Divers Alert Network (DAN)

By Domenic A. Sammarco, R.Ph., EMT

DAN was formed in 1980, "….to assist in the treatment of underwater diving injuries by providing the 24-hour number, 919-684-8111, and to increase diving safety awareness through education." DAN and its affiliates can be found throughout North and Central Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia-Pacific, New Zealand and Southern Africa. In each location they have set up local emergency numbers for use by divers and those who must tend to their care in cases of diving-related injuries.

DAN America is associated with Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. In an emergency, they can be contacted by calling the above number, or 919-684-4DAN, which accepts collect calls. They field calls from divers, divers’ buddies, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, emergency department staff; and anyone who may need to identify or treat a diving-related illness. They maintain no hospital facilities of their own. They complement existing local and regional medical services by working with those services to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of such illness. Calls are initially triaged by EMTs, paramedics, nurses or physicians. Under the supervision of DAN physicians, callers are connected with appropriate facilities and, when necessary, arrangements coordinated for transportation for the hyperbaric treatment.

DAN works closely with regional coordinators to maintain up-to-date information on hyperbaric chamber status, transportation facilities and other available diving medical services, and will assist in accessing these facilities as necessary. They can always be used as a resource for the field EMS provider in addition to established medical control authorities. They will speak directly to medical control facilities, ED staffs and field personnel.

Divers Alert Network is the foremost authority in the field of recreational diving medicine, and its staff and affiliates are the finest in the world.

Diving Emergency Numbers:

DAN USA: 919-684-8111; 919-6844DAN collect

DAN America-Mexico: +52-2-6299800 code 33937 or 4258