ABC6: Treating drowning patients
Following recent news of a central Ohio boy falling through thin ice into a pond, submerged for around 13 minutes, and the police officer who jumped in to attempt to rescue him, many have wondered – how did they survive?
OhioHealth physicians did not treat the boy or the police officer, however, doctors say a variety of factors likely played into their survival.
One of the biggest benefits? The fact that the water was very cold.
“The colder the water, the better,” David Schmidt, MD, assistant emergency medical director at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, told ABC6 reporter Geoff Redick. “In cold water, the heart rate slows down, breathing stops and all the blood flow from the arms and legs is shifted to the heart, brain and lungs. Those are areas that need blood and oxygen to allow somebody with no air to potentially survive.
Once a drowning victim has been pulled from the water, crews will perform CPR and work to warm the patient.
“The first priority is to get the wet clothes off of them,” Dr. Schmidt told ABC6. “We immediately asses (the patient) and then get some warming blankets (on them).” A heat lamp above the patient in the trauma bay is also used to gradually help bring the body back up to temperature.
“With good help and quality CPR, amazing things can happen,” said Dr. Schmidt.
To view the ABC6 story, click on their logo below.