How To Provide First Aid For A Drowning Victim

How To Provide First Aid For A Drowning Victim

Swimming isn't usually an inherently dangerous activity, but sometimes things can, unfortunately, take a turn for the worse. If an emergency occurs, it is best to be prepared, especially if you are an avid swimmer. Being around water for a long time will increase the chances that you may witness such a situation.

People drown for many reasons. The primary cause is inexperience in swimming and inadequate preparation. Some people assume that they can swim without issue even though they lack experience. Swimming is one of those activities in which experience is somewhat necessary.

Search resumes for possible drowning victim

It is important to be experienced if you want to swim safely because water can often be unpredictable. The more comfortable you are with water, the less likely you will be to drown, as you will know exactly how you should react. It is still crucial that you take care while you swim, even if you are experienced, however.

We have already discussed how to get a drowning person back to shore, but you may be wondering what you can do once that individual is back on dry land. We will be looking at how to rescue a drowning victim in various situations, so you can be prepared if the worst ever happens.

What To Do First

Once someone is out of the water and onto the beach, the first thing you will have to do is call 911. First responders will be the best-qualified individuals to care for the person who was just drowning. Also call out for help from people in the surrounding area, even if there is no lifeguard, you never know who may work in the medical field.

Check if the person is breathing. Put your ear over their mouth so you can feel and hear whether or not they are breathing. If they are breathing, attempt to awaken them gently, but if they do not respond, wait for emergency services to arrive, as they may have suffered a severe injury and you do not want to worsen it.

Drowning CPR

If there is no respiration, you will have to check for a pulse. Put your fingers on their neck or their wrist to check their pulse. Check for up to ten seconds. If you do not detect a pulse, prepare yourself to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Drowning CPR

To perform CPR on drowning victims, you will have to ensure that the victim is lying down on their back; otherwise, you will run a serious risk of fracturing their ribs. Place the bottom of your hand in the middle of the victim's chest and begin to press down, you will want to press about one to two inches deep.

You should do about 20 to 40 chest compressions and then check to see if the person is breathing. If breath has not resumed, you will have to give them rescue breaths. A rescue breath is performed by placing your mouth over the victim's and keeping their nose shut with your fingers and then exhaling two times for a second.

Once you see the victim's chest rise from your rescue breaths, continue to perform your chest compressions. Feel free to place one hand on top of the other if you require more force for your compressions, but be careful not to break or crack the victim's ribs by pushing only on the center of the chest.

Keep repeating your cycle of chest compressions and rescue breaths until your victim is revived or until a more qualified rescuer comes along.

Help The Qualified Rescuers

When help arrives, whether it is in the form of a lifeguard, emergency medical personnel, or even just a trained bystander, stand back and let them take over the situation. Answer any of their questions quickly and concisely, to the best of your knowledge, as your information may help save the victim's life.

Qualified Rescuers

Be ready to aid the rescuer in any capacity which is required, but do not presume to provide air unless you are qualified in the field of medicine. When it comes to matters of life or death, it is important to give medical professionals the time and space that they need to do their work most effectively.

Possible Complications

Keep in mind that first aid for drowning may often not be enough. If you do end up reviving a drowning victim, it is your responsibility to insist that they go to the hospital. Nearly drowning can result in many complications, which we will be going over in this section.

You will find that someone who had a significant volume of water in their lungs will be particularly vulnerable to pneumonia. This is an infection of the lungs in which the air sacs in your lungs become irritated and inflamed, which makes it increasingly difficult to breathe.

Pneumonia is a hazardous disease, with about 4 million deaths every year stemming from it alone, and is not even the worst possible scenario which you will have to deal with. Nearly drowning can cause a lot of issues, but none of them are as dangerous as the potential brain damage which may occur.


Since you can't breathe when you are drowning, your brain will stop receiving oxygen. If your brain is left without oxygen for long enough, you will suffer brain damage, which can permanently disable you. These possible complications are the reasons for which it is so necessary for a drowning victim to go to the hospital when they have been saved.


To conclude, you will find that drowning is highly dangerous, even if the victim survives. It is important to ensure that the victim is examined by a doctor after such an occurrence. We hope that we have provided sufficient ways for you to save someone who is on the verge of losing their lives after a drowning incident.

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