Drowning Amazing Facts

30 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Drowning | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. About 1 million people around the world die by drowning every year, that is more than two persons per minute. Among them 50 % are children.
  2. There are about 8 to 10 times that many who experience a drowning process but who reach safety alone or are rescued by others.
  3. Every day about 10 people die due to drowning in US. Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.
  4. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) performed by bystanders has been shown to save lives and improve outcomes in drowning victims. The more quickly CPR is started, the better the chance of improved outcomes. CPR should be learnt by everybody.
  5. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.
  6. One does not need an enormous depth of water to drown. Drowning can actually happen in as little as 12 Inches (30 mm) of water.
  7. Children can drown in toilets, buckets, baths, etc. An adult will usually not drown in a bucket or a toilet unless they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  8. Besides water people can drown in other liquids also especially in industrial establishments.
  9. “Wet drowning” is a type of drowning in which the water manages to enter the lungs. In fact, the air tube is sealed the moment water enters airways preventing water from entering lungs. This is due to vocal cord and larynx constrictions. As air tube is blocked, even air cannot enter lungs making person unconscious. Once unconscious, the air tube opens and water rushes into the lungs causing death.
  10. In “dry drowning” the air tube will stay shut and cause cardiac arrest and hence, death. In this case the person will die before water enters lungs. Amazingly once the person is dead, water fails to enter lungs.
  11. In “secondary drowning”, a person actually inhales a small amount of liquid or water into lungs which irritate lungs, impairs gas exchange leading to pulmonary edema and eventually causes death by respiratory failure. This can happen even due to poison gases or chemical and even vomit getting inhaled!
  12. Deep water blackout is yet another type of drowning. When someone dives into water, the oxygen present in lungs is capable of producing enough pressure to keep the person conscious. But this pressure starts falling as the person ascends from the depths of water and causes latent hypoxia causing deep water blackout when the person reaches surface. The moment the person loses consciousness, he or she sinks! This is usually not a common occurrence and happens rarely usually to strong and fit swimmers.
  13. We also have shallow water blackout. Just before diving or swimming, a person feels a strong urge to breathe, especially exhale. As a person exhales, CO2 level falls. Once in water, a person will not feel the strong urge to breathe in or inhale because the CO2 level is low but he or she will not realize that the brain is deprived of oxygen. He or she continues to swim only to faint all of a sudden and then sink. Most cases of shallow water blackout occur in swimming pools or shallow water bodies.
  14. Drowning in salt water usually takes longer. When a drowning person inhales salt water, the salt concentration in lungs increases. Water from blood rushes into the lungs to dilute the salt water. As a result, the blood thickens. When the blood thickens, heart comes under pressure and causes cardiac arrest. This takes about 8-10 minutes.
  15. Since cardiac arrest in sea water drowning happens after 8-10 minutes, it is easier to rescue people drowning in salt water.
  16. In contrast to salt water, drowning in fresh water gives you little time to rescue. If fresh water is inhaled, the water becomes hypotonic compared to tissues in the lungs. So, the water rushes into the cells to dilute the cells’ salt concentration. The red blood cells then burst, releasing hemoglobin which gets accumulated in kidneys, leading to acute renal failure. Fresh water is also absorbed into blood thereby diluting it and cooling the heart sufficient enough to cause hypothermia-induced cardiac arrest. This happens in just 2-3 minutes. Thus, rescuers do not get enough time to save the victims.
  17. In fact, 90% of the drowning cases occur in the freshwater.
  18. It is a myth that a drowning person shouts and yells and calls for help. In fact, our respiratory system is designed to first breathe and then generate speech. When a person drowns, his or her mouth usually sinks below the water surface and then resurfaces in very short successions. This gives the respiratory system just enough time to concentrate on its primary function, i.e. breathing. A person tries to quickly inhale and exhale. Yelling becomes literally impossible.
  19. It is also a myth that a drowning person throws out arms and legs in all possible directions. In fact, out of instinct, a drowning person will extend his or her arms laterally trying to press down on water surface and keep their mouth out of water to continue breathing. This arm movement is completely involuntary and happens on its own. So waving or throwing arms at get the attention of rescuers is literally impossible.
  20. In case of true drowning, people really cannot help themselves even by reaching out for a rope or a ring thrown at them. Drowning is a very silent process contrary to what we see in movies.
  21. A drowning person will usually show a few signs which most of us fail to recognize. Usually the head of the person will be low in water with mouth at the level of water and occasionally sinking in and coming out of water. Eyes will become empty and glassy and will usually lose focus. Eyes will mostly be open and the face will reflect fear. He or she will usually be gasping with hands stretched laterally. It will appear as if he or she is trying to climb up a ladder that is invisible. Legs and arms will be mostly under water.
  22. Children are more susceptible to drowning. They can drown even in presence of adults right next to them! So, it is important to keep an eye on them always and look for any signs of drowning.
  23. You have to be vigilant. A person next to you in water may be drowning and drown silently. Take special care when children are in water.
  24. At home it is a good precaution to empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
  25. Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. It’s also a good idea to keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
  26. We’re relatively poor swimmers when compared to other animals but we have the mammalian diving reflex. When a human’s face touches water, the airway closes, the heart rate slows, and the capillaries in the skin and extremities constrict, sending blood toward the vital organs. This serves a dual purpose of keeping the organs oxygenated and insulated from increasing water pressure. It also saps strength from the limbs for swimming. This reflex is most frequently seen in drowning children giving them a better chance of recovery than adults.
  27. Due to above reflex action, the bodies of children who have been submerged for many minutes have been resuscitated with no neurological damage.
  28. At a 1985 bash in New Orleans, Louisiana, party was being held to celebrate a summer where no one had drowned at any of the city’s pools. There were some 200 people in attendance, over half of which were certified lifeguards. A further four lifeguards were also on active duty. Yet a 31-year-old Jerome Moody died in pool and nobody noticed.
  29. The Dead Sea located between Israel and Jordan has so much salty water that it is too dense for a person to drown.
  30. In fact, most sharks actually need to continue swimming to be able to survive. If they don’t swim all the time, then they will end up drowning.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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