Dangers of Drowning
Victims of drowning usually do not thrash in the water as often made out to be in the movies. Most victims are found floating or submerged in the water. Victims may not be able to call for help because they are using all of their energy trying to breathe or keep their head above water. When water is inhaled, the upper airway may go into a spasm also making it difficult to cry for help.
Signs of drowning :
- The victim does not flail and thrash in the water. Instead, drowning tends to be a quieter act, and victims tend to appear lethargic or are found unresponsive floating on the water, or submerged beneath it.
- The drowning victim often is bobbing with their head tilted back just at the waterline and the mouth wide open. There are attempts to keep rolling on to the back.
- The respiratory effort may be rapid but is often shallow.
- The eyes tend to be wide open and may hold a sense of panic.
- If there is a swimming effort, it is weak and uncoordinated.
In a drowning emergency, the sooner the victim is removed from the water and first aid is administered, the greater opportunity the victim has for surviving.
When lifeguards assess a drowning victim, they check to see if the victim is conscious or unconscious.
Rescue breathing can begin in the water, but all other care requires that the victim be safely out of the water. If other people are available, send a person to get help and call 911. If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available, have someone get it.
If the victim is breathing, he or she should be placed on their side in the recovery position to prevent potential aspiration(inhaling vomit into the lung) should vomiting occur.
If the victim is not breathing and has no pulse, begin CPR. This is one of the exceptions to the hands-only CPR guidelines. If possible, rescue breathing needs to be initiated in a possible drowning victim.