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Near-drowning is a common but out-of-date phrase for surviving a drowning event.
Drowning happens when a person is underwater and breathes water into the lungs. The airway (larynx) can spasm and close, or water can damage the lungs and keep them from taking in oxygen. In either case, the lungs can't supply oxygen to the body. This can be deadly.
Going without oxygen has a rapid effect on the body.
Right after a drowning, a person may:
Even a little water in the lungs can cause serious lung problems in the next hours or days. Emergency medical care is critical after a person survives a drowning.
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if a drowning victim has:
Call a doctor now if a recent drowning victim has new breathing problems or signs of a lung infection, such as:
Other Works Consulted
Christiani DC (2012). Physical and chemical injuries of the lung. In L Goldman, A Shafer, eds., Goldman's Cecil Medicine, 24th ed., vol. 3, pp. 574–581. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Shephard E, Quan L (2012). Drowning and submersion injury. In RM Kliegman et al., eds., Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 19th ed., pp. 341–348. Philadelphia: Saunders.
January 30, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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