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A 41-year-old member asked:

can you drown by drinking too much water?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Luke Hermann
Emergency Medicine 25 years experience
No: Drowning occurs when water enters the lungs and is not related to how much you drink. Drinking too much water can however, result in other problems.
Dr. Vasu Brown
Integrative Medicine 34 years experience
No: Calculate your body weight in pounds your daily requirement is half your body weight in ounces. If you happen to drink coffee them multiply x 3 the ounce of coffee add that to above requirement.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Extremely unlikely: A normal healthy person cannot drown by drinking too much water except in an extremely rare situation. He would have to drink a lot of water, perhaps 1-2 gallons. His blood sodium would be diluted too much, leading to brain swelling and/or seizures (some of the ways water intoxication kills people). In his semi-conscious state, he vomits water from his stomach, sucks it into his lungs, and drowns.

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Similar questions

A 24-year-old member asked:

How can you drown in a cup of water?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: A normal healthy person (not a baby) won't drown from a cup of water. If he is drinking water and chokes, his epiglottis will shut off any flow of air or water toward the lungs. His reflex cough automatically spews out any water from trachea, before the water even reaches the lungs. If one is very drunk, he probably won't drown but will get some water or vomit into his lungs, and get pneumonia.
A 44-year-old member asked:

If you see someone drowning what do you do after getting them out of the water?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Call 911...: Once 911 is called, check the person for breathing and pulse. If there is a pulse but no breathing, rescue breaths are indicated. If there is no pulse, CPR is needed. There are classes you can take to learn these techniques, if interested.
Houma, LA
A 19-year-old male asked:

I aspirated a decent amount of water by drinking & I choked pretty severely but am better now. Is secondary drowning possible?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Elizabeth Wallen
Pediatrics 35 years experience
Unlikely: But if it were to happen, symptoms will develop 1 hour - 24 hours after your "drowning" incident. You will develop cough, difficulty breathing that gets progressively worse. If that happens, go to hospital. I'm glad you are better. I doubt that you have any more trouble.
Indianapolis, IN
A 16-year-old female asked:

Can you drown off a tablespoon of water?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Oscar Novick
Pediatrics 58 years experience
Water: No, Iduobt very much youcoulddrown on a tablespoon ofwater
A member asked:

Can you get secondary drowning for inhaling a sip of water?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Julan Crane
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Drowning: No

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Last updated Jun 6, 2019
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