What is Secondary Drowning?

What is Secondary Drowning?

Can you drown on dry land?

Recently a man ‘drowned’ on dry land at the wheel of his car hours after capsizing while canoeing.

Recently Alan Gough, 57, swallowed water when his canoe overturned but he swam back to shore without a problem. A few hours later he collapsed and after a post-mortem it was found he had died of secondary drowning. See the article by Andy Dolan for the Daily Mail

What is Secondary Drowning? Secondary drowning caused by any partial drowning incident. Make sure someone who has swallowed water is observed and seeks medical attention after the event. This can happen in a swimming pool if someone has had a panic and has ingested some water.

Signs and Symptoms

Swallowing even small amount of water into your lungs is serious, children have been known to have died up to 24 hours after getting water into their system.

There are three important signs that parents and carers should look out for: difficulty breathing, extreme tiredness and changes in behaviour. All three symptoms result from the brain not getting enough oxygen because of water in the lungs.

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