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Doctor insights on: Dry Drown

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What is dry drowning and how common is it in children?

What is dry drowning and how common is it in children?

See below: Dry drowning or delayed drowning occurs when a small amount of water goes into the lungs. How it ocurrs is not completely understood but it is thought that water can cause the breathing tube to tighten (laryngospasm) or cause pulmonary swelling. It can happen up to 24 hours after the water gets into the lungs. There are no reports that say how many drownings are this type. ...Read more

Dr. Mark Farber
178 Doctors shared insights

Drowning (Definition)

Drowning = suffocation due to aspiration ...Read more


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Can you dry drown by having soda go down the wrong way and you didn't cough right away?

Can you dry drown by having soda go down the wrong way and you didn't cough right away?

Depends on volume: Of soda inhaled and sugar content, but not possible with just one swallow as cough reflexes usually prevent multiple. Unfortunately if one were really intoxicated or did not have normal reflexes, etc. One could get aspiration pneumonia, etc. Which could leave one very ill. In a resuscitation, life saving meds are occasionally given into the trachea if iv access is not available., ...Read more

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Would you know if you were dry drowning or secondary drowning after having a swim? No coughing, breathing difficulties, pain or symptoms present

Would you know if you were dry drowning or secondary drowning after having a swim? No coughing, breathing difficulties, pain or symptoms present

Yes you would...: In simple terms you would have all the symptoms you stated you didn't have. Dry drowning is caused by airway spasm. You would cough and not be able to take a breath. ...Read more

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Can gripe water cause a baby to dry drown?

Can gripe water cause a baby to dry drown?

???: What's gripe water? And what does 'dry drown' mean? ...Read more

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Is it possible for an adult to "Dry Drown" from choking on a cup of water?

Is it possible for an adult to "Dry Drown" from choking on a cup of water?

Theoretically: Anything which triggers a laryngospasm can cause "dry drowning". I believe there would have to be an underlying illness for that to occur however, most people have a reflex in the larynx to prevent the water from going into the lungs, but if this spasms (usually from prolonged or persistent exposure to noxious gasses or fluids) it could lead to death. ...Read more

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Coughed in a pool yesterday. Dry drowning scare or secondary, I have back pain?

Coughed in a pool yesterday. Dry drowning scare or secondary, I have back pain?

Mgt: A small amount of water aspirated should not cause a problem, if you are otherwise healthy. If the cough is resolved and you are breathing normally, it should be fine. If you have breathing difficulties, fever or prolonged cough I would suggest an appointment with your pediatrician. ...Read more

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My son was drinking pop today and started choking. He's 4. No need to worry about dry drowning correct?

My son was drinking pop today and started choking. He's 4. No need to worry about dry drowning correct?

No: You mean worry about aspiration, if he coughed it up and now breathing fine, no need to worry, if otherwise, having severe cough, changed colors, difficult breathing, please take him to ER or call EMS, wish you both wellness ...Read more

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I am really afraid of dying from a glass of water. I am afraid of secondary drowning or dry drowning. Any help?

Fixations: You need to find a mental health professional to guide you with this issue. If this fixation over a specific item is intruding in your thoughts, only investigating where the idea originated and what prompted it will help. The idea itself may be just a sign of a deeper issue you cannot realize on your own. ...Read more

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I drank some of my chocolate milkshake, and I coughed very briefly. I have been researching 'dry drowning'' up on my internet, and it''s worrying me?

I drank some of my chocolate milkshake, and I coughed very briefly. I have been researching 'dry drowning'' up on my internet, and it''s worrying me?

"Dry drowning"...: ...does not occur because of occasional swallowing problems, i.e. food or fluids "going down the wrong pipe". It's an exceedingly rare problem, only in people already very seriously ill. Don't worry about it. ...Read more

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Is dry drowning possible for a 7 year old who choke on a glass of water? She threw the water up right away while coughing.

Is dry drowning possible for a 7 year old who choke on a glass of water? She threw the water up right away while coughing.

Highly unlikely: She threw up the water by coughing and if she still had water in her trachea she would have continued coughing until she got out most of the water. It is very unlikely that enough would be retained to compromise pulmonary function. ...Read more

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2 yr old fell off step in pool- under for a few seconds. Hadn’t sunk to bottom. No coughing when pulled up. Just crying. Worried about dry drowning?

