Health-related quality of life after a drowning incident as a child

Resuscitation. 2011 Oct;82(10):1318-22. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2011.05.018. Epub 2011 Jun 1.


Aim of the study: To describe health-related quality of life (HRQoL), quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained and school performance in subjects having received either bystander or emergency medical service personnel initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after a drowning incident in childhood.

Materials and methods: 64 children admitted to pediatric intensive care (PICU) after successful CPR between 1985 and 2007. Eleven died in the PICU, 9 other within 6 months. In 2009 all long-term survivors, except for two, lived at home. Of the 40 patients eligible for the study, 29 (73%) responded to a questionnaire. HRQoL was assessed with the generic 15D, or its versions for adolescents (16D) or children (17D), and compared to that of general population. These HRQoL scores, age-specific survival probabilities, and HRQoL scores of the general population were used in a Markov model to estimate the number of QALYs gained.

Results: Median age of the respondents was 17.3 (range: 3.0-28.4) years and 62% were male. At the time of drowning their median age had been 3.0 (range: 1.2-15.7) years. The drowning incident was associated with a significant loss in HRQoL in the oldest age group (total HRQoL total score 0.881 compared to 0.971 in the general population, P<0.01) but not in children (HRQoL score 0.944 vs. 0.938). When submersion time exceeded 10min mean HRQoL score was significantly lower than in patients with a shorter submersion (0.844 vs. 0.938, P=0.032). The mean undiscounted and discounted (at 3%) number of QALYs gained by treatment were 40.8 and 17.0, respectively.

Conclusions: A good HRQoL will be achieved in the majority of patients surviving long-term after a drowning incident in childhood, although HRQoL is affected by the submersion time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Near Drowning*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult