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BMC Public Health. 2015 Jul 10;15:631. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2010-0.

Mortality among drowning rescuers in China, 2013: a review of 225 rescue incidents from the press.

Author information

1
Institute of Non-Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Ningbo Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No. 237, Yongfeng Road, Haishu District, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, 315010, People's Republic of China. zhuyc@nbcdc.org.cn.
2
Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, 17172, Stockholm, Sweden. xia.jiang@ki.se.
3
Institute of Non-Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Ningbo Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No. 237, Yongfeng Road, Haishu District, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, 315010, People's Republic of China. lih@nbcdc.org.cn.
4
Department of Public Health Surveillance & Advisory Division, Zhejiang Province Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No.630, Xincheng Road, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 310051, People's Republic of China. fdli@cdc.zj.cn.
5
Institute of Non-Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Ningbo Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No. 237, Yongfeng Road, Haishu District, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, 315010, People's Republic of China. chenjp@nbcdc.org.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Drowning is common worldwide. Rescue efforts attempted by untrained bystanders often lead to the death of the primary drowning victim (PDV), the rescuer or both. Our study aimed to inform prevention by identifying risk factors in rescuer drowning.

METHODS:

Data on drowning rescue incidents reported online in mainland China, 2013, were reviewed. Information on the drowning incidents, PDVs and rescuers were retrieved for analysis.

RESULTS:

A total of 225 rescue incidents were identified, of which 14 were victim-rescuer drowning incidents (VRDIs) (6.2%). A person-to-person rescue by swimming to PDVs was the most commonly used method (58.9%). Resuscitation was given immediately to 35.5% of PDVs after rescue. The mortality rate of the rescuers (13.3%) was similar to that of the PDVs (11.5%) (χ(2) = 0.5, p =0.49). Being an adult (OR = 0.2, 95% CI: 0.1-0.5) and other than the first rescuer (OR = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2-0.9) decreased the risk of rescuers drowning.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most of the currently employed life-saving methods are dangerous and even potentially life threatening. The idea of "rescuers' safety first" should be embraced, especially with teenage and child rescuers, who should never be encouraged to rescue others without first guaranteeing their own safety. Promotion of basic rescue skills should be implemented in the general public.

PMID:
26156246
PMCID:
PMC4496822
DOI:
10.1186/s12889-015-2010-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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