Drowning prevention and drowning patient assessment and treatment is a topic that is highly interesting to me. As a former lifeguard and now a parent of two young children that are learning to swim I am always mindful of prevention. In the past week I have come across several excellent resources about drowning. I was stunned to learn that three children a day die from drowning in the United States. An entirely preventable problem is killing three kids a day – unbelievable.
As EMS professionals we have an obligation to not only respond to emergencies, but to prevent emergencies. Understanding the scope and breadth of the problem is an important part of prevention. Learn more from these three resources:
1. Preventing Summer Drowning at EMS1.com. I had never heard of the Orowski Score for estimating the likelihood of neurologically intact survival until reading this article.
2. Drowning Risk More Acute for Minorities podcast from NPR Talk of the Nation. You can read the transcript or listen to the show. Most interesting to me was the dismissal of the concept of a “Dry Drowning.” Water is aspirated by drowning victims more than 98% of the time.
3. Giving Kids a Lifeline at SportsIllustrated.com tells the same story as the podcast but from the viewpoint of 2008 Swimming Gold Medalist Cullen Jones. The article describes the important prevention efforts to increase the swimming skills of minority children.
Have you responded to a child drowning call? What happened?
How can EMS professionals prevent drownings in their service area?