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Near Drowning & Other Injuries

The definition of near drowning is an initial survival following an immersion in liquid. Near drowning victims must have suffocated first and were subsequently resuscitated.

There are two possible scenarios associated with near drowning. The first is near drowning without aspiration. In this situation reflex laryngospasm prevents entry of water into the thorax. Treatment of these patients centers upon return of normal respiration. If normal respiration can be restored, these patients have an excellent chance of 100% recovery. Hyperbaric therapy in addition to oxygen administration may be utilized to reverse the cerebral and body ischemia.

The second clinical scenario is near drowning with aspiration. These patients have allowed what it passed through the vocal cords and into the alveolar space. This leads to an immediate hypoxic state with associated metabolic acidosis. Reason media changes also affect other organ systems including cardiovascular, renal and central nervous system. Frequently, the patient appears initially stable but then rapidly develops acute respiratory distress syndrome and subsequently a fulminating pneumonia. These patients require immediate hospitalization and application of antibiotics and corticosteroids as part of their care plan.

Diving is also associated with many other health risks and environmental hazards. From shark bites to jellyfish stings and coral cuts, the environmental hazards and direct contact with sea life can create emergency health problems and need for medical attention.

Reference: Merritt David. Mending The Bends. Best Publishing Flagstaff Az. 2002.

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Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Care
at Walnut Creek

216 N. Wiget Lane
Walnut Creek, California 94598

Phone: +1 (925) 357-8834
Fax: +1 (925) 357-8382

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