Accidents happen at the most unexpected time. One of the scariest accidents that could happen is drowning, particularly if the person isn’t well adept at swimming.
Though some people are well-trained in swimming, there can be some instances that even the best swimmer can die from water accidents.
The risk is real.
In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 360,000 people had died from drowning in 2015 alone, making it a major cause of death across the globe. The injuries from drowning accounted for about 9 percent of the total global deaths or mortality.
Also, it’s considered the third leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for 7 percent of all accident-related deaths. If someone has drowned, it is vital to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in order to save his or her life.
Here’s how to properly perform CPR on a person who has drowned.
1. Get the drowning person out of the water.
If you or someone is in danger, go out of the water or get a drowning patient out of the water. Put the patient on their side to drain the excess water. This is called the recovery position.
2. Check for response and call for help.
It is important for you to check the person’s response by calling his or her name. When the patient has no response, notify a lifeguard if one is close. If not, send for help or call the emergency hotline. On the other hand, if the patient responds, assess the airways and allow him to cough in a recovery position.
3. Check airways and breathing.
If the patient is unresponsive and while waiting for help to arrive, clear the mouth and check the breathing. Put your ear next to the person’s mouth and nose. Feel for air in your check and if the chest is moving up and down.
If the person is not breathing, check for pulse for ten seconds.
4. If the patient has no signs of breathing and pulse, start CPR.
For adults and children, put one hand on the center of the chest. This is the area in between the nipples. Put one hand on the other and perform chest compressions. Press down at least two inches and 1 and 1/2 inches for infants. Make sure you do not press on the ribs.
Just perform 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute. Make sure the chest will rise completely between pushes. Look for signs of breathing and if the patient is already breathing, place him in the recovery position and wait for help to arrive.
If the patient is still not breathing, pinch the nose of the victim and cover his mouth with yours to make an airtight seal.
5. Give two rescue breaths as you watch the chest to rise.
Studies have shown that giving breaths and compressions to an unresponsive drowned patient will help push air into the lungs, helping oxygen to reach the different parts of the body as the person cannot breathe in his own. This helps prevent brain damage due to hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the brain.
If you encountered a victim of drowning, do not hesitate to help. However, this does not replace the proper training provided by the Red Cross and the American Heart Association (AHA). It is still better to enroll in training classes and save lives.
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