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Three Types of Drowning Scenarios

June 3, 2014

Approximately four thousand families will lose someone precious to drowning this year. Every drowning circumstance can be different, but the prevention is always the same.

  1. Learn how to swim.
  2. Set up barriers around water hazards.
  3. Provide uninterrupted visual supervision of children in and around water.
  4. Learn CPR.

Below is an explanation of the three types of drowning scenarios.

1. Wet Drowning

Cause

Caused by four or more ounces of water in the lungs. The water in the lungs prevents oxygen from getting to the bloodstream and eventually the heart stops.

Symptoms

Loss of Consciousness

Response

 

2. Dry Drowning (occurs in less than 10% of drowning victims)

Cause

Caused by larynx (voice box) spasms, which will shut off the airway to the lungs. The prevention of air getting to the lungs results in lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, which will eventually cause the heart to stop.

Symptoms

Loss of Consciousness

Response

 

3. Delayed Drowning (secondary drowning)

Cause

Caused by less than four ounces of water in the lungs. The body reacts to this small amount of water in the lungs by creating even more fluids in the lungs, which prevents oxygen from getting to the bloodstream and eventually the heart stops.

Symptoms

Loss of Consciousness

Response