Signs of Drowning | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Feb 23, 2018
Health Equity

The Importance of Recognizing Signs of Drowning

As a prominent healthcare provider in the Louisville, Ky. area, Norton Community Medical Associates understands the significance of water safety. Drowning is a serious concern, and it's crucial to be able to recognize the signs of drowning to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones.

Understanding the Warning Signs

Drowning is often misunderstood as a loud, dramatic event portrayed in movies, but the reality is quite different. It's important to note that drowning can occur silently, without any splashing or screaming for help. By familiarizing yourself with the signs, you can act quickly and potentially save lives.

Here are some common signs of drowning:

  • Head tilted back: A drowning person will typically keep their head tilted back, trying to keep their mouth above water level to breathe.
  • Gasping for air: The individual may exhibit desperate gasping or hyperventilating as they struggle to breathe.
  • Unable to call for help: The person won't be able to shout or call for assistance due to the inability to get a proper breath.
  • Quiet: Drowning victims are often unable to shout or wave for help, as their energy is focused on keeping their mouth above the water's surface.
  • Bobbing up and down: The individual might bob vertically in the water, with their head going under and coming back up repeatedly.
  • Glassy or empty eyes: Drowning victims might display eyes that appear lifeless, with a blank stare or inability to focus.
  • Pale or blue skin color: Due to poor oxygen circulation, a person struggling to stay afloat may develop a pale or bluish skin tone.
  • Uncontrolled movements: Drowning individuals may exhibit uncoordinated movements, including flailing arms or a weak doggy paddle.
  • Sudden quiet: Witnesses have often observed that drowning victims suddenly stop struggling and become silent.

Reaction and Prevention

If you suspect someone is drowning, it's crucial to act immediately to save their life. Remember, seconds matter in preventing irreversible damage or a tragic outcome. Here's what you can do:

  1. Call for help: Dial emergency services or shout for assistance to ensure professional help arrives quickly.
  2. Reach or throw, don't go: Avoid entering the water if you don't have proper training. Instead, reach out with a long object or throw a buoy or rope to the drowning person.
  3. Support their head: Keep the victim's head above water level to help them breathe.
  4. Provide reassurance: Offer comfort and encouragement to help calm the individual during the rescue process.
  5. Seek medical attention: Once the person is out of danger, it's important to seek medical evaluation to ensure they didn't experience any complications from the incident.

Education and Awareness

Norton Community Medical Associates is committed to promoting water safety education and awareness throughout the Louisville, Ky. community. Our team of experts encourages you to learn CPR and first aid techniques to be better prepared in case of emergencies. Additionally, always remember to supervise children around water and ensure proper barriers are in place for residential pools or other potential water hazards.

By understanding the signs of drowning and taking proactive measures to prevent accidents, we can help create a safer environment for all.