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Nonfatal Drowning

Reviewed 06/2020
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Respiratory impairment from submersion in liquid (1)

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

  • Synonym(s): submersion injury; terms such as “near-drowning,” “second...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

The Utstein approach provides a standardized template for evaluating drowning incidents and provides guidance for the history, physical exam, and appropriate management: 
  • Core data: (i...

TREATMENT

Early resuscitation and reversal of hypoxemia/acidosis are key. 

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Prehospital

    • Never approach a struggling victim alone.

    • Initiate basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiovascu...

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 JJ, Handley AJ, et al. Drowning. N Engl J Med.  2012;366(22):2102–2110.
2
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unintentional drowning: get the facts. http://w...

ADDITIONAL READING

Conover K, Romero S. Drowning prevention in pediatrics. Pediatr Ann.  2018;47(3):e112–e117. 

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

  • Water safety education (combining physical and behavioral techniques) has the greatest impact o...

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