Drowning is a quiet process. There’s no splashing or yelling.
The person struggles to doggy paddle, gulping for air (and maybe swallowing water), followed quickly by the inability to speak, breathe properly or swim.
Simply put, drowning occurs when someone stops breathing because the body senses that they are beginning to take water in the lungs, and it automatically shuts down breathing completely. Loss of consciousness happens quickly. A lack of air in the lungs causes the brain and heart to be starved of oxygen, which can lead to death.
Mouth-to-Mouth CPR is critical to stop the drowning process by providing the brain and heart the oxygen it so desperately needs. Hands-only CPR in this scenario is just simply not enough.
“In the past 15 years, the push has been to increase bystander CPR for cardiac events. This means more people have learned how to do continuous chest compressions, which is fantastic,” says Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona President Melissa Sutton. “But we can’t lose the importance of traditional CPR with breaths in respiratory events -- especially in drownings. We must replenish the oxygen to the brain.”
August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month. In recognition of this effort, Scottsdale Fire Department joins the DPCA and SRP in a valley-wide effort to offer FREE mouth-to-mouth awareness classes to the public.
“CPR is the last line of defense to help reduce the risk of significant brain injury and death if someone has breached all other layers of protection," Lori Schmidt, Public Information Officer for Scottsdale Fire Department.
Layers of protection include Adult supervision, Barriers to prevent access to water, Coast-Guard approved life vests, Classes in swimming and mouth-to-mouth CPR.
"We are proud to be a part of this effort to underscore the importance of this life-saving skill," says Schmidt. "Hands-only CPR has saved the lives of many people in cardiac arrest. But we hope people will take the time to refresh their knowledge of CPR with breaths to save a life in a drowning event."
The free non-certification class will be offered from 10 am-12 pm, Aug. 25 at 8401 E. Indian School Rd., Scottsdale. Pre-register for the training here.