Drowning is a death from hypoxia (acute oxygen starvation), which occurs as a result of closing the respiratory tract with a liquid, most often water.
When a person sinks, water enters the upper respiratory tract and expels air. Therefore, first of all, there is a so-called laryngospasm (spasm of vocal folds) - the path to the trachea closes, while respiration stops. Such flooding is called "dry". A person can be drowned in another way ("true" or aspirational flooding). If the victim has been in the water for too long and a significant amount of fluid has entered the respiratory tract, then oxygen starvation occurs, as a result, the vital reflex of stopping breathing does not work, the drowning person begins to "inhale" the water that enters the lungs. Without providing first aid for drowning, the victim may die before the arrival of rescuers.
When a person drowns, an anxiety reaction arises. This reaction is directed to the mobilization of internal resources of the body in emergency conditions: the pulse slows down, the arteries contract. Blood, saturated with oxygen, is sent to the heart and brain. The need for tissues in oxygen decreases. This allows you to remain viable longer in cold water.
Types of drowning
If more than 1 liter of water enters the human body, various impairments of the body functions, depending on the type of water. If it is fresh water, it penetrates into the blood. As a result, the composition of blood changes, especially the amount of salt and protein. As a result, there is a trembling of the ventricles of the heart, a "rupture" of erythrocytes begins. If the sea water is collected in the lungs, the blood plasma enters the alveoli of the lungs and accumulates there, causing pulmonary edema. All these phenomena are extremely dangerous for human life.
There are three types of drowning:
- Drowning in fresh water - with aspiration of fresh water, there is a pronounced violation of electrolyte balance, an increase in blood volume, hemolysis leading to asphyxia, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest. Also hyponatremia may develop (lack of sodium in the blood).
- Drowning in salt water - in sea water a high concentration of salts, with aspiration of sea water there is an increase in the content of sodium and chlorine in the plasma. In the body, too much water accumulates, the edema of the lungs develops. Disruption of the supply of oxygen to the body, which leads to cardiac arrest and death.
- Dry (false) drowning - due to water entering the nose and pharynx, reflex paralysis of respiration occurs (sometimes spasms of the pharynx are also noted). In this case, a small amount of water enters the lungs, but the cessation of breathing causes a cardiac arrest.
First aid for drowning
During drowning, death does not come immediately, but only after a while. Therefore, it is often possible to save a victim by providing him with first aid. You can save and the victim, long stayed in cold water. This is possible because during a person's stay in cold water all the vital functions of the body are suppressed and the tissues require less oxygen than under normal conditions. Emergency care begins with resuscitation and oxygen therapy.
First-aid measures for drowning - artificial respiration, maintenance of vital functions, call for emergency medical care. Arriving at the scene the doctor will make artificial ventilation of the lungs. If resuscitative measures are effective, and the vital functions of the victim are restored, he is hospitalized in the intensive care unit. If necessary, the hospital also takes measures to ensure airway patency. Treatment of the injured is complex, in different cases different methods of treatment are used. The tactics of treatment depend on the degree of organ damage. Due to the fact that, as a rule, victims experience shock, one of the methods of treatment is the help of a psychologist.
Even if the drowning man was saved, and thanks to the resuscitative measures he regained consciousness, there is the possibility of developing a shock, so the injured person must be taken to the doctor.
How to help yourself?
If you are drowning, do not panic. It is necessary to call for help, but not all the time, as the forces and the supply of air quickly exhausted. In addition, it is recommended to breathe calmly, at times to hold your breath.
The main task of the person who provides first aid for drowning is to get the victim out of the water and call for emergency medical care. It is recommended to act as follows:
- Seeing that the person is drowning, it is necessary to take care that emergency medical care is called.
- Then you should immediately assess your abilities: will the forces reach the victim and pull the person ashore. If in doubt, then do not rush into the water, so you do not have to save yourself later.
- When saving a drowning man, one can not jump at once into an unfamiliar pond. The rescuer should not risk his life. It is necessary to enter the water slowly. If misfortune has occurred on the river, try to hold on to a rope or a long branch, the end of which will be in the hands of your assistant on the shore. Try to determine in advance where it is better to pull the victim ashore.
- It is necessary to remember where the dangerous current is, to determine the place where you can catch or where to take the victim to the shore.
- If drowning in consciousness, then swim, you need to try to calm him down, keeping distance, because panic-stricken person can pull to the bottom and the rescuer himself.
- The drowning man must be seized in the "sea" way and beware that he does not cling to the rescuer with his hands and feet and does not bind his movements. The drowning also needs to show which way you intend to sail.
- If there is a stop of breathing, several times it is necessary to inhale air drowning even in the water (of course, if it is shallow and you can get up).
- If the victim still breathes, and his heart beats, then, not paying attention in consciousness or not, he is laid on his side. Otherwise, the victim must be laid on his back and begin to bring to life.
- If a person has been in water for a long time, there is a danger of hypothermia. Therefore, put the victim in warm clothes and wrap them in a blanket.
Prevention of drowning
- Do not dive into water if you do not know how to swim or are afraid of water.
- Swim away only if you are a good swimmer.
- Care must be taken when swimming in unfamiliar waters.
- Do not dive head first. Due to a strong blow to the head, a loss of consciousness is possible. The consequence of this may be transverse paralysis.
- When riding a boat, it is recommended to wear a life jacket.