What we are subconsciously trained to identify as the act of drowning, in reality, is nothing like it. Then how do you know if someone is really in need of help? Read on
My idea of drowning, till now, was of the person frantically calling for help and flailing his arms. At least that’s what I gathered from the myriad of television shows and movies that ever depicted a drowning incident. However, this article by Mario Vittone on his blog suggests that it is not really the case.
The Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like what’s shown on television. There really is no screaming and shouting and extremely physical acts of discomfort that can be easily spotted.
Of course, they may call for help, but that would be before they actually start drowning. After that, he is just desperately gasping for air. According to Webmd, “They’re silent and struggling just to keep their nose and mouth above the water,” says Alan Steinman, MD, and a former director of health and safety for the US Coast Guard.
According to the report by WHO, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. Sounds alarming, doesn’t it?
Continue reading for tips on how to identify whether someone is really drowning and needs help.