4. First Aid for Drowning


Today we'll analyze the first aid action for drowning. Anyone can find themselves in the role of a drowning person, even an experienced swimmer who for example has a cramp, or any other unforeseen situation in the water. Rescue and first aid only in films looks beautiful and simple. In real life, a lifeguard is often in serious risk. There are frequent cases when this result is a sad outcome for both. You need to be prepared for any surprises including the fact that you cannot help a person. Unfortunately, this also happens.

What is drowning? It is a death caused by fluid inhaled into the respiratory tract, which reflects cardiac arrest in cold water, or response from the glottis which results in a decrease of gas exchange in the lungs. Suppose an accident happens in the water, and you need to provide first aid to the victim. In that case, the main rule is not to waste time, call for help, and perform the following actions:

Completely assess the situation and your strength. Always remember that during the rescue, the rescuer safety is a priority. When removing the victim from the water, make sure that nothing is threatening you. The main rule is not to swim towards the person with the person in front. In a panic, a drowning man interferes not only with himself, but also with the saver. If you swim in front, he will most likely grab you by the hands, by the hair, by the neck, and drag you under the water with him. Therefore, you always need to swim up only from behind. Then with one hand, grab the victim under their armpits, and slowly swim to the shore. You must hold the victim very tightly and not give him a chance to grab your neck, arms, and face. You can swim on your back for convenience and hold a person tightly, clutch into yourself with one hand. However, this way is only suitable for those who swim well.

When you manage to pull the person ashore, lay him on his back, evaluate his consciousness. Loudly ask in both ears, can you hear me? If the victim responds, move him to a stable lateral position. Regularly evaluate his condition, breathing & consciousness, and call an ambulance. You should contact an ambulance in any case, even if the victim is conscious and feels good. The brain suffers badly without oxygen, so refusal from medical care can lead to severe consequences including death. If the victim does not respond, then check the breathing. To do this, ensure airway patency by tilting the head and lifting the chin, examine the oral cavity for the presence of foreign bodies; it can be sand, seaweed, algae. It is necessary to clean the oral cavity by making circular movements with the index finger, if there are any. More foreign objects will be removed if you use some tissue to pre-wrap the finger.

Bring your ear to the victim lips, and observe the chest movement. Assess the presence of normal breathing for 10 seconds. If there is no consciousness and breathing, perform five artificial breaths, and immediately start CPR. You need to begin your assistance this way, because cardiac arrest is associated with a lack of oxygen in your blood & can reflectively start the heart. To do this, tilt the victim's head releasing the airways and take five breaths, then open the chest and continue the resuscitation at a ratio of 30 to 2, until there are signs of recovery or an ambulance comes. If the lifeguard is alone, call an ambulance after one minute. Suppose the victim has recovered cardiac activity and breathing, in that case, you must move him to a stable lateral position, controlling breathing and consciousness.

There is also a chance of reflex vomiting, so make sure the victim is not choked with his vomit. Warm the victim if possible, and monitor his condition before the ambulance arrives. If there is an AED, then the first aid is the same that was shown in previous videos. But before using the defibrillator, don't forget to drain the chest of the victim quickly. He should also not lie on a wet surface, and have wet clothes on his body to prevent electricity burn.

To sum up, you have learned how to act in the case of drowning, and know the principles of first aid.

Post your comment
Required for comment verification