The Long Term Effects of Drowning

The Long Term Effects of Drowning

Florida is known for its beautiful waterside communities, and many properties have private swimming pools to enjoy the nice weather year-round. Unfortunately, children, teens, and even adults could be at risk of drowning if property owners and managers, lifeguards, waterpark operators, and other entities fail to exercise due care and caution.

Many drowning accidents are fatal. If a victim survives the accident, their lives could be forever altered by long-term effects. If you or someone you love was involved in a Florida drowning accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. A Florida premises liability accident lawyer can help you determine the potential long-term effects you may experience so they can negotiate for compensation to cover near drowning treatment and other damages you may experience. 

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Non-Fatal Drowning and “Dry” Drowning

To better understand the potential health effects of drowning, it is important to understand what happens to your body when you drown. Drowning occurs when a person is submerged or immersed in liquid and their respiratory system is damaged as a result. Most people traditionally use the word “drowning” to describe deadly drowning accidents, but not all drownings are fatal.

Non-fatal drowning occurs when a person is submerged in water or another liquid and unable to breathe for a significant period. When a person is drowning and unable to breathe, their lungs cannot take in oxygen, and they may lose critical body functions. 

A non-fatal drowning can happen in as little as an inch or two of liquid. Non-fatal drowning victims must often be revived by emergency first aid to prevent death.

“Dry drowning” can occur hours after the initial drowning accident and may be deadly. When excess water remains in a drowning victim’s lungs, it can prevent them from taking full breaths, potentially leading to a secondary “dry” drowning.

Long-Term Effects of Non-Fatal Drowning Accidents

Even when drowning accident victims survive, they can still suffer long-term effects. Brain damage from drowning is common because oxygen flow to the brain may be interrupted, even if the victims are successfully revived. In some instances, drowning results in brain hypoxia, a dangerous condition that occurs when the brain does not get enough oxygen. After more than five minutes of brain hypoxia, brain cells begin to die from lack of oxygen, and victims may experience cognitive issues, seizures, or even brain death as a result.

Drowning victims can also sustain a lung injury. When drowning victims inhale contaminated water, bacteria and particulates can cause infections or damage in the lungs, increasing the likelihood of secondary drowning.

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How Common Is Drowning?

According to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • There are approximately 3,960 fatal drowning accidents in the U.S. every year, or roughly 11 drowning deaths per day.
  • There are approximately 8,080 non-fatal drowning accidents per year in the U.S., or an average of 22 non-fatal drownings each day. 
  • Aside from congenital disabilities, drowning is the leading cause of death among American children between the ages of one and four.
  • Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death among American children 14 and under, following only motor vehicle accidents. 

What to Do After a Drowning Accident?

If you or someone you love is involved in a non-fatal drowning accident, you can protect your legal rights and your ability to claim compensation by:

  • Seeking emergency medical care to prevent dangerous complications and establish an official record of the drowning in their medical history
  • Reporting the drowning to the owner or manager of the premises, if you are on public property or someone else’s private property
  • Documenting all medical bills, incidental expenses, and other financial losses related to the drowning accident
  • Contacting a personal injury attorney for professional legal advice

How Holliday Karatinos Can Advocate for You

After a Florida drowning accident, you need an experienced legal advocate who can safeguard your legal rights and help you seek fair compensation. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, our Florida peronal injury lawyers have more than 50 years of collective legal experience helping residents of and visitors to Florida seek justice and fair compensation after accidents caused by negligence. Let us put our experience to work for you. 

Contact us today to discuss the details of your drowning accident case in a free initial case review.

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James Wayne Holliday

James Wayne Holliday has been practicing law since 1995. He has been named as a “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member in Florida, an honor awarded to less than one percent of the nation’s lawyers.

Mr. Holliday has earned a reputation as a relentless trial lawyer because of his outstanding work ethic and thorough preparation of his cases for trial.

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