13 Sep 2007

DAN Funds Major New Research Study

DAN , through its partnership with subsidiary AGI, has contributed $100,000 to fund a study of the causes of immersion pulmonary edema, a lung injury identified in water enthusiasts. Richard E. Moon, M.D., DAN senior medical consultant, will conduct the study, which is targeted for completion in late 2008.

Moon is also professor of anesthesiology and medicine at Duke University Medical Center and medical director of the DUMC’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology


IPE, an accumulation of water in the lungs of swimmers and divers, causes cough, shortness of breath and reduced blood oxygen levels. It occurs in both military and civilian swimmers and divers during heavy exertion, most often in cold water.

DAN President and CEO Dan Orr and DAN Board Chairman Dennis Liberson presented the check to Moon on Aug. 30. "We are very proud to support Dr. Moon's important research project,” Orr said. “This is just one of many projects that DAN will support in the future, expanding the body of knowledge in dive medicine and improving diving safety."

Moon said studying divers or swimmers with IPE to understand the causes has been difficult, because once the subjects have been removed from the water and given first aid treatment, the conditions that precipitated the condition are no longer present. “For the study, we will recruit recreational divers who have experienced IPE, test them in the experimental apparatus that we have constructed and look for specific genetic anomalies,” Moon said.

Formerly believed to be rare, IPE has been reported to DAN with increasing frequency over the past three years. Typically it resolves completely in less than a day, but it has been fatal; in other cases, immersion pulmonary edema has recurred. Its exact cause is not known, although scientists believe IPE may be caused by high blood pressure within the vessels of the lung, specifically in the pulmonary artery and capillaries.

The study will supplement a Navy-funded study presently being conducted at Duke.

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For more information on this release contact DAN Communications at editors@DiversAlertNetwork.org or call +1-919-684-2948 ext. 626 or 629.

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