What are important historical factors of drowning?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: G Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Other important historical factors include the following:

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, apnea

  • Persistent cough, wheezing

  • In stream, lake, or saltwater immersion, possible aspiration of foreign material or exposure to fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms

  • level of consciousness at presentation, history of loss of consciousness, anxiety, fatigue, changes in usual behavior; Modell suggests that most individuals will have some period of unconsciousness after drowning secondary to cerebral hypoxia [75]

  • Vomiting, diarrhea

  • Coincident alcohol or drug use

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