Drowning: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:40 by admin
Drowning may occur when someone is submerged in water, thus losing access to oxygen. Without such oxygen, a drowning victim quickly loses consciousness and eventually dies. This is the most common form of drowning, a "wet" drowning.

"Dry" drownings occur when an individual is submerged in very cold water. The cold causes the larynx to spasm, closing the airway inlet into the throat and thus cutting off the oxygen supply. However, people who lose consciousness in cold water may survive as the cold causes the body's activities to slow dramatically, reducing the need for oxygen. Statistics show that there is a 75% survival rate for drowning victims rescued while in a hypothermic coma.

The opposite is true for warm water. It speeds up the metabolic processes of the body and increases the need for oxygen. Warm-water drownings can be lethal in just minutes. The majority of these deaths occur in bathtubs.

Over 6,000 drowning deaths occur in the United States each year.

See Also

  1. Lung & Airway Disorders
  2. Baby Cribs, Car Seats & Carriers
  3. Hot Tubs & Spas: Overview
  4. Parasailing: Overview
  5. Pool Accidents
  6. Swimming Pool Drains
  7. Water Parks & Slides: Overview
  Name Size