Author: Chris Holmes, MD
- Epidemiology: 80% male, ages 1-4 at greatest risk, African-American > Caucasian.
- Freshwater and ocean water may have more bacteria than pool water.
- Salt water is hyperosmolar, which theoretically increases risk of pulmonary edema.
- Greatest physiologic insult is from hypoxia secondary to fluid aspiration or laryngeal spasm. Patient survival is related to presentation on arrival.
- Workup includes CXR and ABG; consider C-spine immobilization/imaging when cervical injury is strongly suspected (i.e. diving injury).
- Treatment consists of supplemental oxygen therapy. Consider CPAP or intubation.
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