How to Resuscitate a Drowning Victim

I attended a conference at Akure, the capital of Ondo state on Saturday, and rain had been falling for few days: as a matter of fact, I left home in the rain, alighted at the bus top at Akure and the rain began again.

On my way home, I passed by the Uso River, which is about 450km away from Akure. The Uso River is wide, I am not sure of its depth. When I passed by the river on Saturday, I saw that the river’s bank had spread across the vast land around it. I also saw that it had increased in size, the wave and force at which the river flowed had increased and I could neither see anything inside the river, nor anyone by its bank.

Here in Nigeria, rain has been falling for a few days and I overheard someone saying the rainfall is more than 10 days and probably it will end on the 14th day.
As a result of this rainfall, rivers, stream, abandoned pools, ponds and reservoir are being filled naturally by the rain.

Children can now provide for themselves artificial pools, by swimming in the abandoned pools or ponds. Children can also swim in the natural sources like rivers and streams, which is more dangerous at a time like this.

One of the dangers of filled river banks is drowning.
Drowning does not only happen in a river, stream, it also happens in a swimming pool, and it can cause a victim to die without anyone getting to notice.

When a person is drowning, there are ways which you can know. The hands will be above the head, the person might be swimming against the wave of the river, or you may notice that the pool has no one in it though there is someone in it.

After recognising the victim, the next thing is to move the person out of the water and resuscitate the person.

One simple formula to save a drowning victim is the formula ABC.

A as in Airway

B as in Breathing: check if he/she is still breathing. You can notice this by staring at the chest region to see if the chest is moving. You can also place your ear next to the victim’s mouth to listen to his breath.

C as in Circulation: Check the victim’s pulse. You can get a victim’s pulse by placing two of your fingers on the wrist. You feel the rhythm gently and know if he/she still has blood in circulation.

After Checking for ABC

CPR can be done on the victim. CPR is cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a life-saving medical procedure which helps to pump blood around the person’s body when the heart can’t.

How to do CPR


  • Place the heel of your hand in the center of his chest.
  • Make sure you don’t push the ribs
  • Begin chest compression by pressing down at least 100 pulses per minute. (That is about 2 compression by seconds). Make a complete 30 compression
  • Give two rescue breathing
  • Open the airway by titling the head back, lift the chin, pinch the soft part of the person’s nose
  • Take a normal breath, make a seal around the mouth and breathe out easily
  • The person’s chest should rise and fall
  • Check for breathing, if the victim is not breathing, start CPR again

When to Stop CPR

  • You should stop CPR when help has come: If an ambulance is around or a medical professional is around.
  • If the victim starts coughing
  • When he/she opens their eyes
  • Speaking or moving
  • Starting to breathe normally

Let’s do a Recap on How to do the CPR

  • Place the heel of your hands on the center of the chest, make 30 compressions with the frequency of 2 compressions per seconds.
  • After each 30 compressions, give two rescue breathing.
  • Check the breathing, if he/she is still unconscious, continue CPR.

I hope you can resuscitate a drowning victim with this lesson?

Do leave a comment below if you still need clarifications, and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post.


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