Which medications are indicated in the treatment of drowning patients?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: G Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Cold-induced bronchorrhea or irritation of the tracheobronchial tree by inhaled water or particulate material can produce cough and bronchospasm. Manage these aggressively because they may worsen hypoxia. The drug of choice is an inhaled beta-agonist bronchodilator.

Corticosteroids have been shown to be of no benefit in the management of submersion injuries. Routine antibiotic prophylaxis is not indicated unless the patient was submerged in grossly contaminated water or sewage.

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