What is Dry Drowning?Dry drowning occurs when a person is submerged in water, causing the airway to spasm and close. This causes the body to send liquid into the lungs to try and open the airway, which leads to an excess of fluid, also known as pulmonary edema. Dry drowning usually happens within an hour of the person being submerged in water, not directly while they are in the water. It is important to recognize the symptoms, so you can get help as soon as possible when this is occurring. If symptoms of dry drowning go unchecked, they can be just as dangerous as drowning in water.

What is Secondary Drowning?
Secondary drowning happens when a person inhales water into their lungs. Once in the lungs, the water irritates the lining and it can cause fluid to build up, leading to pulmonary edema. Unlike dry drowning, secondary drowning can present itself up to 24 hours after the inhalation of water, which makes it hard for parents to connect to an earlier event. In the case of secondary drowning, it can come after someone had a drowning incident in the pool or at the beach. Even after a life guard has assisted and the patient has been looked at by a physician, there is still a risk of pulmonary edema.Knowing their symptoms is important in preventing emergent situations. Read on to learn how to tell when a child is suffering from dry or secondary drowning.
Symptoms of Dry & Secondary Drowning
When a child is dry drowning they will exhibit these symptoms up to an hour after the incident. However, if a child is experiencing secondary drowning, they have up to 24 hours to present the same symptoms:
  • Coughing
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Drop in energy levels
  • Irritability
What to do
If you notice a child exhibiting any of the symptoms above, act quickly! Dry and secondary drowning are medical emergencies and require immediate medical attention. Although symptoms may be mild, it is always a good idea to follow up with a physician. Time is very important when dealing with emergencies, and if your child has had a near-drowning experience, monitor their behavior for the next 24 hours, to make sure they’re recovering properly.In case of drowning emergencies, Wylie ER is open 24/7, and is available to any emergency as part of our concierge-level care.
This blog is written by Marian Flores, staff member at Nutex Health.Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Wylie Emergency Room or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.]]>


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