Diving Dangers

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - One second, one dive, can change your life for the rest of your life in a severe way," said Dr. Michael Heed.
He's the director of Trauma Services at Bay Medical Sacred Heart and says diving accounts for the fourth leading cause of spinal injuries resulting in paralysis.
Typically, the hospital sees one of these injuries per year. This month, they've treated three. All three were men in their early 30's and alcohol was involved.
"Generally speaking, when diving head first into shallow water, about 75% of patients will sustain quadriplegia or analysis," said Dr. Heed.
Dr. Heed said these diving injuries are 100% preventable, but it starts with paying attention According to the American Red Cross, no one should ever dive into water less than nine feet deep. He recommends never diving into an above ground pool since an above ground pool is typically only four feet deep."
Water levels in lakes and rivers can change over time. Those levels can also be impacted by unseen debris along the bottom.
A good rule of thumb is to always enter the water feet first, to determine the depth.


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