Knowing the dangers of secondary drowning - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Knowing the dangers of secondary drowning

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(KFVS) - Many of us know the dangers of drowning while swimming, but a danger called secondary drowning or "parking lot drowning", can pose a risk hours after leaving the water.

CNN reports that you can think of this as near drowning. A swimmer in the pool may accidentally inhale water or have a close-to-drowning incident.

The swimmer may seem to be just fine afterwards, but experts say not everyone is in the clear at that point.

The water left in a swimmer's lungs can cause swelling, making it harder for the lungs to exchange oxygen and causing the heart to slow.

Here are the symptoms of secondary drowning to watch out for:
  • Persistent coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Changes in mood

Note that these symptoms can come about anywhere from one to 24 hours after the initial incident.

If caught early, doctors can remove the fluid from the lungs. But if left untreated, experts say this can quickly turn into a more serious condition, like cardiac arrest, and it can be fatal.

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