Drowning is defined as when someone has difficulty breathing because their nose and mouth are submerged in a liquid.
When someone is drowning, they may go unnoticed sometimes, even if people are close by.
If you notice someone to be drowning, Get help immediately.
- Notify a lifeguard, if one is close. If not, ask someone to call for medical help immediately. Do not waste any time.
- If you are alone, follow the steps below, however, the rescuer must always be aware of his/her personal safety first.
First, take the victim out of the water.
After getting or dragging the victim to dry land, check for breathing by looking for chest movements. Listen by putting your ear next to the patient’s mouth and nose. Check the person’s pulse for 10 seconds. If none, perform CPR immediately (only if you have been trained on how to do so), and do not stop until the arrival of medical personnel or the person starts breathing.
If the casualty shows signs of becoming responsive such as coughing, opening eyes, and breathing normally, place them in the recovery position which is rolling the victim onto their left side. This allows gravity to help their tongue flop forward rather than backward, which could block their airways. Cover the victim with warm clothes or blankets, or change the wet clothes with dry ones.
The most important part of the treatment of a drowning victim is the immediate provision of ventilation. Prompt initiation of rescue breathing increases the victim’s chance of survival.
Preventive measures can reduce the incidence of drowning, and immediate, high-quality bystander CPR can improve the survival rate. Victims who have spontaneous circulation and breathing when they reach the hospital usually recover with a good outcome.
NEVER attempt a direct rescue of a conscious drowning victim without proper training!