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Drowning Can Occur Hours After Swimming
Know the signs of dry and secondary drowning, expert cautions

By Robert Preidt

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- While it happens rarely, a person can drown on dry land hours after having been in the water.

There are two types of such drowning, dry drowning and secondary drowning, explained Dr. Jessica Lanerie, an associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine.

"These are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are very different," she said in a school news release.

"Dry drowning typically happens minutes after submersion, when water reaches the vocal cords and causes them to spasm, which blocks off the airway. Secondary drowning is what we have been seeing a lot more in the news, and that happens within 24 hours after leaving the water," she added.

In secondary drowning, water gets into the lungs and remains there for several hours, triggering inflammation that can lead to blockage of the lower airways and difficulty breathing.

Secondary drowning is extremely rare, and is more common in children than adults. Signs of secondary drowning in someone who was been submerged or accidentally swallowed water include: fast breathing; trouble breathing; vomiting; lethargy; exhaustion, lack of energy; frequent urge to sleep; and a lack of desire to eat or drink.

"The big keys to identifying secondary drowning are looking for respiratory troubles," Lanerie said. "If your child is vomiting, has difficulty breathing and is sleeping or is struggling to stay awake, then seek emergency care. On the other hand, it's common for children to get sick, so if it's just a cough, then you may just need to call your health care provider to schedule an appointment."

A child who had a near-drowning experience should be taken to an emergency department and monitored to ensure there is no lung damage, Lanerie said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers drowning prevention tips.

SOURCE: Texas A&M College of Medicine, news release, July 21, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=724911

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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