All adult (age 18 or older) drownings in Dade County, Florida, during 1989 were examined to determine the circumstances and related factors. Each of the 89 case investigations included autopsy findings, blood alcohol concentrations, toxicology screening results, and information from both police reports and hospital records. The results indicated that 83.1% were classified as unintentional deaths. Nearly one fourth (23.1%) had a blood alcohol content greater than 0.10%, and 18.3% were positive for drugs (cocaine, tranquilizers, etc.) that could affect the central nervous system. Prevention programs must emphasize reduction of substance use. Only 38.2% of the victims received emergency resuscitative care beginning at the immersion site. CPR was most often initiated by a lay person (47.1%), emergency medical services personnel (23.5%), and life guards (14.7%). This trend emphasizes the importance of instructing lay people in techniques of CPR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality