First Aid Responder Level 3 (VTQ)

213 videos, 11 hours and 50 minutes

Course Content

Cardiac Arrest and the Drowned Patient

Video 94 of 213
4 min 30 sec
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Cardiac Arrest in Drowned Patients: Understanding the Risks and Response

Understanding the Immediate Risks

When dealing with a drowned patient, it's crucial to grasp the immediate risks and physiological responses.

1. Panic and Physiological Response

Key Point: Submersion in water triggers panic, leading to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and rapid hypothermia.

  • Young adults are particularly vulnerable, especially in cold water, where rapid temperature loss can induce shock.
  • Due to panic and hypothermia, victims may sink initially, resurface later, and then sink again, complicating rescue efforts.

2. Temperature Changes and Mammalian Diving Reflex

Key Point: Cold water immersion causes rapid body temperature reduction, while the mammalian diving reflex may induce a temporary pause in physiological functions.

  • In colder climates like Canada, individuals have survived extended submersion due to the diving reflex.
  • Upon rescue, drowned patients are typically hypothermic and require immediate resuscitation.

3. Resuscitation and Safety Protocols

Key Point: Prompt resuscitation is crucial upon extraction from the water, prioritizing safety during rescue operations.

  • Rescuers must prioritize safety and utilize equipment like branches, ropes, and throwing hoops to avoid becoming casualties themselves.
  • Once on dry land or a stable surface, standard resuscitation protocols apply, but beware of complications like dry drowning and secondary drowning.

4. Complications: Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning

Key Point: Drowned patients face risks of delayed complications such as dry drowning and secondary drowning.

  • Secondary drowning, more common in children, can occur up to 24 hours after submersion due to water inhalation.
  • Dry drowning complications include vocal cord and airway swelling, obstructing airflow to the lungs.

Conclusion: Importance of Medical Attention

Effective resuscitation and immediate medical attention are critical for drowned patients, as delayed complications can have severe consequences. Seek medical assistance promptly to ensure comprehensive evaluation and treatment.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit two LO1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2 & 2.3