Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • respiratory impairment
  • evidence of submersion or immersion

Risk factors

  • age (0-4 years)
  • male gender
  • alcohol or drug intake
  • swimming alone/diving
  • lack of awareness of water hazard risks
  • lack of swimming ability
  • cardiac disease
  • seizure disorder

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • pulse oximetry/arterial blood gases
  • chest radiography
  • basic metabolic panel
Full details

Investigations to consider

  • cervical spine CT
  • creatine kinase
  • serum alcohol and urine drugs of abuse
  • ECG
  • serum cardiac biomarkers
  • anticonvulsant medication levels
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Diretor Médico da Sobrasa

Ten Cel BM Médico RR - Corpo de Bombeiros Militar do Rio de Janeiro

Defesa Civil Municipal do Rio de Janeiro

Membro Fundador - International Drowning Research Alliance - IDRA

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil

Disclosures

DS is an author of several references cited in this topic.

Executive Director: Lifeguards Without Borders

Medical Director: International Surf Lifesaving Association

Medical Director: Starfish Aquatics Institute

Medical Director: Innovative Attraction Management Starguard Elite

Board of Directors: Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation

Staff: Global Outreach Doctors

Jacksonville Beach

FL

Disclosures

JS has acted as a paid medical expert for cases related to emergency medicine and drowning. JS has accepted honoraria of up $1000 to speak at aquatics or EMS conferences on the topic of drowning resuscitation; however, he has engaged in no product endorsement and received no honoraria from device/pharma makers.

Assistant Professor

Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Florida College of Medicine - Jacksonville

Medical Director

Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue

Deputy Medical Director

Trauma One

Jacksonville

FL

Disclosures

AS declares that he has no competing interests.

Dr David Szpilman, Dr Justin Sempsrott, and Dr Andrew Schmidt would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Bhakti K. Patel and Dr D. Kyle Hogarth, previous contributors to this topic. BKP and DKL declare that they have no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Department of Medicine

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Charlottesville

VA

Disclosures

AGV declares that he has no competing interests.

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