When a person is drowning, the air passages close to prevent water from entering the lungs. This also prevents air from entering the lungs, thus depriving the victim of oxygen and eventually leading to unconsciousness and death. Usually, only if the victim has been unconscious in the water for some time do the lungs fill up with water. More commonly, the water goes into the stomach.
A secondary risk for the rescued person is that he or she may choke on vomit as water in the stomach forces the stomach contents upward. A near-drowning person also faces the risk of hypothermia. Children and young adults are at the greatest risk of drowning.
- Pale cool skin
- Weak or absent pulse
- Labored or absent breathing
- Slightly conscious or unconscious
- Bluish discoloration of the skin
- If needed treat for Hypothermia
- If needed treat for Shock
- If any neck or spinal injuries are suspected try not to move the person unless absolutely necessary. And call Emergency for an ambulance.