Dr Simon Mitchell

Dr Simon Mitchell is a diving and hyperbaric physician from the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney. He has a 30-year history of involvement in sport, scientific, commercial, recreational, military and technical diving. In addition to his medical degree, Dr Mitchell holds a PhD awarded for research in to cerebral arterial gas embolism. He is widely published in the diving medical literature and is author of two chapters in the next edition of Bennett and Elliott's Physiology and Medicine of Diving. Mitchell is a previous vice president and a current executive committee member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. He is an enthusiastic technical diver and, with Trevor Jackson, recently completed the first dive to the wreck of SS KYOGLE in 178m off Brisbane.

He is now a team member of the Sydney project Dive team and when not looking after patients or giving lectures, you can find him exploring new wrecks up and down the NSW coastline.


By Dr Simon Mitchell Over the last few years there has been a 'proliferation' of software programs that allow recreational divers to plan decompression from deep dives. There is much conjecture and debate over the relative merits of these various decompression planners. This is not surprising since some predict significantly shorter decompression requirements for the same combination of depth and time than others. In addition, the decompression algorithms generated by the various planners may differ…
By Dr Simon Mitchell For some years now PADI has offered a 'Junior Open Water Diver' program for children aged 12 - 15 years. Graduates of this course are certified to dive in open water under the direct supervision of a qualified adult diver. More recently PADI has introduced its 'Bubblemaker' program. This program is provided for children aged 8 - 11 years and offers the opportunity to try scuba in confined water less than…
By Dr Simon Mitchell There is no single subject in diving medicine that I am asked about more often than the implications of asthma for diving fitness. This is hardly surprising. Asthma is a prevalent disease in Australia and New Zealand, affecting up to 10 - 15% of the population of children in both countries. Many "asthmatics" eventually want to dive, and unfortunately, there are a number of concerns about the effect of asthma on…
By Dr Simon Mitchell I am often asked how long one should wait before flying after diving. This is a terribly difficult question to answer. Indeed, "how long is a piece of string" is probably the most valid answer. In this article I will outline the difficulties in prescribing a safe pre-flight interval after diving, and summarize the current thinking on the issue. On completion of a compressed air dive our bodies inevitably contain residual…