|Title||Emergency Oxygen Use by Lifeguards: Making a Case|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||1997|
|Conference Name||International Medical-Rescue Conference|
|Publisher||International Life Saving Federation|
|Conference Location||San Diego, California, USA|
In 1995, there were an estimated four thousand five-hundred (4500) drowning deaths in the United States. Of these, one thousand seven-hundred (1700) are estimated to have occurred during swimming activities. The pediatric population represented the greatest number of drowning victims per 100,000 people.i Estimates of near-drowning, defined as a submersion incident with a survival period of greater than twenty-four hours, are extrapolated from drowning statistics, since many near-drowning events go unreported. The incidence of near-drowning is estimated to be two to twenty-fold greater than drowning incidences, meaning that near-drowning involving swimming is estimated between three thousand four-hundred (3400) to thirty-four thousand (34,000) incidents in the representative year.
Since 1914, the American Red Cross has been a part of the effort to address this serious problem. Largely due to the early ground-breaking work of Commodore Wilbert E. Longfellow, The American Red Cross is one of the leading training organization for lifeguard instruction in the United States, in 1996 training over one hundred eighty thousand lifeguard rescuers in lifeguarding skills, First aid and CPR. In addition, The American Red Cross also trains the public in water safety issues.
One of the courses offered by the American Red Cross catalogue is Oxygen Administration. When a lifeguard is certified in Oxygen Administration it stands as a sign of the growing professional capabilities of today's lifeguard. Yet, at this time, not all lifeguards are being trained in the use of oxygen most facilities do not have oxygen as part of their medical equipment.
This presents several questions.