Monday, June 25, 2012

Drowning doesn't look like drowning

It might not be common knowledge yet, but the same way cars don't really explode in an accident (like in the movies) people don't really drown like in the movies. There is an excellent blog post by Mario Vittone based on an article in OnScene Magazine that is worth reading. I just quote som important facts.
Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
Since a lot (yes, a lot) people are drowning in Laos, this article might help a bit to prevent it - maybe some people just didn't realize their friend was drowning.

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