Monday, June 30, 2008

Dry Drowning .. I had never heard of this before ...

I just read a story about a 10 year old boy who died of "dry drowning." I have never heard of this before. We all know water is a hazard, but I didn't know somewhat could die hours after a water incident on dry land. The statistics vary, but somewhere between 15-20% of individuals who drown have what is called dry drowning. This is specifically a laryngospasm in response to water just starting to be taken into the lungs. It is a natural physiological mechanism for the larynx to spasm, stopping the water from entering the lungs. There is no evidence at this time to suggest that these individuals, since they do not have water in their lungs, would be better off treatment-wise, than others who do have water in their lungs, contrary to popular opinion. Treatment for these individuals remains the same as in a drowning incident, to get oxygenation to their lungs to get them to start breathing again. In a nutshell, It's basiclly a delayed reaction to aspirating a large amount of water while swimming.

Anyone else ever heard of this?