Treating a drowning victim

Emergency First Aid Training - New drowning first aid techniques

One of the updates to the treatment of a drowning victim is NOT to attempt to drain clear water or froth that accumulates in the airway during resuscitation.

This is a major shift in thinking for first aiders as we have always been advised that airway takes precedence over pretty much everything…so why the change?

I’ll paint a picture – a hypothetical – You have found a person in your pool, and as a good first aider you have done the “DRS” from DRSABCD, rescued them from the pool and placed them on the pool deck.
You check their airway and find water, so you roll them on their side, clear their airway and check for breathing, you look, listen and feel for up to 10 seconds but detect no normal breathing so you commence compressions…away you go… you complete 14 compressions when you see water gurgling from their mouth, so you stop and roll them on their side and drain the water, place them back on their back and recommence compressions…15, 16, 17 ,18 19, and you hear froth and water gurgling in their airway again, so you stop compressions (again) roll the victim on their back again, drain..etc etc

Do you see what is happening here? What is happening to the compressions?

The ARC recommend their course of action, because interrupted compressions equals a poor outcome.

Some studies show that re-establishing blood flow to the vital organs is the single most important factor for successful resuscitation.

So, do that CPR, keep going  even if you see froth or water…

Here is a link to the full ARC Guideline