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Dry Drowning Accident Attorneys

What Is Dry Drowning, Why It Occurs, & How It Results in Injury or Death

Dry drowning is a real but not particularly commonplace phenomenon where a person can experience difficulties breathing, coughing, or other respiratory distress due to inhaling water through the nose or mouth. Dry drowning occurs when tiny amounts of liquid are inhaled and cause spasms in the airway. This can make it difficult for the person to breathe and even cause them to choke or gasp for air. In the case of dry drowning, water is not inhaled into the lungs. In some cases, this reaction can lead to death if not treated immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Drowning

There are six more commonplace signs that an individual is experiencing dry drowning. These signs or symptoms are:

  • Difficulty Breathing: If your child or another person has difficulty breathing after being exposed to water, this could be a sign of dry drowning.
  • Coughing: A persistent cough can also be indicative of dry drowning. This type of cough may involve wheezing or an inability to catch a breath. This type of coughing does not respond to over-the-counter treatments.
  • Sleepiness: When someone experiences dry drowning, it can cause exhaustion due to the difficulty with breathing properly. This leads a person to become drowsy and sleepy very quickly.
  • Changes in Color: Skin that turns blueish in color can also be a sign of dry drowning as oxygen levels become low due an inability to take in an appropriate amount of oxygen.. Other color changes (such as grayish hues) might also appear due to poor circulation within the body that often happens when a person is suffering from dry drowning.
  • Changes in Behavior: Finally, a change in behavior from what would normally be expected from a person after being around water could also be indicative of dry drowning.

Dry Drowning Versus Secondary Drowning

While similar to “secondary drowning” (also known as delayed drowning), dry drowning occurs when the incident of water inhalation takes place and results in immediate side effects. Oftentimes, the term dry drowning is used to describe both situations.

It is important to note that dry drowning is different from secondary drowning (or delayed drowning). Secondary drowning occurs when an individual inhales a small amount of water into their lungs which leads to inflammation and fluid build-up over time resulting in difficulty breathing or chest pain up to 24 hours after the incident takes place.

In both cases, however, it is imperative that the individual receive medical attention as soon as possible. Treatment includes ensuring proper oxygen levels in the blood stream as well as administering medications such as bronchodilators which relax airway muscles allowing for more oxygen flow into the lungs. In more severe cases a ventilator may also be necessary in order to restore proper breathing patterns.

Dry Drowning and Children

Children are particularly vulnerable to dry drowning because their respiratory systems are still developing. In many cases where younger individuals have experienced submergence in water (or even just exposure to moisture), they may have difficulty catching their breath. There may be no other visible sign of distress. This reality underscores why it is especially important for parents and caregivers of young children to remain vigilant after any aquatic activity.

Fighting for Your Legal Rights Following a Dry Drowning Accident

If you are like most individuals and take you and your family to a swimming pool away from your home, you have important legal rights if you or a loved one sustain injuries at such a location. If you have been injured in some type of an aquatic accident, a Doan Law Firm lawyer is available to explain your legal rights.

You can connect with a Doan Law Firm attorney any time by calling our nationwide law firm at (800) 349-0000. We can schedule an initial consultation with an experienced, caring attorney at any one of our 40 offices, at your home, or even online. There is no cost for an initial consultation.

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