• Term used to describe almost dying from suffocating under water
  • Quick first aid and medical attention are very important


  • Abdominal distention (swollen belly)
  • Bluish skin of the face, especially around the lips
  • Chest pain
  • Cold skin and pale appearance
  • Confusion
  • Cough with pink, frothy sputum
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • No breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Shallow or gasping respirations
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting


  • An inability to swim
  • Panic in the water
  • Leaving children unattended near bodies of water
  • Falling through thin ice
  • Alcohol consumption while swimming or on a boat
  • Concussion, seizure, or heart attack while in water
  • Suicide attempt

Risk Factors

  • People who do not know swimming
  • Small children
  • People who panic easily

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests to measure oxygen levels
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Electrocardiograph
  • X-rays to detect neck and head injuries


  • Immediate treatment and care is required
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Administer 100% oxygen
  • Endotracheal intubation


  • Do not drive on flooded roadways
  • Do not run around the edge of a pool
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while swimming or boating
  • Take a water safety class
  • Block child access to swimming areas
  • Have rescue materials and a phone nearby when swimming
  • Swim with young children at an arm’s length
  • Take CPR Classes

Lifestyle Management

  • Do not go into deep waters unless you know swimming
  • Keep children away from big pools
  • Do not attempt to rescue anyone unless you are an expert
  • Give immediate attention to the victim
  • Keep the victim calm and still