Near drowning in cold water

J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 Jul;48(7):674-6.


Drowning and near drowning is a common cause of accidental death all over the world; specially in road traffic accidents over bridges, swimming pool and boat tragedies. Cold water drowning resulting in hypothermia can lead to instant death before actual drowning. Five cases of near drowning (ND) in cold water, who presented with varied clinical picture like coma with decerebrate rigidity and fixed dilated pupils, hypertension with coma and delayed pulmonary oedema (Secondary drowning) are reported. Energetic management with continuous positive airway pressure was very rewarding in all patients with ND except in one who had transient organic psychosis persisting for two weeks followed by minimal cognitive defect in the form of slow mentation, lack of drive and mild irritability (Bender Gestald Test Score of 53). We have tried to analyse some of the clinical features of ND and the sequel associated with it. The management as well as recent developments in the field are also discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Cold Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Critical Care
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / mortality
  • Hypothermia / therapy*
  • India
  • Male
  • Near Drowning / therapy*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Prognosis
  • Resuscitation*
  • Survival Rate