2 yr old fell off step in pool- under for a few seconds. Hadn’t sunk to bottom. No coughing when pulled up. Just crying. Worried about dry drowning?

Mgt: I would suggest observing closely for any signs of cough, shortness of breath, fever or abnormal respiratory sounds.
From your description, he will probably be fine. Supervise closely when near the pool. ...Read more

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Can you dry drown from getting swallowing water down the wrong way, even if you supposedly cough it back up?

Can you dry drown from getting swallowing water down the wrong way, even if you supposedly cough it back up?

No: The small amount of water will be absorbed into the body. No drowning will occur. Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read more

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I have panic issues, & when I heard about dry drowning, I felt like I couldn't breathe. Should I be scared to even drink liquids? I'm SO scared of this

I have panic issues, & when I heard about dry drowning, I felt like I couldn't breathe. Should I be scared to even drink liquids? I'm SO scared of this

Psych Eval now!: You are taking some meds, but you need better mgmt that may change the Rx and add psychotherapy. Don't wait. You need to be able to feel safe drinking water (you are!) This is rare and mostly in little kids, shortly after a real water mishap. Seek an eval soon so you can get this cleared up. Http://www. Webmd. Com/children/features/secondary-drowning-dry-drowning
Best! ...Read more

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When I was drinking a glass of water, it went down the "wrong pipe " now I'm paranoid about dry drowning. Can this happen?

When I was drinking a glass of water, it went down the "wrong pipe " now I'm paranoid about dry drowning. Can this happen?

You're ok: If you are no longer coughing, you are fine. This is a common occurrence. Many people have this happen to them and they're just fine. ...Read more

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My 3 week old choked/strangled on vit D drops. If it got into her lungs, what will happen? Could it cause something like pneumonia or dry drowning?

My 3 week old choked/strangled on vit D drops. If it got into her lungs, what will happen? Could it cause something like pneumonia or dry drowning?

Not really: It's unlikely that you will notice any sequelae from this little event. The reason we cough and "choke" - it's our body's way of protecting itself and trying to keep stuff out of the lungs. Even with this protection sometimes, rarely stuff will get by, but most of the time actually nothing ever occurs. The tiny amount of medicine given for infant Vit D drops is inconsequential. Relax. It's okay. ...Read more

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I have anxiety. Doc said I was fine. But I have the feeling that water went the wrong path. Will I dry drown. Doc said I would cough! Details needed?

I have anxiety. Doc said I was fine. But I have the feeling that water went the wrong path. Will I dry drown. Doc said I would cough! Details needed?

Anxiety disorder: You will not "dry drown". Please consult your mental health provider for more aggressive management of your anxiety disorder before it becomes crippling. ...Read more

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My one year old took in some water in the bath and he was chocking. What r the chances of dry drowning. He was having a hard time catching his breath?

My one year old took in some water in the bath and he was chocking. What r the chances of dry drowning. He was having a hard time catching his breath?

Choking: Some of the water made its way into the windpipe and his vocal cords went into a spasm causing him to choke., and cough. If the bath water had soap/body wash mixed in, irritation may also cause hoarseness of his voice or a more prolonged cough. More often than not, this situation does not cause any complications. ...Read more

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Is pulmonary edema usual in dry drowning cases?

Is pulmonary edema usual in dry drowning cases?

Not sure: I don't know what you mean by dry drowning since it necessarily requires that the lungs fill with fluid to be termed drowning. Suffocation can occur without the lungs filling with pulmonary edema, but all cases of drowning have fluid in the lungs. ...Read more

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I am paranoid about dying from dry drowning. I drank a glass of water, could it have gone the wrong pipe. I didn't cough. Pl help me?

I am paranoid about dying from dry drowning. I drank a glass of water, could it have gone the wrong pipe. I didn't cough. Pl help me?

