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What to do in case of drowning: 5 things to remember that save lives

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Have you ever wondered what to do in case of drowning? According to figures from the World Health Organization, each year 236,000 people are victims of drowning. This figure places aquatic accidents among the ten main causes of death in people between 1 and 24 years old. Among children ages 1 to 4, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death.

Knowing what to do in case of drowning is basic knowledge that everyone should have, especially if you live near the ocean, a river or lake, or if you have a swimming pool at home. For adults with children, the ideal is to respond quickly and apply first aid in the event of a possible drowning. Here’s everything you need to know!

1. Monitor breathing

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Experts say that, in case of drowning, the first thing to do is to verify that the person is conscious in order to bring a flotation device to them. With this, the first step will be taken to avoid generating more stress in the victim and it will be easier to provide help.

Once it has been verified that the person is conscious, or that they have lost consciousness, it should be verified whether they are breathing (getting as close as possible to their nose) or if they have a pulse, even if it is weak.

2. Call 911

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In cases of drowning, there’s stress and trauma for both the victim and for the people around them. On many occasions, the impact of the situation is so great that the people involved could forget to call 911 to request immediate help.

It is ideal to keep your composure and designate the tasks to people around you. if you are alone, remember to call 911 as quickly as possible, but always after you have removed the person from the water and placed them in a safe position.

3. Perform chest compressions on the person

A drowning person being helped by people
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If it has been verified that the drowning accident has resulted in loss of consciousness or breathing, the next step will be to carry out CPR techniques and chest compressions, in an attempt to revive the person.

Chest compressions should be performed at least thirty times in a row, pressing firmly right in the middle of the chest. For its part, CPR will help to assist the patient so that they start breathing again, and to achieve this, the person’s nose must be pressed shut and you have to breathe directly into their mouth five times.

4. Check that the person’s posture is safe

A drowning person being given chest compressions
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A step that must be taken with great care in all cases of drowning is to place the person in a safe position. Both adults and children should be placed on their backs with their heads slightly tilted back, carefully raising their chin.

This posture will help facilitate the necessary CPR attempts and help the person expel the accumulated water while waiting for the arrival of the emergency personnel, who usually carry specialized equipment and know how to proceed in the event of drowning to save people’s lives.

5. If you are the one who is drowning

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It is important to know what to do in case of drowning, especially if it is your life that is in danger. For this reason, specialists in similar cases recommend keeping your composure and getting rid of all the extra weight that could affect the person’s ability to float.

The next step will be to seek help through body movements and, if possible, with cries for help. If you experience fatigue, the ideal is to rest your head in the water, looking up at the sky and try to stay as calm as possible to avoid respiratory stress and thus take care of oxygen to continue asking for help or to swim to a safe place.

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