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Handbook on Drowning
Prevention, Rescue, and Treatment
edited by Joost J. L. M. Bierens

Handbook on Drowning is not only a rich source of focused information, but also a stimulant for initiatives on how best to reduce the annual number of drownings, in individual cases and during disasters, and how to improve the outcome of drowing victims.



  • Brief history of Maatschappij tot Redding van Drenkelingen (The Society to Rescue People from Drowning)
  • Two Centuries of Searching for Safe Lifeboats
  • The History of Resuscitation
  • The World Congress on Drowning: A Move Towards the Future

The Epidemiology of Drowning

  • Definition of Drowning
  • Methods for Estimating the Burden of Drowning
  • Availability and Quality of Data to Assess the Global Burden of Drowning
  • The Global Burden of Drowning
  • Risk Factors for Drowning
  • Review of Literature on Available Strategies for Drowning Prevention
  • Occupational Drownings

The Prevention of Drowning

  • Purposes and Scope of Prevention of Drowning
  • Risk Assessment and Perception
  • Prevention of Drowning in the Home and Garden
  • Prevention of Drowning in Home Pools
  • The Vigilance of Beach Patrols
  • Swimming Abilities, Water Safety Education and Drowning Prevention
  • National and Community Campaigns

Rescue - Organisational Aspects: Planning, Training and Preparation

  • Rescue Organisations: Paid or Volunteers?
  • Lifeguard Effectiveness
  • Quality Assessment and Risk Monitoring of Lifesaving
  • Beach Hazards and Risk Assessment of Beaches
  • Training Standards for In-Water Rescue Techniques
  • Training and Equipping Rescue Personnel for Flood Rescue
  • Learning from Computer Simulations
  • Data Registration for Lifesaving Organisations
  • Risk Management in Training of Rescue Techniques
  • Life Saving as an Academic Career: International Perspectives
  • Fund-Raising for Lifesaving
  • Lifesaving in Developing Countries

Rescue – Rescue Techniques

  • Patterns of Wave and Surf
  • Water Safety Signs and Beach Safety Flags
  • Lifeguard Surveillance and Scanning: Past, Present, Future
  • Trends in Sea Rescue and Open Water Search Techniques
  • Lifejackets and Other Lifesaving Appliances
  • Self-Rescue
  • Submerged Vehicle Rescue
  • Horizontal and Other Rescue Techniques: Practical Aspects
  • Ice Rescue
  • Rescues Under Difficult Circumstances
  • Rigid Inflatable Boats
  • Inshore Inflatable Rescue Boat Injuries with Implications for New Designs
  • Development and Use of Personal Watercraft in Aquatic Rescue Operations
  • Alternatives for Rescue Boats
  • Spinal Injury: Prevention, Immobilisation and Extrication from the Aquatic Environment
  • Injuries to Lifesavers
  • Management of Physical and Psychological Responses During Administration of CPR to a Drowned Person
  • Psychological Care After CPR and Rescue


  • Consensus and Recommendations
  • The Critical Role of Lay Persons and Their Actions in Drowning Incidents
  • Basic Life Support for Drowning Victims
  • Automated External Defibrillators in the Aquatic Environment
  • Positioning the Drowning Victim
  • First Aid Courses for the Aquatic Environment
  • Advance Life Support
  • Long QT Syndrome and Drowning
  • Paediatric Considerations in Drowning
  • Termination of Resuscitation Efforts in Drowning
  • Unusual Circumstances of Drowning
  • A Case Report of an Extreme Situation
  • A Case Report of a Successful Resuscitation from Accidental Hypothermia of 22°C and Submersion with Circulatory Arrest
  • A Case Report of 22-Minute Submersion in Warm Water Without Sequelae
  • Recommended Guidelines for Uniform Reporting of Data from Drowning: The Utstein-Style

Hospital Treatment

  • Treatment Protocols: Emergency Room
  • Treatment Protocols: Intensive Care Department
  • Paediatric Considerations
  • Aspiration
  • Management of ARDS
  • Risk Factors and Treatment of Pneumonia
  • Surfactant Therapy
  • Cardiovascular Changes
  • Classification Systems

Brain Resuscitation in the Drowning Victim

  • Consensus and Recommendations
  • Prehospital and Emergency Department Management of the Drowning Victim
  • Intensive Care Management of the Drowning Victim
  • Paediatric Considerations
  • Neuromonitoring in the Intensive Care Unit for the Drowning Victim
  • Neurochemical Markers of Brain Injury
  • Post-hypoxic Treatment with Pharmacologic Agents
  • Animal Experimentation on Cardiopulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation Relevant for Drowning
  • Future Research Questions

Immersion Hypothermia

  • Consensus and Recommendations
  • The Physiology of Cooling in Cold Water
  • Body Cooling, Modelling and Risk Assessment
  • Rescue Collapse Following Cold Water Immersion
  • Prehospital Management of Immersion Hypothermia
  • Hospital Rewarming of Hypothermic Victims
  • Hospital Treatment of Victims in Cardiorespiratory Arrest
  • Fluid Management During Treatment of Immersion Hypothermia
  • Acid–Base Management During Accidental Hypothermia
  • An International Data-Registration for Accidental and Immersion Hypothermia

Water-Related Disasters

  • Consensus and Recommendations
  • Disasters at Sea
  • ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’
  • Decision Support System for Optimising a SAR Fleet Plan to Rescue Large Numbers of Passengers
  • Linking Sea and Land: Essential Elements in Crises Decisions for Water-Related Disasters
  • Drowning in Floods: An Overview of Mortality Statistics for Worldwide Floods
  • Measures to Prevent The Netherlands from Flooding
  • Controlling the Risk of Flood-Related Drowning
  • The Safety Chain During Floods
  • Planning of the Mass Emergency Response to Floods in the Netherlands
  • Current Trends in Swift Water, Moving Water and Flood Rescue Response

Breath-Hold, SCUBA and Hose Diving

  • The Underlying Physics and Applied Physiology 591
  • Diving Techniques
  • Epidemiology of Drowning While Diving
  • Physical, Mental and Medical Fitness
  • Causation of Drowning Accidents in Relation to Training
  • Introducing Children to Diving
  • Underwater Self-Rescue and Assisted Rescue: Training to Cope With Emergencies
  • Immediate Treatment of the Diver Who Almost Drowned
  • Accident Investigation and Autopsy
  • Diving Accident Investigations
  • The Investigation of SCUBA Diving Fatalities

Investigation of Drowning Accidents

  • Behaviour of Dead Bodies in Water
  • Search and Recovery in Near-Shore Waters
  • Search Techniques
  • Homicidal Drowning
  • The Approach of the Pathologist to the Diagnosis of Drowning
  • Accident Investigations in Drowning
  • Legal Aspects and Litigation in Aquatic Lifesaving
  • Legal Claims in Drowning Cases
  • The M/S Estonia Disaster and the Treatment of Human Remains
  • Maritime Accident Investigations


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Handbook on Drowning
Prevention, Rescue, and Treatment
edited by Joost J. L. M. Bierens

2006 • 713 pages • $258.00 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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