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BET 2: CT head in investigation of near drowning
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  • Published on:
    Drowning is neither near nor far, it just is
    • Andrew Schmidt, Emergency Medicine Physician International Drowning Researchers' Alliance

    I was happy to see the inclusion of two systematic reviews regarding the proper treatment and evaluation of drowning patients in the same issue; this one, pertaining to CT head investigation, and an additional one pertaining to cervical spine immobilization. While the information included is up to date and pertinent, unfortunately the nomenclature used is over 15 years out of date and no longer accepted by all major health organizations dealing with the prevention and treatment of drowning. In 2002, the World Conference on Drowning developed the uniform definition for drowning, which is "The process of experiencing respiratory impairment due to submersion or immersion in a liquid." With this work also came the recommendations to discontinue the use of modifiers such as "near", "wet", "dry", and "secondary" to describe a drowning, as these terms are inconsistent and do not fit within the wording of the uniform definition. Since its development, the medical and research communities as a whole have been fairly slow to adopt, but much progress has been made with the hard work of many drowning researchers and educators around the world.

    We encourage authors, reviewers, and editors and educate themselves on the current, accepted drowning nomenclature so that we may all present a uniform front in our efforts to decrease this prominent cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. The most recent version of the BMJ Bes...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.