Nonfatal Drowning

Joseph L. Steele, APA-C and Natasha J. Pyzocha, DO, FAWM Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Drowning defined as respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid (1)

  • System(s) affected: cardiovascular, nervous, pulmonary, renal

  • Synonym(s): submersion injury; terms su...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

The Utstein approach to the evaluation of drowning victims standardizes reporting data and provides guidance for the history, physical exam, and appropriate management. 
  • Gender, age, b...

TREATMENT

Early resuscitation and reversal of hypoxemia optimizes outcome. 

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Prehospital

    • Never approach a struggling victim alone.

    • Initial basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiovas...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Appropriate follow-up with primary care provider, orthopedic, neurologic, cardiac, pulmonary, and additional specialists as indicated 

Patient Monitoring

  • ABG monito...

REFERENCES

1 Szpilman D, Bierens J, Handley AJ, et al. Drowning. N Engl J Med.  2012;362(22):2102–2110.  [View Abstract]
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unintentional drowning: ge...

CODES

ICD10

  • T75.1XXA Unsp effects of drowning and nonfatal submersion, init

  • T75.1XXD Unsp effects of drowning and nonfatal submersion, subs

  • T75.1XXS Unsp effects of drowning and nonfatal submersion, sequ...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • The single most important treatment for near-drowning victims is prompt reversal of any hypoxia.

  • Water safety education combining physical and behavioral techniques has the greatest eff...

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