Don't Underestimate the Long-Term Harmful Effects of Near Drowning

pool Every year the news is full of stories of individuals - most of them children - who have been saved from near drowning. These terrifying accidents arise when a victim almost dies from suffocating under water.

Although the individual may seem to recover and walk away from the incident, these near-drowning victims still need urgent medical attention to prevent health complications.

What is Near Drowning?

Near drowning occurs when a victim has been unable to breathe under water for a significant period of time. The person's body has no access to oxygen and major body systems begin to shut down. In young children this only takes a few seconds. Near drowning can occur in any depth of water, even an inch or two such as in a baby pool or a bathtub - or even a cooler.

Only immediate action and first aid can revive a person who has nearly drowned to prevent death.

Most near drowning cases occur near or in the water. Common causes include:

  • Inability to swim.
  • Panicking.
  • Leaving babies unattended in bathtubs - even for just a few seconds.
  • Leaving children unattended in or around bodies of water.
  • Drinking alcohol while swimming or boating.
  • Medical emergency in water such as a seizure, heart attack or concussion.

Someone who has nearly drowned may be unresponsive but not always. The victim may have bluish or cold skin, chest pain, cough, shallow breath, abdominal swelling, lethargy, shortness of breath or may be vomiting.

Near Drowning Survivors may Have Serious Brain Damage

Even if a near drowning victim is successfully revived, the interruption of oxygen to the brain may have enough to cause severe brain damage.

  • Brain hypoxia is the name for a condition where the brain isn't getting enough oxygen. In near drowning accidents, a victim may suffer memory loss and have poor judgment and motor coordination. If the oxygen has been cut off for more than 5 minutes, the brain's neurons begin to die and coma or even death may result.
  • Brain ischemia is another condition that results when the blood flow to the brain is insufficient. Full recovery is possible if the oxygen supply was disrupted only briefly. Brain injury from prolonged ischemia can include swelling or seizures and can also lead to coma or death when severe.
Let Us Know if You Have Been Injured in a Swimming Accident

If you or a family member has been injured in a swimming accident or near drowning accident, or any type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.