Volume 38, Issue 5 (September 1993)
Endomyocardial Fibrosis in a Scuba Diving Death
A death of an amateur SCUBA diver with undiagnosed late phase endomyocardial fibrosis is reported. This 27-year-old man found himself in difficulties during a Sub-Aqua Club outing and drowned.
Autopsy revealed features of drowning in addition to severe endomyocardial fibrosis (EMF) with collagenization of the left ventricle and interventricular septum with foci of chronic myocarditis. Other organs were essentially normal and toxicological studies were negative.
Examination of the air tank revealed a normal oxygen circulation with elevation of the carbon dioxide content above recommended limits. Sudden ventricular arrhythmia underwater due to EMF is believed to have precipitated drowning.
Stricter medical monitoring of amateur divers should prevent similar accidents in the future.