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Drowning and Near Drowning 

Drowning and Near Drowning
Chapter:
Drowning and Near Drowning
Author(s):

Alison M. Jeziorski

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190226459.003.0081
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date: 27 February 2020

Drowning and near drowning are submersion injuries that are the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States and the second leading cause of unintentional death in children under 14 years old. The lungs are the primary organ affected by a submersion event, however the resulting hypoxemia allows for a cascade of organ involvement. Several factors have been identified in determining survival and neurologic recovery, including submersion duration, temperature of water, initiation of bystander resuscitation, and initial neurologic exam. Treatment can be viewed as two-tiered: out-of-hospital and in-hospital resuscitation. Often, after a period of stabilization, patients may have a change in clinical status requiring escalation of care, therefore it is important to be mindful of even minor status changes. The importance of water safety and education of parents, children, and adolescents may decrease the likelihood of submersion injuries in the future.

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