Evaluating near-drowning and drowning victims

TitleEvaluating near-drowning and drowning victims
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsDr Szpilman, MD, D
Conference NameInternational Medical-Rescue Conference
Date Published09/1997
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationSan Diego, California, USA
KeywordsBrazil, Rescue

One of the most difficult medical decisions a lifeguard must make is how to treat a victim who is believed to have aspirated (inhaled) water. Should an ambulance be summoned? Should the victim simply be kept under observation? Can the victim be released without further care?

Dr. David Szpilman, a medical doctor who works with professional lifeguards in Rio de Janeiro and serves as President of the Brazilian Lifesaving Society (SOBRASA), has developed a classification system to assist lifeguards, ambulance personnel, and doctors in cases such as these. The system was recently detailed in an article published in the medical journal Chest (September 1997). It is reprinted here in an abbreviated form.

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