If you know someone who drowned or nearly drowned, what type of emergency treatment was used?
Share your story with others:
MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.
How is drowning treated?
Treatment begins at the water's edge. The American Heart Association
recommends that if possible, one person is sent to activate Emergency Medical
Services and call 911. Another is sent to bring an
defibrillator (AED) to the victim's side.
If no pulse can be identified and the patient is not breathing, CPR should be
started. Drowning is one of the special situations where hands-only CPR is NOT
indicated. If there is a potential for a neck injury, special care needs to be
taken to prevent further injury to the victim by keeping the neck and body in
If the patient is breathing but not awake, they should be placed on their
side in the rescue position to prevent aspiration if vomiting should occur.
Further treatment by EMTs, paramedics, and staff at the hospital will depend
upon the severity of the symptoms. Those patients who have no symptoms may
require nothing more than observation.
Those who are in cardiopulmonary arrest will likely undergo CPR with attempts
to restore a regular heart rhythm and heart-beat.
Those patients who have symptoms related to the function of their heart,
lung, or brain will need further evaluation and treatment tailored to their
specific circumstances and situation.
And unfortunately, for those who are found dead with no potential for
resuscitation, further treatment or
evaluation may not be indicated.