About 15% of drownings are dry, that is, due to a severe spasm of the larynx there is no aspiration of water to the lungs. The remaining drownings, regardless of whether they happen in fresh or salt water, cause the destruction of the surfactant of the alveolar wall, injuring and leading to the collapse of the alveolos, which lose the ability to make gas exchanges with blood.
A pulmonary aggression, such as the introduction of water, can also cause pulmonary edema, that is, the release of fluid within the lungs.
Drowning is usually the ultimate mechanism of death in most diving accidents.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Chest pains.
- Seasickness and vomiting.
- Difficulty breathing, cough and mucosal sputum.
- Blue skin coloration (cyanosis).
- Loss of consciousness.
- Respiratory and/or cardiac arrest.
The first priority in the recovery and rescue of this accident is, eventually, ventilation with expired air still inside the water. In the event that respiratory arrest is immediately stopped upon arrival on the surface, the victim must be assisted immediately with artificial ventilation, which must be carried out during the trailer until arrival at a safe place (vessel or land).
Once in a safer place, the rescuer should apply basic life support techniques, always concerned with keeping the victim in a horizontal position.
A rugged diver who exhibits symptoms of drowning needs very high levels of oxygen to combat the harmful effects of hypoxia. Therefore, if possible, 100% oxygen should be administered immediately with a 15l/min (CMAS Oxygen Administration) Specialty Course. Oxygen should continue to be administered during artificial ventilation or pulmonary cardio cPR (CPR) if these procedures are necessary.
Once recovered, the pre-drowning victim should be transported immediately to the nearest medical care unit to prevent pulmonary complications resulting from the accident.