Water fascinates and attracts. The sea is vast, river with steady motion, lake in depth. However, water is not only a great rest, it is also a threat.
Many people die in it every year. In most cases, tragedy can be avoided.
How to save?
What to do, to help a person who is drowning and pulled out of the water? The procedure depends on the general condition of the would-be drowned person. If the person is conscious, you can help her cough up the water and secretions in the bronchi, preferably by hitting the back with an open hand several times. Cover it with a blanket or clothing and move it as soon as possible, or move it to a dry room and change into dry clothes.
If the person is unconscious or unconscious when taken out of the water, she should be in hospital as soon as possible. Before the ambulance arrives, everything must be done to save her life and ensure her safety. You have to check, whether he is breathing on his own and whether his heart beats. Heart rate should be checked in large arteries – carotid or femoral artery, because e.g.. Your body may become cold and your blood pressure may drop, that your heart rate will not be felt in your wrist.
You should not auscultate the heart by putting your ear to the chest or even with medical headphones. Such an assessment is ad hoc deceptive. If we find, that the patient does not have a pulse in the carotid artery, a resuscitation action should be started immediately.
Assessing your breathing can be especially troublesome. The worst idea is to watch your chest movements. The brain is so used to information, that people breathe, that after a long stare you can see breathing movements even in an exhibition dummy. In people who drown, involuntary contractions of the muscles of the abdomen or diaphragm may also be taken for breathing.
The surest and very simple way to find out, whether the patient is breathing there is an assessment of the movement of a light feather or a piece of cotton wool held in the fingers over the victim's mouth. Close the openings of the nose with the other hand. The old way of checking can also be effective, if there is condensation from the exhaled air on the surface of the mirror or anything smooth and cool. If we find, that the sick man is not breathing, you should immediately start resuscitation.
Artificial respiration should be started with the opening of the oral cavity. You have to remove dentures, sand, seaweed and any discharge, what may be in it. Then tilt your head back, which opens and clear the airways and start mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration. We pinch the patient's nose. We take air and inhale it into the patient's mouth. We repeat this operation 10-12 times per minute. In children, mouth-to-nose artificial respiration should be performed, i z większą częstotliwością niż u dorosłych. Do not try to empty the airway of water. There are only approx 150 ml of water, which can be removed outside. Transferring the unconscious to the stomach, knee-slinging and patting, which is sometimes proposed to remove water from the bronchi, is a waste of time. Especially since the amount of water that can be removed in this way can be safely blown into the lungs with the first breath.
If no pulse can be felt in the carotid artery, chest compressions should be started immediately. It involves compressing the heart between the sternum and the spine, which causes blood to pump. To be effective, you must lie flat on your back, on a hard surface. The sick person should be put on the floor or on the ground as soon as possible. Put your hands on top of each other in the bottom 1/3 the breastbone and press it rhythmically and vigorously around 60 times per minute. The deflections of the sternum should be approx. 4 cm. Improper or incorrectly applied pressure can damage the ribs, liver or spleen, however, you should not be afraid of taking a resuscitation action, even if it has never been done before. Although it was carried out inefficiently, can save a life. If cardiac massage and artificial respiration must be performed simultaneously, it's best to do it with two people. The principle applies 5 oppressions of the heart – 1 breath. The resuscitation action should be carried out until the doctor's arrival, and if we go to the hospital by an ordinary car, also throughout the journey. Heart massage and artificial respiration carried out for several dozen minutes or an hour are very exhausting work. That's why it's best, if several people are involved in the resuscitation, which, by changing from time to time, will ensure its greatest effectiveness.
In people taken out of the water, we can start a resuscitation action even after 15-20 minutes from drowning. This goes against the general rules, but the survival time after cessation of breathing and immersion in water varies greatly, depending on the age and health of the victim, water temperature, the degree of lung flooding and many other factors. Otherwise, we don't really know, how much time has passed since breathing and heartbeat stopped.
The second rule, or rather a recommendation, is to start artificial respiration already in the water, if the victim becomes unconscious and stops breathing. Even shallow inhalation performed occasionally can improve blood oxygenation and allow it to "endure."” victims to initiate resuscitation on land or on board. This can, however, be done by a good swimmer and experienced lifeguard.
After giving help. If the person pulled out of the water is unconscious, but she breathes herself and the heart works, or if these functions have recovered after a successful CPR – it should be arranged in the so-called. safe position and expect an ambulance to arrive. The safe position is the prone position with the head tilted back. Bend the arm higher up at the elbow and place it upwards, with the hand next to the head. The higher leg should be bent at the knee and slightly pulled up. Place the other hand along the body. The rescued person should be covered with dry blankets or clothes. If we suspect, that the rescued person suffered a skull or spine injury, Avoid unnecessary movements and shifts, especially neck movements. Such persons should be carried on a hard stretcher or, e.g, on the door that is not hinged. This will reduce the possibility of damage to the spinal cord.
Each person, who underwent a resuscitation action, she was unconscious, or in whom we suspect injuries to the spine or internal organs, she should be in the hospital, where it will be provided with specialist care.
Never take a bath after drinking alcohol. It slows down the body's response, and by influencing the metabolism it causes; that we react completely differently to cold and exertion. Alcohol often inspires courage in people, who usually avoid water, and people who know how to swim make it unreasonable.
Do not jump into the water, whose bottom we do not know. Many people become disabled or lose their lives due to back injuries caused by hitting their head or legs against invisible underwater obstacles.
You should not enter the water immediately after a meal and after strenuous exercise. Do not take a quick descent, especially if the water temperature differs significantly from the ambient temperature. This is especially true for people with heart and circulatory system diseases.
Children must not be left unattended and unattended in the water or by the shore. It is not enough to lift your head from the blanket and look at the baby from time to time. Children are erratic and often a moment of inattention can lead to unhappiness.
Adults are also sometimes erratic. Therefore, one should not bathe in places, where there is no lifeguard, outside designated bathing areas.
One should not bathe alone. Many people lose their lives, because there was no one around, who could provide first aid.
Spasm of the calf muscles in the water can cause extremely dangerous situations. Muscle cramps and extreme pain make it impossible to move the leg, while being a source of fear and panic. This is the situation, which is difficult to master by yourself. Therefore, let us not hesitate to call for help. Muscle spasm can be relieved by stretching it. While in the water, lie on your back and bend your ankle by firmly pulling your forefoot towards you and trying to straighten your knee. It is very hard, but possible. Unfortunately, even if we manage to relax the muscles and get rid of the cramp, this is not the end of our troubles. The muscles are very painful then, which makes it difficult to navigate in the water. After such an adventure, a second swimmer should accompany us in returning to the shore.