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Drowning is severe oxygen deprivation (suffocation) caused by submersion in water.

Lack of oxygen in the blood may lead to brain damage and death.

What are the symptoms of drowning?

Symptoms may vary according to the severity and include :

  • Cough.
  • Gasping for breath.
  • Vomiting.
  • Wheezing.
  • Blue skin.
  • Unconscious.

What are the complications of drowning?

Drowning may lead to :

  • Lung infection.
  • Permanent brain damage.

What should I do to help the victim?

  • Assess danger.
  • Assess the patient’s conscious level.
  • Call for help.
  • Check the airway, breathing and pulse.
  • Remove foreign body in the mouth.
  • Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if victim is not breathing.
  • Seek medical help.

How to prevent drowning and near drowning?

Among the measures to prevent drowning or near drowning are :

  • Learn how to swim.
  • Do not swim alone (especially children).
  • Wear life jackets when in boats and while doing water activities.
  • Put up fences around the swimming pools to prevent children from drowning.
  • Life guard available all the time at high risk area.
Last Reviewed : 23 August 2019
Writer : Dr. Muhammad Fadhli Mohd Yusoff
    Dr. Ahmad Tajuddin Mohamad Nor
Reviewer : Dr. Mohamad Hamim b. Mohamad Hanifah