Could not have but..: That is a very unusual fear. I have never heard of that happening to anyone. Our bodies are designed to prevent food & water entering the trachea. In the rare circumstances when small amounts do you will definitely cough so if you did not cough it did not go down the trachea. I advise you seek treatment for your paranoia, starting with seeing a psychologist who treats phobias. ...Read more

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My 15 month old choked on water 3 times in the bath tub while trying to drink the water. Could he be at risk for dry drowning? This was 40 minutes ago

My 15 month old choked on water 3 times in the bath tub while trying to drink the water. Could he be at risk for dry drowning? This was 40 minutes ago

Dry drowning: The entity of dry drowning is not something that has been reliably verified as a clinical entity. If your child choked on water in the bath tub while trying to drink it but did not suffer a pronged period of submersion, loss of consciousness, loss of respiratory effort or loss of pulse, and is not having trouble breathing currently, then it is unlikely to lead to adverse problems. ...Read more

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Hi, I have anxiety. Doctor said I am physically fine. But I have a feeling that saliva/fluid went the wrong tube. Can this cause dry drowning?

Hi, I have anxiety. Doctor said I am physically fine. But I have a feeling that saliva/fluid went the wrong tube. Can this cause dry drowning?

The fear you: Mention sounds like it is related to an anxiety disorder. If your doc has cleared you for medical problem please see a mental health professional for treatment. Do not rely on medication alone but learn techniques to cope such as clinical hypnosis, relaxation training, etc. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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15M old choaked on water from cup She spit some water out her mouth before coughing for a min she went to bed@bedtime I'm concerned about dry drowning?

15M old choaked on water from cup She spit some water out her mouth before coughing for a min she went to bed@bedtime I'm concerned about dry drowning?

Definitions: Drowning from fluid in the lungs that occurs not during submersion in water, but up to 24 hours after swimming or bathing, defines secondary drowning. If the child inhales water into the lungs, the vocal cords can spasm. The drowning is defined 'dry' because it occurs out of the water. Ref: http://www.parenting.com/child/safety/what-you-need-to-know-about-dry-drowning ...Read more

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Can you dry drown from accidentally inhaling a drop of coca-cola? Tipped head back to get the last drop and went straight down no cough right after

Can you dry drown from accidentally inhaling a drop of coca-cola? Tipped head back to get the last drop and went straight down no cough right after

No problem: The amount that went down your trachea was obviously small since no coughing was caused. Your broncial tubes and lungs can easily absorb this without problems. ...Read more

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I have anxiety. Doc said im fine. But I have sensation saliva is caught somwhere between my throat and chest. Is ist dangerous? Can it cause dry drown

I have anxiety. Doc said im fine. But I have sensation saliva is caught somwhere between my throat and chest. Is ist dangerous? Can it cause dry drown

NO: I do not think that you will drown from your own saliva. If you have anxiety then you ought to get treatment for this. See a therapist or a psychiatrist if you can. Not sure how this all works out in Canada. ...Read more

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Have anxiety. Was told am ok by doc. But I have panic attack now. Have difficulty breathing through nose especially when I lie. I also fear dry drown?

Have anxiety. Was told am ok by doc. But I have panic attack now. Have difficulty breathing through nose especially when I lie. I also fear dry drown?

Panic attacks are: Acute bouts of intense anxiety + physical sxs like shortness of breath, chest tightness, palpitations, dizziness, numbness, nausea/vomiting, and the fear or dying or going crazy. Panic disorder occurs when the pt worries so abt having further attacks that this worry keeps them from normal fcn. As no medical cause, c MD for review of tx options including medications (SSRIs) & talk therapy (ie CBT) ...Read more

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My son took a drink of milk from a cup before bed, he made a choking noise twice. No coughing. I’m very worried about dry/secondary drowning?

My son took a drink of milk from a cup before bed, he made a choking noise twice. No coughing. I’m very worried about dry/secondary drowning?

No worries: Haven't seen or heard of that happening under these circumstances. Life can be unpredictable, but drowning under these circumstances would be near the bottom of life's long (really long) list of surprises. ...Read more

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What is secondary drowning?

What is secondary drowning?

Water in the lungs: If person had a near drowning accident after which he/she appears ok that person still can die 1-48 hrs later if enough water entered the lungs to significantly impear oxygen exchange, they can die from hypoxemia and that will be secondary drowning. ...Read more