Arkansas ranks 4th in the nation for drownings

LITTLE ROCK (KATV)--Arkansas is ranked 4th highest in the nation for drownings, but what about secondary drownings?

It's also commonly known as dry drowning and doesn't happen instantly. It's a report that's surfaced all over Facebook recently.

Only about two percent of the nation experiences secondary drowning, but when they do, it can go unnoticed hours and sometimes days.

It's the beginning of the swimming season, where thousands will be hitting the pool, but the dangers of dipping in the waters can often times be forgotten.

"We are the 4th highest in the nation for drowning in our state, which shocks a lot of people because we are a landlocked state, but we do have a lot of natural bodies of water," said Arkansas Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Specialist, Hope Mullins.

ACH has seen four near drownings and one fatal drowning so far this year.

"Supervision, we're not talking mom and dad are lying by the pool, reading a book or texting, they're actually watching what their children are doing that's the key," said Mullins.

What's not as common across the state or nation is secondary drowning also known as dry drowning. It affects two percent of the nation, children and adults, but is deadly and often goes unnoticed for hours and sometimes days.

"Dry drowning would happen when somebody takes a small amount of water into their throat, maybe even down into their lungs, it's more of a laryngeal spasm which impairs their airway," said Baptist Health Med-Flight Nurse Paramedic, Andy Goldthorpe.

Symptoms of secondary drowning include trouble breathing, chest pains, extreme fatigue and a change in behavior.

"Water that they got into their lungs, may cause there to be an accumulation of the bodies fluids in there, pulmonary edema, secondary to aspiration and causes the inability to exchange oxygen, carbon dioxide having water in your lungs where normally there's not that much water," said Goldthorpe.

Health experts recommend you bring the adult or child that experienced a near drowning to the nearest hospital just in case fluid has gotten into their lungs.