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Dry Drowning in Adults

Dry Drowning in Adults

Dry drowning occurs after the accumulation of water in the lungs. In most cases, it is observed that a majority of people suffering from it, are those who are suffering from lung or breathing problems, like asthma or underdeveloped lungs.
Palmira S
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Most of the time, dry drowning occurs 1-24 hours post swimming. It is better if you know beforehand that a person is prone to this condition so that you can provide him with appropriate medication. It occurs when a person's lungs are unable to extract the oxygen required for the proper functioning of the body. During dry drowning, a little amount of fluid is present in a person's lungs, which is in contrast to the belief that lots of fluid is present inside the lungs. In very rare cases, this condition has claimed some lives.
Causes
  • If the diaphragm is unable to create respiratory movements, dry drowning happens.
  • People who have had pneumonia in the past have high chances of being affected with this disease.
  • All those with lung trauma, like severe acute respiratory syndrome, are also at high risk.
  • Other possible causes are muscular paralysis, excess water reaching the lungs, prolonged exposure to lungs, and changes in the oxygen absorbing tissues.
Symptoms
  • The most obvious symptoms are constant coughing and shortness of breath. If the coughing continues for more than 20 to 30 minutes, it indicates that the water has reached the lungs.
  • Painful and shallow breathing is experienced. Difficulty in breathing, even after an hour, is a heavy indication of dry drowning in adults.
  • Another most commonly observed symptom is spitting water.
  • More than 20 respiration per second is also a sign.
  • Some people complain of pain in the chest.
  • Often, victims are observed to rub their eyes frequently, while appearing pale and extremely sweaty.
  • Sudden reduction in energy, extreme tiredness, and abrupt changes in the mood and mental status are observed.
Treating Dry Drowning
The most effective treatment is to increase the supply of oxygen to the lungs. Oxygen can be provided to the victim by means of ventilation. Make sure that you give this treatment to the victim as soon as possible, without any delay. It is better to take the victim to a doctor in order to avoid any kind of complications. Give the victim appropriate treatment so that his body temperature remains normal.
Adopting Preventive Measures
  • All those who cannot swim should not go for swimming alone.
  • People suffering from respiratory or lung problems should also be accompanied by someone so that in case of any problem, the victim can be helped.
  • Instances of dry drowning in adults are lesser as compared to infants. Hence, extra care should be taken of infants, like keeping an eye on them while they are swimming, or after they are out of the pool.
Dry drowning in adults can get serious in case proper treatment is not followed. In any case, prevention is always better than cure.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and not intended to replace the advice offered by a medical expert.