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Drowning (cont.)

Drowning Prognosis

  • Drowning victims who are alert and oriented when they arrive in the emergency department usually have an excellent chance for full recovery.
  • If the patient is confused and unconscious, recovery depends on the length of time under water. With early rescue and treatment, full recovery is possible.
  • The mammalian diving reflex is more commonly found in infants and children with slowing of body functions from icy water, increases the opportunity for recovery even after a long immersion. However, the patient who is comatose after a cold water drowning is unlikely to return to completely normal function.
  • The younger and healthier the patient, the better the prognosis. The colder and cleaner the water, the better the prognosis.

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