What is Secondary Drowning?
Secondary drowning, also known as delayed drowning, is a rare but potentially deadly condition that can occur after inhaling water through the nose or mouth. Although it can happen in any type of water, including fresh water, salt water poses a higher risk due to its higher salt concentration.
What Happens During Secondary Drowning?
When water enters the lungs, it can cause inflammation and irritation, leading to a condition called pulmonary edema. This can make it difficult for the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, leading to hypoxia or low oxygen levels in the blood. Symptoms of secondary drowning may not appear immediately, but can develop anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours after the incident.
What are the Symptoms of Secondary Drowning?
Symptoms of secondary drowning can vary, but may include coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and confusion. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory failure and death.
How to Prevent Secondary Drowning
Preventing secondary drowning starts with taking precautions to prevent water from entering the lungs. This includes teaching children proper swimming techniques, ensuring they wear appropriate safety gear, and closely supervising them while they are in the water. If someone experiences a near drowning incident, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately, even if they appear to be fine.
What to Do if You Suspect Secondary Drowning
If you suspect someone may be experiencing secondary drowning, seek medical attention immediately. If they are unconscious, call for emergency medical services and begin CPR until help arrives. It’s important to remember that even if the person appears to be fine, they may still be at risk of developing secondary drowning.
Secondary Drowning in Salt Water
Salt water poses a higher risk for secondary drowning due to its higher salt concentration. When salt water enters the lungs, it can draw fluids from the body into the lungs, leading to pulmonary edema and other complications.
How to Stay Safe in Salt Water
To stay safe in salt water, it’s important to take precautions such as wearing appropriate safety gear, avoiding alcohol and drugs while swimming, and closely supervising children while they are in the water. If you experience any symptoms of secondary drowning after swimming in salt water, seek medical attention immediately.
Secondary drowning is a rare but potentially deadly condition that can occur after inhaling water through the nose or mouth. Salt water poses a higher risk due to its higher salt concentration. To prevent secondary drowning, take precautions such as teaching proper swimming techniques, ensuring appropriate safety gear, and closely supervising children. If you suspect someone may be experiencing secondary drowning, seek medical attention immediately.