What is secondary drowning? Symptoms – and what happened to Charlie Simpson’s son

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Broken star Charlie Simpson has spoken out about his family’s “terrifying experience” when his young son Iago drowned a second time

Simpson’s son Iago was taken to an emergency room after inhaling water while swimming one morning while on vacation.

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He spent the next three days in the hospital receiving what his father described as “amazing care.”

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Simpson said: “It was the worst thing we’ve ever experienced.

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“The scariest thing of all is that if we hadn’t taken him to the hospital at the time, the outcome could have been very different.”

“I really hope no one ever has to experience this – but I hope that if they do, I can raise some awareness of this frightening condition.”

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But what exactly is secondary drowning and what are the signs and symptoms?

Here’s what you need to know.

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What is secondary drowning?

Secondary drowning is a rare condition that resembles drowning and is caused by the lungs filling with water. It can cause potentially fatal breathing difficulties and it takes less than half a glass of inhaled water to drown.

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Secondary drowning, also known as dry drowning, occurs when a person inhales water as a result of near-drowning or fighting in the water.

However, they can be out of the water and walking around as if everything is normal before showing signs of dry drowning.

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What Are the Symptoms of Secondary Drowning?

Symptoms of secondary drowning include:

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  • Vomit
  • Fever
  • shortness of breath and lethargy

Symptoms can appear up to 72 hours later, making diagnosis difficult.

Keep an eye on inexperienced swimmers and children in the water

What is the treatment?

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Children or adults presenting with these symptoms need to go to the emergency room, where a medical history is usually taken, a physical exam is performed, and any necessary blood and x-ray tests are done.

Treatment often includes oxygen, with some patients requiring a ventilator.

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How can it be prevented?

Keep an eye on inexperienced swimmers and children in the water.

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They can also teach swimmers how to blow out water, know their limits and not panic in the water.

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