Blood Thinners

My doctor has started me on Warfarin (Coumadin). How will this affect my diving?
A diver who has been prescribed an anticoagulant, e.g., Coumadin® or Warfarin®, should be warned of the potential for bleeding: excessive bleeding can occur from even a seemingly benign ear or sinus barotrauma. There is a potential risk that, if decompression illness occurs, it may then cause significant bleeding in the brain or spinal cord. The diver must be able to equalize without difficulty. Also dive physicians would recommend conservative dive profiles to help further reduce the risk of DCI.
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fanus - December 3rd, 2016 at 3:21pm

Hi My name is Fanus,i have a pulmonary embolism and have been put on warfarin for life,what is the chances of ever diving,the clot use to be in my heart but has since my last checkup been disolved or who knows what happened to it,but mri,brain eeg,blood analysis checks out perfect,i have been on many blogs where people dive with smilar conditions as mine,i have honestly never heard of any warfarin or pe or dvt related incidents,what do i have to do,i have even cut myself in water out of water,sharpening knives scrapes,nothing is out of the ordenary,bleed like normal and it stops like normal,if i don't have any problem with it,why can't i dive,does the oxygen in the cylinders have any negative effect on warfarin users?i snorkel and long sessions at a time and i love going under water

Fiona Williams - January 1st, 2019 at 8:31pm


I am looking for statistics on the use of Warfarin in South Africa. Do you think this is a common drug used in your country? The reason I'm asking is because Warfarin causes side effects and those side effects arn't showing up in South Africa. If you know anything about the use of this drug in your country, please could you reply to me.

Thank you very much

My mother takes a blood thinner called Riveroxaban which is supposed to be better than Warfrin but its still an anti anticoagulant meaning, its highIy likeIy to produce the same side effects.


Fiona Williams

DAN Medical Team - January 29th, 2019 at 6:03pm

We are pleased that you took the time to comment on the blog post. Dr Cronje has created a video response which is now available via the blog post and via the DAN Southern Africa You Tube channel -

I hope this answers your question.


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