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Sudden Death After Near-Drowning

Francisco M. Wong, MD; William J. Grace, MD
JAMA. 1963;186(7):724-726. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63710070013019.
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ALTHOUGH mention has been made that death may occur suddenly and unexpectedly after apparent clinical recovery from drowning there have been no reports documenting this catastrophic event. The purpose of this paper is to report such a case and to review our present knowledge on the pathophysiology and treatment of drowning and to emphasize the need for continued medical care in survivors of near-drowning.

Report of a Case  A 53-year-old white male was brought to the emergency room of St. Vincent's Hospital on Sept 20, 1963 after being rescued from the Hudson River (salt water) where he was found floating with his head underwater. On shore, the patient was given artificial respiration and oxygen with recovery of spontaneous respirations. When seen in the hospital he was breathing regularly and coughing up copious quantities of water. Tracheal suction was vigorously and meticulously carried out. Oxygen was given by mask and was


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