Man’s Life Saved by CPR Following Near-Drowning Accident
Because of the Arizona heat, many residents have swimming pools and take trips to the lake to try to cool off. While swimming is a fun and enjoyable activity, some people are killed in drowning accidents each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an average of 3,960 people in the U.S. died in drowning accidents each year between 2005 and 2019. In Arizona, the rate of drowning accidents was 1.42 per 100,000 residents, which was substantially higher than the overall U.S. rate of 1.26 per 100,000.
Because of the risk of drowning, people need to take precautionary measures so that they can react quickly when someone is in danger. As a recent story from Cape Cod, Massachusetts illustrates, knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can make the difference between whether someone might live or die.
Near-Drowning Victim Saved
According to Cape Cod news reports, a victim of a near-drowning incident in Falmouth, Massachusetts was saved when a bystander performed CPR. The incident happened on June 11, 2022, when the man went swimming at Menhaunant Beach. Around 3 pm, someone who was present called 911 to report the man was drowning, summoning fire department officials. When the fire officials arrived, the bystanders who were present had pulled the man from the water and were performing CPR.
A spokesperson with the fire department said that CPR saved the man’s life. He was taken to an area hospital in Falmouth by medical flight. If the bystanders had not known how to perform CPR, the man likely would have died.
Importance of Knowing CPR
CPR is a life-saving measure that can save someone’s life. If you are CPR certified, it means that you know how to properly perform CPR on someone else, which could mean the difference between life or death when someone is in medical distress from a near-drowning incident or cardiac arrest.
Performing CPR is critical when someone stops breathing or their heart stops beating. The rapid chest compressions performed in CPR help to keep the victim’s blood flowing to the brain by mimicking the heartbeat. This can keep a victim alive until emergency responders arrive and take over.
When someone is involved in a near-drowning accident, they can suffer asphyxial cardiac arrest. This is a cardiac arrest that is caused by asphyxia due to the lack of oxygen in the blood when a victim’s breathing is disrupted through drowning or another accident that prevents a victim from breathing.
A victim of a near-drowning incident might be saved when CPR is performed. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), CPR can double or triple a victim’s chances of survival when the procedure is promptly performed.
Learning CPR and becoming certified can give you the skills, confidence, and knowledge needed to remain calm when someone is in medical distress following a near-drowning accident or another medical emergency. When you are CPR certified, you will be prepared to act quickly and provide help whenever someone suffers a near-drowning accident or another incident that results in cardiac arrest.
Time Is of the Essence
When blood stops flowing to the brain, damage can occur within about three minutes. People who are injured in drowning accidents could suffer brain death quickly if CPR is not promptly administered. After a victim’s heart and breathing have stopped, CPR should be performed within two minutes to prevent damage and potential death.
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. When a person is submerged for four to six minutes after inhaling water without being resuscitated, brain death and drowning can quickly occur.
Near-drowning victims who have suffered cardiac arrest caused by asphyxia need immediate CPR to prevent damage from the cessation of blood flow to the heart, brain, lungs, and other bodily organs. When someone’s heart has stopped beating, not receiving immediate medical intervention could result in death.
Being prepared to take action immediately when someone has suffered injuries and whose heart and breathing have stopped because of a near-drowning incident can help to save their life. If you don’t know how to perform CPR, the victim could die before help arrives even if you call 911 immediately.
When someone suffers cardiac arrest in a near-drowning incident and receives early CPR, they will have a much better likelihood of recovering from their injuries and surviving the incident. Since CPR helps to restore the victim’s blood flow and breathing, it can help to facilitate their recovery. In some situations, a near-drowning victim who receives early CPR might fully recover from their injuries with few side effects.
Different CPR Rules for Children
It is important to note that CPR is performed differently in adults versus children. If you perform CPR incorrectly on a child, you could seriously injure them. The rules for both adults and children are detailed below.
CPR for Adults
The American Red Cross details the process for performing CPR on adults as follows:
- 1. Check to make sure the scene is safe.
- 2. Check the victim’s responsiveness, including breathing and heartbeat.
- 3. If the victim is not breathing or is only gasping, call 911 or tell someone else to do so.
- 4. Roll the victim on their back on a flat surface.
- 5. Perform 30 chest compressions at a depth of 2 inches and at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute.
- 6. Tilt the victim’s head back to open their airway, and give two, one-second breaths while allowing their chest to rise in between breaths.
- 7. Continue repeating the chest compressions/breath cycle until help arrives to take over.
CPR for Children and Infants
Most drowning victims are children. Children are attracted to water, and if they are unattended for even a few seconds, they can enter the water and quickly drown. the American Red Cross provides the following information about how to perform CPR on children and infants:
- 1. Make sure the scene is safe.
- 2. Check the child’s vital signs.
- 3. If the child is not breathing or is only gasping, tell a bystander to call 911 or call yourself.
- 4. Place the child on their back on a flat surface.
- 5. For an older child, perform 30 chest compressions at a depth of two inches and at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute.
- 6. For a small child, only use one hand to perform chest compressions.
- 7. For a baby, use your thumbs to perform the compressions at a depth of 1 1/2 inches
- 8. Give two breaths of one second each, allowing the chest to rise.
- 9. Continue performing the compressions/breath cycles until help arrives.
You can find CPR classes through the American Red Cross. Learning how to perform CPR could save a child’s or adult’s life when they start drowning. By acting quickly, you could help a victim to survive.
After you become certified in CPR, you will need to get recertified each year to keep your skills fresh. However, even if you learned CPR years ago but are not currently certified, you should still be prepared to act in an emergency. In one case, a father performed CPR for nearly three minutes, saving his child’s life. The father had learned how to perform CPR years earlier when he worked as a lifeguard. If your loved one was injured in a near-drowning incident because of the negligence of someone else, talk to the attorneys at Lamber Goodnow to learn about your legal options.