There are a variety of "5 Minute Neuro Exams" but all should include at least the following items. Place a mark or notation next to any item that has an abnormal response.
Ask the diver's name, date, details of the dive, where they are, what did they eat last. Although they may appear normal, these questions might reveal confusion.
Have the diver hold their head still. Move your finger up, down, left and right approximately 18 inches from the diver's face. Make sure the eyes track normally and are not jerky. Pupils should be equal sized and respond (close) to light flashed in the eye.
Have the diver close their eyes. Touch the forehead and face lightly while you apply the same pressure at various spots. Note any numbness. Have the diver wiggle the eyebrows, note any differences.
Have the diver whistle. Watch the "pucker". Note any drooping of lips. Have the diver smile. Have the diver clench their teeth, feel the jaw for equal tension of muscles.
Check hearing by rubbing your thumb and forefinger together with the diver's eyes closed. See how close the fingers have to be to be audible.
Have the diver swallow, watch the movement of the "adams apple" up and down.
Have the diver stick out their tongue. Note if it droops, moves to one side or other abnormal movements.
Place your hands firmly on the diver's shoulders, have them "shrug". Note if there is any difference in strength. Also check for skin sensation.
Have the diver squeeze your fingers with both hands at the same time, notice any difference in strength. Have the diver hold his hands together at chest level and elbows high. Gently push and pull the elbows while the diver resists the movement. Notice any difference in strength. Check for skin sensation.
Have the diver close their eyes. Check for skin sensation.
Have the diver lay flat. Raise and lower legs while the diver resists. Check for difference in strength.
If possible, have the diver walk heel to toe and check balance and coordination. Make sure the diver does not fall!
If there is a delay getting to a suitable recompression facility, repeat the test every hour and note any changes.
Last Updated: Thu Oct 27 2005