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Secondary drowning: Four-year-old drowns in bed
With summer temperatures, there is nothing better for many than spending their free time in the outdoor pool, by the lake or by the sea. Little Frankie D. from the USA also cooled off in the sea with his parents on a warm day. A week later he was dead. The four-year-old "drowned" in his bed.
Fatal swimming accidents in summer
The jump into the cool water ensures a pleasant cooling at high temperatures. Unfortunately, fatal bathing accidents are reported again and again in the summer months. So "there are always serious to fatal bathing accidents because swimmers overestimate their abilities or behave carelessly in the water", wrote the University Hospital Freiburg in a press release. In some cases, the accidents are due to the fact that children cannot swim. With Frankie D. it didn't matter whether he could swim or not. The little boy "drowned" only days after a bathing trip - in his bed.
"Drowned" in bed a week after the bathing trip
According to a report by the US news channel "CNN", the four-year-old boy from Texas took his last breath one week after a bathing trip with the family.
The suspected cause of death is "dry drowning", a rare condition in which there is a delayed physical response to inhalation of water. According to the report, this is also known as "secondary drowning".
However, experts distinguish between the two variants: in the first, the water does not penetrate into the lungs.
Parents didn't worry at first
According to "CNN," Francisco Delgado Jr. and his wife Tara used Memorial Day on May 29 to celebrate a family outing with their son Frankie.
They spent the day at Texas City Dike - a popular seaside resort on the Gulf of Mexico. The four-year-old had played there in the knee-deep water when he was hit by a wave and swallowed water.
According to the information, a friend of the family came to his aid. Frankie himself said he was okay. The parents didn't worry anymore. "Frankie had fun for the rest of the day," said his father. "We didn't think about it."
The child's condition worsened
But the night after the excursion, the boy suffered from diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Because the parents and their son had already seen a doctor because of such symptoms and the doctor had classified the symptoms as a result of a gastrointestinal infection, they initially considered it sufficient to take care of the little one at home.
When the symptoms did not go away after a week and Frankie complained of shoulder pain, the father decided to take him to the doctor the next morning.
Official cause of death is still pending
"I love my son so much and always talk to him when he is sleeping," said the father. But “suddenly he just woke up. He looked at me and took a deep breath. And then I saw that he didn't exhale. "
The boy was then taken to the hospital. There the doctors did not manage to revive him.
The doctors found water in his lungs and around his heart and told his parents that he had died of "dry drowning". The official cause of death is still pending.
Fluid in the lungs
The spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians, Dr. Juan Fitz told CNN how it can happen.
When a swimmer is back on land, there may still be fluid in the lungs, causing edema or swelling.
From the air that travels through the lungs filled with water, the oxygen can no longer get into the blood properly. As a result, blood oxygen levels drop and the heart beats slower.
"This is followed by cardiac arrest because there is not enough oxygen," says Fitz.
According to the expert, small children are particularly affected by the "dry drowning". It is difficult to predict whether a child will be affected unless they have had obvious difficulties in the water.
Symptoms within 24 hours
Symptoms typically appear 1 to 24 hours after the incident and include persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, lethargy, fever, and an unusual mood change, said Alison Osinski, president of Aquatic Consulting Services.
According to Fitz, Frankie's vomiting could have been caused by irritation of the water in the lungs or by a bacterial infection.
After her son's death, the family made the case public to warn others of the danger.
“My son was special. My son was so good. He was the best, ”said the father. "All he wanted was a smile on my face." (Ad)