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Near-Drowning Injuries

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What are near-drowning injuries?

Near-drowning injuries occur when a person has been unable to breathe after being under water. Liquid enters the lungs and prevents the person from getting enough oxygen. Alcohol or drug use while boating or swimming increase the risk of a near-drowning injury. Medical problems such as seizures, muscle cramps, or hypoglycemia while swimming may also increase risk.

What are the signs and symptoms of near-drowning injuries?

What health problems can near-drowning injuries cause?

How are near-drowning injuries diagnosed?

The healthcare provider will do a physical exam. The provider will also ask how the near-drowning injury happened and how long the person was under water. The following tests may also be done:

How are near-drowning injuries treated?

Lay person cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) must be done as soon as possible. CPR is used when a person stops breathing and his or her heart has stopped beating. Lay person refers to anyone who is not a trained healthcare worker. After CPR has been done, the person must be taken to an emergency department. The person may also need any of the following:

How can near-drowning injuries be prevented?

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