SPUMS 44th Annual Scientific meeting

Palau Rock Islands

Palau Rock Islands

Breath-hold diving is gaining popularity as an underwater sport and is not without it’s dangers. But, the breath-hold diving fraternity seems to be doing very well in the sense that they are training and looking after the safety of their members. It isn’t a sport that you would like to participate in without team support. Dr. Neal Pollock gave an interesting talk on how the “free-divers”  support and look after their own.

Blindly relying on your dive computer, when most divers don’t even know what algorithms the computer is using, is scary. Completely relying on your dive computer for “safe” diving………….not a good idea! It is always important to remember that the dive computer is an external device, is not implanted in your body and therefore is not measuring your specific individual systems and organs. Dr. Neal Pollock stressed that it can at best provide you with mathematical profiles and strategies to keep you safer. You are still the master of your body and must ultimately decide what is safe for yourself on a given day, time and situation.

Dr. Neal Pollock was the keynote speaker at the 44th annual SPUMS Annual Scientific Meeting in Palau, Micronesia. He is the research director at DAN (Divers Alert Network) and Research Associate in the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke University Medical Center.


This year’s meeting of SPUMS (South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society) was held in Palau.

The convener of the meeting was Dr. Catherine Meehan and the current president of the society is Dr. David Smart.

The SPUMS meeting is currently the best meeting of it’s kind in the world. Attending a meeting in a tropical island location, is only one of the fringe benefits. It still has to be a worthwhile scientific meeting and this meeting certainly excelled in that department.

Some of the main “take home and rethink” topics were diabetics and diving and decompression table/programme selection. The topics and papers presented will be published in the Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine  journal of SPUMS and EUBS.

More is to follow about the other speakers and topics.