Why CPR Alone Might Not Be Enough to Save a Drowning Person
Included to the important things you can learn when you take an advanced training course for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is how to save the life of a drowning person. Remember that although you are knowledgeable enough on the proper execution of CPR, you can never apply it effectively while the victim – conscious or not – is submerged or floating in the water. In other words, you also need to learn how to become a good swimmer if you want to become an effective and responsible lifesaver for your community.
There are other things you need to learn about saving a drowning person, aside from swimming. One of these is the proper assistance you apply immediately upon approaching the victim. To start with, you need to bring the victim’s nose and mouth over the water surface. The problem is that if the victim is still conscious, he will tend to move randomly and may cling to the rescuer so that he could be pulled out of the water. If you are not prepared for this situation, you might also get submerged in the water with the victim and thus both of you could eventually get drowned. To avoid this, it would be safer for a rescuer to bring a floatation device or any buoyant object. You could also choose to restrict the victim’s movement by twisting his arm on the back as you pull him out of the water.
Once you have reached the edge of the water, choose a flat surface that is safe enough for both you and the patient when you proceed to the next rescue process. This means that you have to make sure that there is no any pointed or sharp object within the intended surface; there are no any moving vehicle or any dangerous mechanical equipment operating near your actual location; and there is no open wirings or electrically conductive object that could cause electric shock for both of you, knowing that you are wet. It also follows that an automated external defibrillator (AED) may not be applicable because it comes with certain electrical hazards as well.
It is very important to provide as much space as possible around the victim to give way for the CPR you are going to apply to recover his normal breathing and heartbeat. Take note that most cases of drowning lead to cardiac arrest as a result of insufficient oxygen delivered to the heart that when malfunctions, would start death of the body organs, including the brain. At the same time, you should also consider the gender and age of the victim before you apply CPR. This is to determine the appropriate level of force and depth of chest compressions to be given to the victim. Besides, you should also be aware that the victim might have suffered from spinal injury due to drowning.
Go for Citywide CPR’s excellent CPR training programs to learn more of these important life-saving guidelines. Just visit their official website to see the list of CPR training options they offer for everyone.