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What Happens To The Body While One is Drowning?

(The Kitui tragedy ill fated bus)

Drowning is a form of death by suffocation. It is one of the most common type of accidental deaths all over the world.

Death by drowning usually occurs after the lungs fill up with water and are no longer able to take up oxygen.

This leads to lack of oxygen supply to the heart and eventually to the brain and within 2 minutes, the whole body completely shuts down.

A person who is drowning tries their best to save themselves by holding air to avoid breathing in water.

This however fails since a normal person can only hold air for 30 to 60 seconds.

Stages of Drowning.

1. For the first few seconds after inhaling water into the lungs, the person panics and struggles to breath.

2. The airways close down as a body's defense mechanism of preventing more water from being inhaled. The person eventually loses consciousness. This stage lasts for two minutes.

3. At this stage, breathing has already stopped and the heart rate is low. The person has high chances of survival if removed from water within seconds and resusicated.

4. The body starts turning blue and moving involuntarily fast (seizure like) as if trying to save itself. 

5. This stage is characterized by celebral hypoxia where the heart and brain are deprived off oxygen. At this point, one can't be saved since the brain cells are already dead and the heart has stopped. This leads to clinical death.

All the 5 steps happen within a range of 10-12 minutes depending on the persons age, weight and respiratory health.

Content created and supplied by: Shantynews (via Opera News )

Drowning Kitui


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