Drowning and CPR
Learning how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on near-drowning victims can mean the difference between life and death. According to the National Institutes of Health, 6,000 to 8,000 people drown in the United States each year.
Do not put yourself in danger while trying to rescue a drowning victim, such as by entering dangerous water or walking on ice. Begin giving rescue breath as soon as possible if the person is no longer breathing and continue giving rescue breaths every few seconds. Remove any wet clothes and cover him with a blanket to ensure he stays warm. Keep the neck straight and seek medical help immediately.
While it is best to give CPR immediately, it’s always worth the effort. “It may be possible to revive a drowning person even after a long period under water, especially if the person is young and was in very cold water,” reports the National Institutes of Health.
Because a person who is about to drown typically cannot call for help, you must rely on other signs. Examples include someone swimming while clothed, indicating he has fallen into the water, and a swimmer using irregular movements in the water or whose body is no longer visible — both signs he is exhausted. Drowning causes include suicide attempts, blows to the head, walking on thin ice, drinking alcohol on a boat, inability to swim and leaving children unattended.