Drowning


Sources: Papers On Health

Many valuable lives have been saved by an elementary

knowledge of what to do in the case of one apparently suffocated or

drowned.



Commence treatment immediately in the open air, with the face down,

neck and chest exposed, and all tight clothing such as braces removed.



The points to be aimed at are--first and immediately, the Restoration

of Breathing; and secondly, after breathing is restored, the promotion

of Warmth and Circulation. The efforts to restore Breathing must be

commenced immediately and energetically, and persevered in for one or

two hours, or until a medical man has pronounced that life is extinct.

Efforts to promote Warmth and Circulation beyond removing the wet

clothes and drying the skin must not be made until the first appearance

of natural breathing, for if circulation of the blood be induced before

breathing has recommenced the restoration to life will be endangered.



First: Roll the patient over on his chest, with one of the arms under

the forehead, when the water will readily leave the mouth. Second: If

breathing does not recommence then, place him on his face, supporting

the chest on a roll of clothing. Turn the body gently on the side, then

briskly on the face repeating these movements, about 15 times in the

minute. (By placing him on his chest the weight of the body forces the

air out; when turned on the side air enters the chest). Five minutes is

the longest that can be afforded to this treatment. Third: Turn him

on his back, draw his tongue forward, keeping it forward by a band

passing over it and under the chin, placing the roll of clothing under

the shoulder blades. Then, kneeling at his head, grasp the arms just

below the elbows, draw them above the head, keeping them stretched for

about two seconds. Then turn down the arms and press them firmly for

two seconds against the sides of the chest. (The outstretched position

allows air to be drawn into the lungs, the other position allows it to

be pressed out.)



When a spontaneous effort to respire is observed, proceed to induce

Circulation and Warmth. This is accomplished by rubbing the limbs

upwards with firm grasp and pressure underneath the warm blankets, or

over the dry clothing which through bystanders or other means should

have been already procured, apply hot flannels, hot water bottles,

heated bricks, etc., to the pit of the stomach, the armpits, between

the thighs and the soles of the feet.



Allow abundance of fresh air to play about the patient. Administer a

teaspoonful of warm water, and then if the power of swallowing have

returned, give hot milk, coffee, etc., in small quantities. The patient

should be kept in bed and a disposition to sleep encouraged.



The above treatment should be persevered in for some hours, as it is an

erroneous opinion that persons are irrecoverable because life does not

soon make its appearance, persons having been restored after

persevering for many hours. The appearances which generally accompany

Death, are: Cessation of the heart's action, eyes half-closed, pupils

dilated, tongue approaching to the inner edges of the lips, lips and

nostrils covered with a frothy mucus. Coldness and pallor of surface

increase.



Cautions: Prevent crowding, avoid rough usage; if the body is on the

back have the tongue secured. Never hold up the body by the feet. Never

place the body in a warm bath, unless under medical direction, and even

then only momentarily.





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