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
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.