Cirrhosis and Ascites
57 year old male, history of alcoholism & suffering cirrohsis of the liver. Very large, distended belly ( has the largest “outie” belly button you’ve ever seen! ), but otherwise not obese. Passed the N.A.U.I.Â pool testÂ better than most of his classmates. Claims his drinking days are past & has non-diving physician, unrestrictedÂ approval to participate. No other medical contraindications noted on the standard N.A.U.I. medical questionaire. He is an educated man ( prof. engineer ) with previous sport diving experience years ago… What is your advice?
It is highly likely that your diver has ascites (large quantities of free fluid in his abdomen surrounding his organs). In addition to his umbilical hernia (which can rupture easily under these circumstances) which has occurred in response to the excess pressure of the fluid – it is also highly likely that he has esophageal varices or dilated blood vessels in the lower end of his gullet.
Massive variceal bleeding caused by scuba diving.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Dec;95(12):3677-8.
Nguyen MH, Ernsting KS, Proctor DD.
Because of what I consider significant risk, I would not certify this person as fit to dive.