This is another post derived from a presentation given at the 2011 Annual Summer Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society. Tracy Cushing, MD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine gave an excellent presentation on submersion injury—i.e., the dangers of becoming submerged under water. What follows is some of what we learned.
Historically there have been many terms and definitions, such as “drowning,” “near-drowning,” “dry drowning,” and others. Current experts favor the term “submersion injury” as any adverse effect from submersion in water. This commonly causes difficulty breathing, for many reasons. “Immersion syndrome” refers to the situation where there is a lethal heart rhythm during or after a cold-water exposure, usually attributed to stimulation of the vagus nerve, which slows the heart rate. “Shallow water blackout” refers to a person becoming unconscious after hyperventilating prior to attempting a lengthy period of breath-holding underwater.
Drowning is the Read more »
This post, Preventing Drowning And Other Submersion Injuries, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
Before I even start, let me say this to my triathlete friends…
I really like you all. And…I am sorry for how I feel about your sport’s pinnacle, the Ironman triathlon. But I was poked into writing this post. When asked the question of whether the Ironman is safe for the middle-aged heart, what was I to do? Lie?
Each August, my hometown, Louisville, KY, gets overrun, over-swum and over-ridden with “Iron people.” No, these humans aren’t rust colored, or all that hardened, but they are indeed a determined lot. Triathletes, or iron people if you will, wake up before sunrise to swim, bike or run. Then they eat; some go to work (barely), and then they do the training thing again in the evening. Calling these athletes focused would surely be an understatement.
So it is each summer that I endure the same question: “Dr. Mandrola, did you do the Ironman?”
“No…I just ride bikes.”
But this year was different. Before I could launch into my usual dissertation on how training for Ironman-length triathlons causes excess inflammation, coronary calcium, atrial fibrillation, divorce, etc., etc., another question quickly popped up.
“What did you think of that guy who died during this year’s race?” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
As summer continues in North America, and for anyone who goes near the water during any time of year, prevention of drowning is very important. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) takes its responsibilities on this issue seriously, and in 2010 issued a policy statement on prevention of drowning. This is a remarkable and well-thought out document that addresses all of the important issues associated with risk for and prevention of drowning. The online version of the policy statement, along with updated information and services, is available on the web.
The document points out that, historically, drowning has been the second leading cause of unintentional death in individuals aged one to 19 years, causing more than 1,100 deaths per year in the United States alone.
The AAP defines drowning as “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid.” It does not imply any particular outcome. Persons may “drown” and survive. The categories of outcomes include:
- no morbidity
- morbidity (moderately disabled, severely disabled, vegetative state/coma, and brain death)
There is a discussion of entanglement in drains, particularly in females who are underwater with long hair near a suction outlet. Inflatable pools pose a particular hazard if they are not fenced.
The AAP has previously taken the stance that children are not developmentally ready for swimming lessons until after their fourth birthday. They based this opinion on factors including: Read more »
This post, Swimming May Not Be As Safe For Your Children As You Think, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
Low cost, prenatal fitness classes. What a progressive thought. The New York City Prenatal Fitness Initiative is a community model that should be replicated on a national scale. A nurse midwife, Marilinda Pascoe and Andrea Bachrach Mata, an aquatic fitness instructor founded a program that offers prenatal water exercise and yoga to low-income pregnant women in North Manhattan and the Bronx at an affordable cost. For 7 weeks, pregnant women will be able to do light aerobics, swim, dance, gentle stretching and exercise for a total cost of $60.00 in a community pool. Not only will these women have fun by releasing endorphins (substances released by the brain that make you feel happy) but they will also be reducing their risks of developing gestational diabetes, obesity and other potential complications. Three weeks ago the program sponsored a community walk and invited pregnant women to participate. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*
This summer I learned a couple of very important lessons. Drowning kids don’t scream. Mothers have a sixth sense even when it’s not their own child.
On a beautiful warm sunny day in San Diego, my family and our good friends were enjoying a well-deserved vacation. My five-year-old daughter was splashing around with her friends as their father and I observed them from the pool. Though he had to watch three kids, one was already on a swim team and the two younger children had followed their big sister in swim class. He also had some help. His wife was watching the kids from her chair. The scene was certainly picturesque, serene, and unassuming. Children playing happily in the pool. Adults relaxing and talking. It was a great day to be away from home and work.
Who would realize that nearby a little boy would be in serious trouble? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*