Philippines and Vietnam and with the SEAL teams in San Diego. After these fleet experiences, Dr. Strauss completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the Navy Medical Center, San Diego. He was released from active duty in 1977, but remained with the Navy SEAL reserve teams until his retirement from the Naval Reserve in the year 2000, concluding a 34 ½ year affiliation.

Dr. Strauss is a Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California Irvine as well as the orthopaedic consultant for the PACT (Preservation-Amputation, Care, and Treatment) Clinic at the Veterans Affairs Health Care Medical Center, Long Beach, California. Dr. Strauss has written two text books (Diving Science, 2004 and MasterMinding Wounds, 2010), three chapters for Kindwall’s 2008 Hyperbaric Medicine Practice text as well as over 100 publications on orthopaedic, diving medicine, hyperbaric medicine, and wound management subjects, as well as an equal number of posters and exhibits.


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