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October 15, 1955


JAMA. 1955;159(7):682. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960240048013

Throughout most of the world drowning is a problem with which the public and the medical profession must cope. Warnings are issued to swimmers, waders, campers, fishermen, and others, but this does not prevent death from occurring frequently. Many studies have been made of artificial respiration but comparatively few of the physiology of drowning. As has been pointed out elsewhere,1 this is important until more is learned about this method of dying. Until then the most important act is the immediate initiation and unceasing continuation of artificial respiration. Other procedures are secondary and should be implemented only as they can without interference with the artificial respiration. While the airway must be watched, any elaborate or unnecessary procedures will lessen the chance of survival. In view of the stimulus given to underwater swimming during and since World War II, it is hoped that research on drowning will be conducted extensively

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