What Is Drowning

Drowning can be defined as the aspiration of liquid due to immersion or submersion of the victim.It is one of the main causes of death among young people in our country.In vacation months, cases of drowning are common, and this is one of the main causes of death among young people and adolescents. Each year, more than 7,000 deaths due to drowning are recorded in Brazil and about 150,000 worldwide.

→ What is drowning?

Drowning occurs when liquid is aspirated by immersing or submersing the victim. This aspiration causes fluid to enter the airways , which leads to difficulty or total impediment in obtaining atmospheric oxygen.

→ What are the main causes of drowning?

Drownings have the most diverse causes and are often related to risky behaviors, such as swimming in unknown places. We can classify drownings in two types: primary drowning and secondary drowning. In primary drowning, there is no illness or other serious problem that triggered the accident, being more related to disability. In secondary drownings, there is a relationship with pathologies and other incidents, such as drug use and suicide, for example.

The main causes of drowning are:

  • Lack of knowledge about the area where you are going to swim;

  • Lack of swimming skills;

  • Cramps;

  • Drug use, especially alcohol ;

  • Seizure crisis ;

  • Trauma caused by diving in shallow places;

  • Cardiovascular diseases .

→ How can drowning cause death?

As soon as a person begins to drown, it is common for him to despair and start a series of movements in order to grab hold of an object. Right after immersion, the person voluntarily holds his breath, avoiding the aspiration of water. Over time, this voluntary movement is no longer sustained and the person ends up inhaling water.

With a small number of people an involuntary reflex occurs that contracts the upper airways when a small amount of water enters the respiratory system. This contraction prevents the passage of water and the person dies of suffocation. Since water does not enter, it is said that drowning is of the dry type.

Although this type of reflex exists, most people end up doing involuntary breathing movements in order to obtain oxygen . These movements cause a great aspiration of water, which causes the loss of the surfactant, which guarantees the opening of the alveoli, the appearance of edema and changes in the permeability of capillaries. Over time, the whole lung is taken in water, respiratory arrest occurs and the person dies.

→ What to do to avoid drowning?

The best way to avoid drowning is to pay close attention. One should never challenge the strength of the waters. In addition, one must always keep in mind that unknown places can have currents that are difficult to overcome. It is also important not to use medications and alcoholic beverages before entering the water. With regard to children, there is little care. Remember to never leave a child unattended in the bathtub or any other place that has water.

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