Can running on your back really save your life?

If someone fell into the water, how would you rescue him? Recently, an article about first aid methods for children drowning went viral in the circle of friends. It mentioned that “hold the children’s feet and run with the children on their backs…” do you believe in such first aid measures for children drowning? Don’t believe me! Why? Jia Dacheng, senior expert of Beijing Emergency Center and emergency doctor of Weibo big V @ will give you the answer.

two misunderstandings you have to know about drowning:

myth 1: can people be saved if they drown for no more than 1 hour

— nonsense

A long time of drowning will cause the drowned person to stop breathing, heartbeat, lack of oxygen in the brain, and even brain death. This process is irreversible. In general, permanent damage to brain tissue occurs after cardiac arrest for 4-6 minutes; After 10 minutes of cardiac arrest, brain death occurred. Therefore, it is impossible to save people from drowning for more than an hour. Speaking of this, Jia Dacheng said with emotion: “as long as you drown for less than an hour, you can save people. This is nonsense.”.

Myth 2: can running with children on their backs control water

— there is no need to control water at all

Many people think that the above-mentioned “running with children on their backs” is a method of “controlling water”, so it is effective for rescue. But Jia Dacheng said: when rescuing drowning people, water control should not be carried out. Jia Dacheng pointed out three reasons:

First, the drowning person did not inhale water because of laryngospasm and glottis atresia in the early stage (called “dry drowning”); Even if the patient inhales a large amount of water through the respiratory tract (called “wet drowning”), these water has entered the blood circulation.

Second, when controlling water, it is easy to cause reflux and aspiration of gastric contents, which will block the airway and may also lead to lung infection.

Third, water control also delays the time of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, making the drowned lose the best opportunity for resuscitation.

Is it absolutely impossible to control water? The reason why we choose to control water is that in the long history of mankind, we have always believed that since water has entered the lungs and even the digestive tract, it is natural and indisputable to control water.

However, if it is freshwater drowning, the salt content of freshwater is 0, and the salt content of human plasma is about 0.9%. Because the osmotic pressure of freshwater is lower than that of plasma, the water that has entered the lungs will quickly enter the blood circulation, and the water in the lungs will obviously decrease or disappear.

If seawater drowns, the salt content of seawater is about 3.5%. Because the osmotic pressure of seawater is higher than that of plasma, the water of the body will enter the lungs, and the water in the lungs will become more and more, resulting in “drowning” of the lungs.

Therefore, seawater drowning can be controlled, while freshwater drowning does not need to be controlled.

Evidence based medicine has long reached a conclusion, and the 2010 American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and cardiovascular first aid also clearly points out that drowning does not need to be controlled!

Therefore, it is better to seize the opportunity of cardiopulmonary resuscitation when rescuing a drowning person, to avoid foreign bodies blocking the throat, and not to control the water~

What are the correct first aid measures for drowning


1. Move the drowning person to a safe place as soon as possible and pay attention to his own safety.

2. Do not control water, and immediately perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation for drowning people with cardiac arrest. Before the operation, open the channel first, clear the water grass, sand, etc. in the mouth and nose of the drowning person, turn the head to one side, let the water flow out of the nose, then do mouth to mouth exhalation, and finally do external heart compression according to the resuscitation operation sequence of ABC. If there is no breathing and heartbeat, there is no need to perform external cardiac compression.

3. At the same time, call an ambulance and ask medical staff for help.

4. In case of trauma, immediately deal with head and neck injuries.

If the drowning person’s breathing and heartbeat stop for more than 10 minutes, don’t give up easily:

Usually, cardiac arrest lasts for > 4-6 minutes, and permanent damage occurs to brain tissue After 10 minutes, brain died. For cardiac arrest caused by drowning, even if it is more than 10 minutes, it should be actively rescued.

there are two reasons:

first, diving reflection

○ the breathing stops first, the heartbeat does not stop immediately, and the circulation of the brain is not interrupted; Heart rate slows, which can reduce myocardial oxygen consumption.

○ peripheral blood vessels contract to ensure blood supply to important organs.

Second, low temperature environment can reduce the oxygen consumption of brain tissue and make brain tissue tolerate relatively long-term ischemia and hypoxia

In addition, Jia Dacheng also specially reminded the general public that the swimming season is coming. Everyone should spread correct first-aid measures, not listen to Internet rumors, and never spread any wrong information to harm others and oneself.

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