Management of water incidents: drowning and hypothermia
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Management of water incidents: drowning and hypothermia

Rick Dean Part-time registered nurse, North Bristol NHS Trust, Clinical governance team, St John Ambulance, Devon
Joe Mulligan Head of first aid education, British Red Cross, London

Dangers exist wherever water is present, and death resulting from submersion in water is likely to occur rapidly. This article discusses the management of drowning and hypothermia. Information on water hazards and preventive measures, the risks associated with rescuing people from water, and the pathophysiology of drowning and hypothermia is provided, enabling practitioners to translate theory into practice. The emphasis of first aid in this setting is on quick, effective action, including alerting the emergency services and maintaining the safety of all potential rescuers.

Nursing Standard. 24, 7, 35-39. doi: 10.7748/ns2009.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review