Groote Schuur Hospital’s Acute Spinal Cord Injury Unit admits and treats an average of seven patients every year who sustain severe neck injuries secondary to diving accidents. The majority of these injured patients, mostly young people, will be permanently paralysed from the neck down (quadriplegic).
Western Cape Government Health would like to encourage people to dive FEET FIRST. Head first diving, whether with outstretched arms or not, is extremely risky and is not enough to prevent neck injuries. We would also like to urge people to be careful when bodysurfing.
A diving accident can leave you with serious injuries. If someone is injured in a diving accident, contact emergency medical services immediately. Ensure that their neck is stabilised and that there is no movement.
Interviews with experts (Prof. Dunn, Dr Welsh and Dr Sothman) can be arranged through Darren Francis.