Secondary Alterations in Lung or Thoracic Anatomy Associated with Breath-Hold Diving

Research Paper Title

Shallow Water Diving-Associated Alveolar Haemorrhage in an Active Duty Sailor: A Case Report.


Breath-hold diving is a common practice as a part of military dive training.

An association between prior lung injury and a propensity for lung barotrauma may have the potential to impact mission readiness for combat divers, Pararescue, Combat Controllers, Army Engineer divers, and various units in Naval Special Warfare and Special Operations.

Barotrauma is a common complication of diving, typically occurring at depths greater than 30 m (98.4 ft).

Individuals with abnormal lung anatomy or function may be at increased risk of barotrauma at shallower depths than those with healthy lungs, rendering these service members unfit for certain missions.

The researchers describe the case of a 25-year-old male, with a remote history of polytrauma and resultant pulmonary pleural adhesions, whose dive training was complicated by lung barotrauma at shallow depths.

In missions or training utilising breath-hold diving, the association with secondary alterations in lung or thoracic anatomy and function may limit which service members can safely participate.


Inman, B.L., Bridwell, R.E., Cibrario, A., Goss, S. & Oliver, J.J. (2021) Shallow Water Diving-Associated Alveolar Hemorrhage in an Active Duty Sailor: A Case Report. Military Medicine. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usab046. Online ahead of print.


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