The World Health Organization defines drowning as a process in which the respiratory function of the lungs is impaired by immersion or submersion in a liquid.< /p>

This can result in the drowning person’s death or full recovery if immediate measures are taken to remove his head from the liquid. However, long-term anatomical or mental impairment is possible.< /p>

Most drownings occur at a safe depth, whether in the shallow tub, the shallow end of the pool, or in close proximity to the shoreline, and in most cases are preventable.

Because the victim’s head is underwater, air and oxygen cannot enter the lungs and the victim begins to suffocate. The tissues and organs in the body require oxygen to function and if they are deprived of it for just a few minutes, they go into a state of dysfunction.

Without oxygen, the heart muscle becomes irritable and this can cause a slowdown in the function of its pacemaker, its electrical system that makes it contract and relax through electrical impulses. Brain damage develops about 6 minutes after depriving the organ of oxygen-rich blood flow.

What are the symptoms?

Drowning is a silent killer. Victims are unable to call for help because they expend all their energy trying to breathe or keep their head above water. When inhaling water, the muscles of the upper respiratory tract or larynx can go into spasm, making it difficult to call for help.

Sequence of the Drowning Process

  • The victim tries to keep his head above water;
  • After submerging or submerging the head below the surface of the water, the victim holds his breath.
  • When water enters the upper respiratory tract, it causes a spasm of the muscles of the larynx.
  • Most often, the muscle spasm relaxes, which allows the water to enter the larynx in the bronchial tree and inside the lungs. In approximately 10-20% of victims, persistent laryngeal spasm occurs and no fluid is found in the lungs at autopsy. Permanent damage develops if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to it is not restored.
  • Cold-water immersion newborns may be spared this sequence because they have not yet forgotten their diving suit reflexthat is characteristic of mammals. It is expressed in the adaptation of the body to insufficient oxygen, with the pulse significantly slowing down to about 40 beats per minute, and if this reflex is developed, it is also possible to slow it down to 20 beats per minute.

Drowning Treatment

In cases of drowning, the sooner the victim is removed from the water and first aid is administered, the more likely the victim will survive.

First aid

The aim of first aid is to get oxygen into the drowning person’s lungs. Depending on the circumstances, if there is concern that a neck injury is possible, for example from a diving accident, it should be taken measures to minimize neck movements.

The first steps to be taken is to make an assessment by the rescuer of the following 3 things:
• Whether the victim is unconscious;
• Whether he is breathing on his own;
Is there a pulse;

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