The National Drowning Prevention Alliance Announces Formation of International Breath Hold Blackout Task Force

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The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) announced the formation of an International Breath Hold Blackout Task Force for the purpose of defining the physiology and safety of breath hold and how it relates to the loss of consciousness in breath-hold swimmers and divers. (One issue is that it is commonly referred to as “Shallow Water Blackout”).

The primary objectives of the task force will be to define the terminology surrounding the issue, provide a balanced opinion concerning the risks and benefits of breath-holding activity in aquatic environments, and to identify high risk as well as protective behaviors to be communicated to swimmers, divers and aquatic leaders.

Chairs of the NDPA International Breath Hold Blackout Task Force are; Dr. Neal W. Pollock, Ph.D., Research Director, Divers Alert Network (DAN) and Research Associate in Anesthesiology Duke University Medical Center; Dr. Peter Lindholm, MD, PhD., Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, PhD., Professor, BPE/KIN Program, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Members of the NDPA International Breath Hold Task Force are; Robert Ogoreuc, M.ED, EMT-B, Slippery Rock University, President of the NDPA; Kim W. Tyson, Founding NDPA Member, Board of Directors, NDPA, Aquatic Coordinator Department of Kinesiology and Health Education- The University of Texas, Austin; Gerald M. Dworkin, Board of Directors, NDPA, Consultant, Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue Lifesaving Resources, LLC; Mario Vittone, Board of Directors, NDPA, CWO2, Marine Safety Specialist United States Coast Guard; and Kim Burgess, Executive Director NDPA. For further information please contact Kim Burgess at: kim(at)ndpa(dot)org

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance is a volunteer-driven 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 2004. NDPA members are dedicated to preventing drowning for all age groups in all bodies of water through public education, advocacy and strategic partnerships. The public is invited to join by visiting

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