As the weather got warmer, water accidents reached dramatic dimensions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, water accidents rank in third place among the unintentional causes of death worldwide, and some 500 thousand people died each year because of this reason. It has been reported that an average of 654 people died due to drowning in Turkey.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Filiz Öğçe, Head of IUE Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, stated that children and young male adults were subject to water accidents more. She said that deathly water accidents usually took place at forbidden areas which are dangerous and unsafe, and places where no lifeguard is present. Öğçe said, “In drowning accidents, typically there is the process of holding onto breath and struggling. Loss of consciousness, getting water in lungs, and respiratory and circulatory functions coming to a halt makes the situation even worse. During that process, the individuals need to be taken out of the water immediately. An important reality to consider here is that majority of the drowning results in the death of people who get into the water to save the other person in danger.”
Getting drowned while helping
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Öğçe stated that people who did not receive life-guard training should not jump into the water, they need to throw floatable objects instead and pull the victim to a safe place and call 112 immediately.
‘Panic causes consumption of energy’
The biggest problem is people panicking in the water stated Assoc. Prof Dr. Öğçe. She said, "Superficial breathing occurs due to people screaming and holding their breaths. And their attempts to stay on the surface consumes their energy, which results in increase of drowning risk. Another danger regarding water related accidents is people diving head first into the water. There is a risk of paralysis due to neck fractures.” Öğçe said that mandatory swimming courses at schools would be beneficial and children and youth should be taught about the dangers of water jokes.
Tips for after the accident
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Öğçe indicated that people should not jump into the water without knowing how deep it is. She stated the following:
"Enough number of trained life guards need to be present at lakes, rivers, seas, pools, where people swim. Boats should have sufficient number of life rings, float cushions, and life jackets, and these should be monitored regularly. Everyone should have first aid and basic life support training. In the event of the accident, victims should be touched gently to see if they are conscious or not. If the person can breathe but cannot move, they should be laid on their side so the stomach contents do not go into their lungs. If the person is not breathing, they should be laid on their back and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should be applied.”