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<< Pediatric Submersion Injuries: Emergency Care And Resuscitation (Trauma CME)

Controversies And Cutting Edge

Since the report in 1962 of a 5-year-old boy who drowned in water at a temperature of -10°C and recovered neurologically intact after a 5-hour resuscitation, 97 multiple cases have documented remarkable recoveries of children who drown in cold water and were severely hypothermic.98,99 Perhaps the longest reported submersion was that of a 2-1/2-year-old rescued after 66 minutes. Apneic and pulseless, with an initial rectal temperature of 22.4°C and an initial pH of 7.25, the patient was placed on extracorporeal rewarming (ECR) 3 hours after arrival to the ED. She survived essentially neurologically intact and was discharged from the hospital 7 weeks later.100 It is important to note that drowning in water < 10°C accounts for almost all of the reported cases of survival after prolonged submersion (> 15 minutes).

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