During a vacation at sea you need to be ready to provide first aid to the drowning. Approximately in 15% of cases, drowning people are dying not due to the fact that the water floods the lungs, but as a result of mechanical asphyxia due to spasm in the throat. If you act quickly, they can help.

Dry Drowning or Wet Drowning?

During the genuine or wet, drowning lungs and trachea are full of water. The skin has a distinct bluish tint. The mouth and nose foam richly, due to the changes in the blood composition during drowning.

During the “dry” drowning there is not so much water in the lungs. A spasm of the throat slit does not allow water to penetrate into the bronchi and lungs, even if the person is in the water and unconscious. But all the water is in the stomach.

In the corners of the lips a foamy substance can be seen. In this case, a person can die not because of water, but because of the lack of air and cardiac arrest.

drowning Dry Drowning: First Aid First Aid
Hospital staff rushing a patient off to theatre in urgency

Most often, dry drowning happens with children and women, or those who are drowning in chlorinated pool water. Even if the victim lost consciousness, the heart beat cannot be heard, still there is some time for the person to be saved, if we act wisely.

First Aid

You should wipe the person’s mouth immediately from silt, slime, water slime, in a word, everything that can prevent to carry out artificial respiration.

The reflexively clenched jaw can be opened, if you press down hard on the angles of the jaw, where the upper and lower teeth converge.

It is better to provide first aid together: one person does chest compressions, and the second does mouth-to-mouth. You should tilt the victim’s head to open his mouth, pinch the nose with your fingers and breathe the air into his lungs: 12-16 breaths per minute.

Woman Giving Mouth to Mouth to a Young Boy drowning Dry Drowning: First Aid Dry Drowning
Woman Giving Mouth to Mouth to a Young Boy

Artificial respiration should be continued even after the person begins to breathe on his own until he recovers consciousness or until the skin is of normal color and breathing is normal again. In between breaths the other person does chest compressions.

When the activity of the heart is restored, place the victim on your hip and several times (but not too much, not to break the ribs) press on the lateral side of the chest sharply to release the water. Then again place the victim on his back.

Even if the person has not lost consciousness when drowning and after first aid feels good, he should still be taken to the hospital because of the risk of the development of pulmonary edema.