Previous myocardial infarction

[Reviewed 4 December 2022]

Individuals who have suffered a myocardial infarction are permitted to resume diving by the UKSDMC if they satisfy the following criteria:

1. They have no cardiac symptoms or evidence of silent ischemia when off all cardiac medication (although lipid lowering drugs and antiplatelet agents are permitted). Use of beta-blockers will be considered on an individual basis provided they are used for secondary prevention and there is no evidence of resulting airway obstruction.

2. They can satisfactorily perform a treadmill exercise test, achieving a good workload (for age, sex and build) with a normal heart rate and blood pressure response, without evidence of ischaemia on a 12-lead ECG. They will usually be expected to achieve at least 9 minutes (3 stages) of the Bruce protocol (or equivalent).

3. There is little residual myocardial dysfunction.

4. They will not be permitted to dive with novice divers in future, but must dive with experienced companions who should be aware of the condition and who can render assistance if required.

5. Limitations on depth, severity and conditions of dives may be imposed.

6. Fitness to dive will be reviewed annually irrespective of the diver’s age, but should symptoms recur between medical examinations, the diver must cease diving until reviewed.