The resuscitation of a 21-year-old man after submersion in fresh water for at least 5 min is described. On admission to hospital the patient appeared dead with fixed dilated pupils, deep cyanosis and asystole. Twenty min later the patient was transferred to the intensive care unit with a recordable blood pressure. On arrival there he was breathing spontaneously and so was not ventilated. A few hours later he developed pulmonary oedema and died.
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