The importance of First Aid in our lives is paramount because any one of us can suddenly become sick or fall in an accident that may require immediate action. The more people are aware and learned about First Aid, the better the chances are for saving a person’s life in the time of need. Drowning is one of the most vicious accidents that takes away numerous lives every year. That’s why learning about ways to save a drowning person should be done by every person. Let’s have a discussion on how First Aid has to be given to a drowning person.

Basic precautions

Drowning can happen in a blink of an eye, without any indication or noise. When you’re near a water body, always pay close attention to see if any of the people in the water show any sign of discomfort through their body or face, especially the children as they’re smaller in body size, have less weight and likely to face difficulty in communicating about their struggling situation. Most of the time it is seen that children are playing on the water with rubber rings, floating armbands, but they are not enough and should not be the only option to rely upon. Constant supervision is a must and there is no alternative for this. Never leave the bath unattended with running water. For water-based activities, ensure that the water has been drained after activity has ended. Adults who do not know how to swim must wear their lifejackets at all times during any water-based activity, especially on the beach.

What to do after the victim is brought to safe ground?

Since First Aid starts after the person has been rescued from the water and brought to safety, our discussion starts from that point onwards.

Position – Lay them down on the floor with their face straight and pointed upwards towards the sky. Tilt the head backward with their chin up to keep the air passage straight.

Check ABC – Airway, breathing and circulation or ABC in short. Check for obstructions in their airway,
check breathing and feel for a pulse by holding their wrist for 10 seconds at least.

Initiate CPR – If there is no pulse found, CPR has to be performed. Put both hands together, one on top of the other and palms downwards with the heel of one hand on the chest of the victim. In this position, perform 30 chest compressions in quick succession with less than a second gap between two compressions. Push downwards for about 2 inches and allow the chest to rise up fully before going again. Do not press on victims ribs, they may break and cause further damage. After 30 compressions, give 2 rescue breaths. This is done by holding the victim’s nose,locking their lips with your mouth and then passing air with strong force for about one second, two times. For infants, place only 2 fingers on the breastbone and press with less force up to 1.5 inches downwards.

Recovery position – Once the person starts to breathe again and regains consciousness, they have to be taken into the recovery position. This is done by sitting on your knees just beside the victim. Then extend any one of their hands and put them at a right angle (90◦) to their body and bend them at the elbow in a natural motion. Gently pick their other hand by the palm with the palm of your hand and put it on the opposite cheek (left cheek for the right hand and vice versa). With their both feet flat, pick up the furthest knee upward in a natural bending motion. Gently pull the knee towards yourself and their body weight will normally roll them over to one side. Place the foot which you pulled on the front of the other foot so that a resting position is achieved. Tilt back their head and chin upwards to clear the air passage and check for proper breathing.

Call ambulance/professional help – During any of these procedures, call for an ambulance, medical professional, lifeguard, professional help as soon as you can, if you remain engaged in First Aid procedure, scream and inform anyone nearby to do it, as this is the most important step for handing over the situation to professionals after First Aid is given.Last but not the least, there are certification courses given for basic First Aid training. Every person should be able to help others at the time of need. It can be your family, friend or someone close. Better to be
prepared professionally by getting proper training, that’s why it is highly recommended.