New Hope for Children Who Nearly Drown

Studying_Brain

(Scientific American) – Conrad was 17 months old when Dave, his grandfather, was babysitting him at their home in Temple, Texas. The two had been playing in the pool and went inside for a break. Dave set to unloading dishes in the dishwasher, unaware that Conrad had snuck back outside.

As he finished the dishes, Dave looked out the window and noticed something odd. There was what looked like a floating bundle of clothes in the swimming pool. It was his grandson.

Fortunately, Conrad responded to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but it’s unclear how long his lungs—and his brain—went without oxygen.
Drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death in children to age four.

As in Conrad’s case, CPR is fortunately very successful, with 66 percent of nearly drowned children surviving. But even when resuscitated, the seconds and minutes that the brain is deprived of oxygen come at a great cost.

This type of damage is known as anoxic brain injury. CONTINUE