Near-Drowning: Pathophysiology and Treatment.
Medical research progress rept. no. 1,
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
Pagination or Media Count:
Drowning, by definition, is death from acute asphyxia while submerged, whether or not the liquid has entered the lungs. The term near-drowning has been applied by Modell to those individuals who survive submersion. Near-drowning victims may or may not aspirate fluid into their lungs. These patients may survive a near-drowning episode, but may die some hours or days later. Noble and Sharpe have described a sequence of events that occurs in drowning victims. Initially the subject struggles violently and apnea or breath-holding occurs. The individual swallows large quantities of fluid. This, in turn, leads to vomiting, which is followed by gasping and the aspiration of fluid. The incidence reported for drowning and near-drowning without aspiration varies between 10 and 20 percent. It is thought that in these subjects there is severe reflex glottic spasm leading to asphyxia. Nonetheless, most near-drowning patients do aspirate water, and along with it, diatoms, sand, and other impurities such as chlorine, which irritate the lung.
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