The term principle of drowning designates the clinical picture of a person who has inhaled water or other substances or fluids, but that is still alive and can be saved. Drowning occurs because the liquid prevents and obstructs the airway by a liquid, this is a typical situation which may occur at sea, lake, rivers or a pool. It is not necessary that the victim will find themselves immersed in water, the principle of drowning can occur even in reduced quantities of liquid, which is why it is important not to lose sight of children, in areas that contain pans and bathtubs, as well as in areas with inflatable pools. At least one third of survivors of near drowning, sustain moderate to severe neurological damage. Immediate threats include effects on the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Hence the most critical action has to be taken in the immediate management of the drowning victim, which includes prompt correction of hypoxemia and acidosis.

What are the symptoms associated with the principle of drowning?

The main signs and symptoms with the principle of drowning are:

  • Coughing, if the victim gives red or pink sputum, the situation is extremely serious.
  • Heavy chest pains.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Shortness of frequency of breath.
  • Cyanosis, or bluish discoloration of the skin, which is especially evident in the extremities, such as that of the fingers, the nose, and the ears.
  • Very rarely the subject can experience seizures.
  • In some particularly serious cases, there is a chance for the occurrence of loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest.

What to do in the event of the principle of drowning

  • In the event of a fundamental principle of drowning, it is extremely important to call an ambulance.
  • While waiting for help, it is also important to pull the victim out of the water.
  • Check for breathing.
  • Place your ear next to the person’s mouth and nose and check to see if you feel air coming out.
  • Look to see if the person’s chest is moving.
  • If the person is not breathing check their pulse, (press your finger against their wrist to see if they have a pulse for at least a minimum of 10 seconds).
  • If there is no pulse, carefully place the person on their back.
  • For an adult or child, place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest at the nipple line.
  • For an adult press down about 3 to 4 cm, and make sure not to press on the ribs
  • For an infant do the same but only to 2 cm.
  • Do 30 chest compressions, at a rate of 100 per minute or more, and make sure to let the chest rise completely in between the pushes.
  • Check to see if the person has started to breathe again.
  • These instructions are not meant to replace CPR training, and if you have CPR training, apply your knowledge to the subject who is in need.

What not to do in the event of the principle of drowning

You should not in any way try to empty the lungs of water as this may induce vomiting to the victim.


Disclaimer: the information in this article does not in any way replace the intervention or signs associated with this type of emergency, but rather only provides simple tips as how to keep the situation under control while waiting for a medical rescue team to arrive.