Drowning classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Classification

Near Drowning

Near drowning is the survival of a drowning event involving unconsciousness or water inhalation and can lead to serious secondary complications, including death, after the event. Cases of near drowning are often given attention by medical professionals.

Secondary Drowning

Secondary drowning is death due to chemical or biological changes in the lungs after a near drowning incident.

Dry Drowning

Dry drowning is when a person's lungs become unable to extract oxygen from the air, due primarily to:

The person may effectively drown without any sort of fluid. In cases of dry drowning in which the victim was immersed, very little fluid is aspirated into the lungs. The laryngospasm reflex essentially causes asphyxiation and neurogenic pulmonary oedema. Dry drowning can occur clinically, or due to illness or accident, or be deliberately (and repeatedly) induced in torture (waterboarding). It can be traumatizing, and it can be deadly

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