Page of

Drowning 

Drowning
Chapter:
Drowning
Source:
Acute Care Casebook
Author(s):

Elysha Pifko

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190865412.003.0053

This case illustrates how to approach a patient who presents after drowning in the setting of a new-onset seizure. Immediate attention should always be given to the airway, breathing, and circulation of any patient that presents after drowning. The majority of these patients recover without the need for further medical intervention. However, patients with significant rales, hypotension, or ventilatory failure will require admission to the intensive care unit. In patients that present with a first unprovoked seizure, laboratory tests and radiologic imaging should only be obtained in those with a concerning history. Antiepileptic drugs should also not be initiated in the majority of these patients. In general, management of seizures in the emergency department need to be catered toward each individual patient based on the circumstances of his or her presentation.

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