Drowning First aid Management and Care

Drowning first aid care


Drowning occurs when air is prevented from entering the lungs owing to immersion of the mouth, nostrils in water or other liquid. This article provides you with drowning first aid care.

When someone’s drowning, it may not look like the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect from watching TV. When someone’s actually drowning, they won’t able to make any noise, so can easily go unnoticed, even if friends or family are nearby. 



Drowning first aid care 

1. Get Help as soon as possible

  • Notify a lifeguard, or anyone that is close and can swim. Don’t risk drowning yourself or anyone if you can’t swim.
  • If not, ask someone to call the emergency services.
  • If you are alone, follow the steps below.

2. Move the Person

  • Remove the person out of the water as soon as possible.
  • Lower the head than the rest of the body for a few seconds.

3. Check for Breathing

  • Place your ear next to the person’s mouth and nose. Do you feel air on your cheek
  • Observe the chest for rise and fall.
  • Remove tight clothing around the neck, chest and waist.
  • With a handkerchief cover the index finger and clear the mouth of sand, debris, mud or fish.

4. If the Person is Not Breathing, Check Pulse

  • Check the person’s pulse for 10 seconds by placing your middle and index finger at the front part of the wrist.

5. If There is No Pulse, Start artificial respiration

Carefully place person on a flat surface on his back.



  • For an adult or child, place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest at the nipple line. You can also push with one hand on top of the other. For an infant, place two fingers on the breastbone.
  • For an adult or child, press down at least 2 inches. Make sure not to press on ribs. For an infant, press down about 1 and 1/2 inches. Make sure not to press on the end of the breastbone.
  • Do chest compression’s only, at the rate of 100-120 per minute or more. Let the chest rise completely between pushes.
  • Check to see if the person has started breathing.
  • Cover the patient with blankets,while you continue with the artificial respiration.

6. Repeat if Person Is Still Not Breathing

Young girl at pool receiving CPR after drowning

  • If you’ve been trained in CPR, you can now open the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin.
  • Pinch the nose of the victim closed. Take a normal breath, cover the victim’s mouth with yours to create an airtight seal, and then give 2 one-second breaths as you watch for the chest to rise.
  • Give 2 breaths followed by 30 chest compression’s.
  • Continue this cycle of 30 compression’s and 2 breaths until the person starts breathing or emergency help arrives.

You have not finish your drowning first aid care when victim starts to breathe and choke. In fact, the first 48 hours after a drowning incident can be the most dangerous. Complications resulting from water exposure—pneumonia, infection, heart failure—can all occur during this time. Therefore, you should always take a drowning victim to the hospital.



About felclinic 584 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At felclinic.com we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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