Five Facts About Dry Drowning

If you are like most people, you are familiar with “wet drowning.” In basic terms, wet drowning occurs when a person inhales water for one reason or another. In other words, a person gets water into their lungs. Dry drowning is a different situation. Many people are not aware dry drowning exists. Moreover, those that know it exists likely do not really understand what is involved with dry drowning. There are five facts that you are wise to understand about dry drowning:

  • Definition of dry drowning
  • Immediate dry drowning death
  • Delayed dry drowning death
  • Signs of dry drowning
  • Rate of dry drowning

Definition of Dry Drowning

In basic terms, dry drowning occurs when a person inhales a small amount of water through the nose of mouth. The water doesn’t reach the lungs. However, the inhalation of this small amount of water can have serious and even fatal consequences. There are two types of dry drowning: immediate and delayed or secondary. Both of these are discussed in detail.

Immediate Dry Drowning

Immediate dry drowning occurs at the site of the water- related incident. Immediate dry drowning occurs when a person begins to experience the beginning of drowning. A person in this situation inhales a relatively small amount of water through his or her nose of mouth. With that noted, water does not reach the lungs as is the case with more typical or wet drowning.

When the water enters through the nose or mouth, the victim of what is becoming a dry drowning situation begins to experience spasms in his or her airway. This can make it very difficult if not impossible to breath. Absent appropriate emergency first aid attention, the individual can die.

Delayed Dry Drowning

Delayed dry drowning, also commonly referred to as secondary dry drowning, occurs when a person inhales some amount of water into his or her lungs. The amount of water may be small and not cause an immediate reaction for that individual.

After a period of time, the water that actually reached the lungs can cause inflammation or edema. This can include a swelling of the air sacs where the actual transfer of oxygen occurs. This situation can result in death.

There is an important note to be made about delated dry drowning. Secondary dry drowning can occur hours or even days after the initial inhalation of water. This underscores the need to seek medical attention when you have been involved in any type of drowning related experience.

There is another important fact to bear in mind about dry drowning. Nearly all cases of dry drowning involve children, particularly young children.

Signs of Dry Drowning

The primary signs of dry drowning, according to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent coughing
  • Choking
  • Lethargy or sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting

Even if no symptoms are present, if you think a person has inhaled even a small amount of water, the wise course is to seek medical attention.

Rate of Dry Drowning

Drowning generally is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death for children. Children under the age of four are at greatest risk for drowning. This includes dry drowning or secondary drowning.

Your Legal Rights After a Drowning Accident

If you lost a family member as the result of wet drowning or dry drowning, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can reach a drowning accident lawyer at our firm any time of the day or night by calling us at (800) 349-0000.

A nationwide law practice, we can schedule a no-obligation and no-cost initial consultation with an experienced drowning accident lawyer at anyone of our 40 offices located across the country. We can also schedule a virtual consultation with a drowning accident lawyer online as well.

The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. Our firm will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.

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