Drowning and Emergency Department
Yeliz Şimşek, Salim Satar
Adana Numune Education And Research Hospital, Department Of Emergency Medicine, Adana, Turkey
Keywords: Emergency, Drowning, Glasgow Coma Score, Prognosis
Objectives: In our study, we aimed to determine the factors that affect the management and prognosis of the cases by using demographic characteristics, clinical and biochemical parameters in the admissions to the Emergency Department(ED) with drowning.
Method: In this retrospective study, the demographic characteristics, the admission dates, the Glasgow coma scores (GCS), blood sodium and potassium levels, blood gas analysis, the feature of water in which drowning occurred, death, discharge, admission decisions of adult and pediatric patients admitting with submersion/drowning to the ED between January 2011 and December 2012 were recorded on patients’ files. Clinical status of the patients was classified by using simple scoring system of Szpilman. The results were statistically analyzed.
Results: Drowning/submersion were mostly seen in men (61%), under 15 years of age (56,1%), in hot weather (87,8%) and in fresh water (70,7%). Four patients died, and all of the patients who died were under 15 years of age. Drowning and/or submersion in fresh and/or salt water did not cause a statistically significant change in the levels of blood electrolyte. Along with the clinical classification made according to Szpilman scoring system, GCS and blood pH levels were statistically significant according to prognostic point of view.
Conclusion: Raising awareness of people at-risk age groups by using education and visual/written media, taking adequate security measures in open waters and being more careful especially in summer months will reduce the deaths. In determining the prognosis of patients, GCS, physical examination and blood pH can be used. New studies are needed in order to develop a detailed new scoring system in which all the parameters affecting the morbidite/mortality can be used together.