First aid treatment for asphyxiation – drowning at the scene

Accidents of drowning or drowning are common in our country due to the interlaced system of rivers and canals, especially in the Mekong Delta. To prevent and properly handle children drowning, we write this article to send to parents how to give first aid to a drowning child.

How to give first aid
Local first aid and correct technique are the most important, deciding the survival or brain sequelae of the victim.

The correct way to give first aid is as follows:
Quickly get the casualty out of the water by giving the victim an arm, a long pole to hold, throw a lifebuoy or lift the victim up.
Place victim in a dry, well-ventilated area
If the casualty is unconscious, check to see if the victim is breathing by observing the movement of the chest:
If the chest does not move, the victim is not breathing, perform external chest compressions on the lower half of the sternum. Combine chest compressions and rescue breaths in the ratio of 15/2 (2 rescuers) or 30/2 (1 ambulance) for 2 minutes and then re-evaluate whether the victim can breathe again? Are your lips pink? Does it react to painful stimuli? if not, and these first aid actions must be continued even on the way to a medical facility.

Heart press


Immediately suffocate the victim and pull the victim out of the water

If the victim is still breathing on his own, place the victim in a safe position, lying on his side to allow the vomit to escape if the victim vomits.
Remove wet clothing and keep warm by covering the victim with a blanket or a dry towel
Get the victim to a medical facility quickly even if the casualty appears to be fine or has fully recovered from the first aid because there is a risk of secondary difficulty breathing which can occur several hours after asphyxiation

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Things to avoid
Most of the victims were suffocated when brought to the emergency room at hospitals without first aid or improper first aid leading to death or brain sequelae due to lack of oxygen. Improper first aid includes:
Spend a lot of time in water splashing: the upside down movement of the victim is not necessary and should not be done because usually the amount of water entering the lungs is very little, not the lungs are filled with water as people often think. This very small amount of water will be expelled when the victim breathes on his own. In addition, flushing also slows down the time of first aid rescue and increases the risk of aspiration.
Roll the roller: let the child lie on his stomach on the pot so that the burning straw inside rolls the roller back and forth for the purpose of “drawing water” in the child’s body. This method is not effective and causes burns to children.
The victims of cardiac arrest should not give first aid rescue breaths and chest compressions at the accident site or while transporting the victim to a medical facility. This causes the brain and organs to be deprived of oxygen for a long time, brain cell death leading to death and severe brain sequelae. Therefore, it is best to give first aid as soon as the victim’s head is out of the water before bringing him to shore.

Do not leave small children alone at home, cover all water containers in the house
Do not let children play alone near ponds, lakes, canals, canals, rivers: always have an adult to follow
Do not allow epileptic patients to swim
Should teach swimming lessons, let children learn to swim

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The school cautions students at the end of the summer vacation about swimming, or boating in the water, which is very dangerous and unsafe, requiring supervision.

Doctor of CSII Nguyen Minh Tien
City Children’s Hospital

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