Encyclopedia of Trauma Care

2015 Edition
| Editors: Peter J. Papadakos, Mark L. Gestring


  • Kathleen Webster
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-29613-0_324



A uniform definition of drowning was created by a world consensus conference held in 2002. Drowning is defined as “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid” (Branche 2006). This definition has been adopted by the World Health Organization and further classifies drowning as fatal or nonfatal but discourages use of the terms “near drowning,” “wet drowning,” “dry drowning,” or “secondary drowning.” A submersion event in which no respiratory embarrassment occurs is termed a “water rescue” (Spilzman et al. 2012).

Preexisting Condition


Drowning, whether intentional, inflicted, or accidental, is a worldwide problem and has been estimated to be the second leading cause of death worldwide. Statistics by country vary slightly; however drowning remains a leading cause of both morbidity and mortality, with children under 14 years being most...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Critical CareLoyola University Medical CenterMaywoodUSA