Comprehensive information about diving and undersea medicine for the non-medical diver, the non-diving physician and the specialist.
a diver with
Hepatitis C (HCV) should dive depends upon several factors:
-Stage of his disease
-Level of hepatic involvement
-Type of treatment he is receiving
-Original cause of his HCV (drug injections?, etc). 28% of all HCV infections are from injectable drug use.
A diver with this disease needs to be in relatively good physical condition (from a conditioning standpoint), have no severe liver involvement with cirrhosis and under no dangerous treatment protocol that would injure the immune system. Newer therapies for HCV include drugs that cause severe suppression to the immune system, making it highly dangerous to dive even in relatively clean water.
The poorly conditioned and the cirrhotic should not dive; the person with even the slightest possibility of drug use should not dive.
Medications include Interferon and Ribavarin
effects of interferon
alfa (* Indicates adverse to diving)
Flu-like illness*, chills, fever, malaise*, muscle aches, headache*, poor appetite
Increased need for sleep *
Psychological side effects (irritability, anxiety, depression)**
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count can cause bleeding)**, leucopenia (low white count increases susceptibility to infection)**
Acute psychosis **
Bacterial infections **
Autoimmune reactions *
Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism or transient thyroiditis *
Interstitial lung disease *
Ernest Campbell, MD, FACS All Rights Reserved.