Drowning and near-drowning on Australian beaches patrolled by life-savers: a 10-year study, 1973-1983

Med J Aust. 1988 Feb 15;148(4):165-7, 170-1.


Resuscitation report-forms of the Surf Life-Saving Association of Australia, for the period 1973-1983, were analysed. During this period there were 262 immersion victims at beaches that were patrolled by life-savers. Of these, 162 victims survived, some of whom received expired-air resuscitation (n = 61) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (n = 29). Among those who drowned, none was younger than five years of age. Vomiting and regurgitation were major problems during resuscitation. Respiratory and cardiopulmonary arrest occurred after apparently-successful rescue; this highlights the necessity for the close observation of victims and the early administration of oxygen to all immersion victims. Resuscitation in deep water has been shown to be effective, and instruction in these techniques is now standard teaching within the Surf Life-Saving Association of Australia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Bathing Beaches*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / epidemiology*
  • Drowning / prevention & control
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Near Drowning / therapy
  • Resuscitation / adverse effects
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Seasons
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vomiting / etiology