Rescue Divers

Oxygen First Aid for Aquatic Emergencies

Every year more than 4,000 Americans die from drowning and many more suffer from near-drowning events.

According to the 1998 National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) Annual Sports Participation Survey, 58.2 million Americans participated more than once in swimming during the year. The same study identified nearly 30 million people who participated in power boating, sailing, kayaking, rafting or canoeing.

When swimmers and boaters have near-drowning accidents, water in their lungs keeps their lungs from working properly and they don't get an adequate amount of oxygen. This may cause secondary drowning; victims appear to survive an incident only to die at home a few hours later. Administering 100 percent oxygen first aid immediately after an accident improves the victim's survival chances.

For nearly a decade, DAN has preached the benefits of providing oxygen to injured scuba divers. During that time more than 80,000 people worldwide have been trained in this first aid skill. In March of 1999, DAN Services, Inc., a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of Divers Alert Network, launched the Oxygen First Aid for Aquatic Emergencies (Aquatics) program. Its goal is to extend the life-saving skills of oxygen first aid to people who live, work and play in and around water. Providing high concentrations of oxygen to near-drowning victims in the first few minutes after rescue can prevent serious or even fatal complications.

Oxygen First Aid for Acquatic Injuries