Near Drowning


Near-drowning occurs when you’re unable to breathe under water for a significant period of time. During near-drowning, oxygen intake decreases and major body systems shut down from the lack of oxygen flow. In some cases (particularly in young children), this can happen in a matter of seconds. The process typically takes longer in adults. Drowning is a form of anoxic or global ischemic (loss of blood supply) brain injury. It is the most devastating of brain injuries and is commonly seen after drowning, cardiac arrest, or birth injury. It results in injury to all areas of the brain, the combination and severity of which is determined by the length of time the patient is without oxygen, the amount of time to restoration of normal circulation, the adequacy of CPR, and age of the patient, pre-existing neurological and systemic disease, and selectively vulnerable areas of the brain. The majority of near-drowning cases are attributed to accidents that occur near or in the water. The most common causes of near-drowning include:

  • Inability to swim.
  • Panic in the water.
  • Leaving children unattended near bodies of water.
  • Falling through thin ice.
  • Alcohol consumption while swimming or on a boat.
  • Concussion, seizure, or heart attack while in water.
  • Suicide attempt.

Benefits of HBOT :

Children affected by near drowning require urgent and timely medical intervention to curb the risk of permanent brain damage experienced in brain hypoxia. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function properly. However, during the accident brain cells begin to deteriorate rapidly due to lack of oxygen, usually the cerebral cortex is the first area of the brain to be affected, which is responsible for critical functions such as memory, speech, recognition, and other allied motor abilities essential to leading a healthy life. Delays in treatment can result in impairment of basic cognitive ability, in most cases brain hypoxia will lead to paralysis coma if medical attention is not provided on time; additionally emotional trauma can also occur as the patient will require help to conduct basic day to day activities. During the past few decades HBOT is an alternative treatment option that is gaining precedence over more traditional methods, and it is now being prescribed more often to treat a variety of conditions such as near drowning.