Emergency Medicine: Open Access

Emergency Medicine: Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7548

+44 1223 790975


Retrospective Analysis of Drowning Incidents at a University Hospital in Switzerland

Mirjam Kolev, Corinne Meister, Meret E Ricklin and Aristomenis K Exadaktylos

Background: The annual rate of accidental fatal drowning in Switzerland is about 50 deaths/year (0.6/100 000). We report on the fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents among adults that were treated at the University Hospital in Bern, Switzerland, between 2000 and 2014. Methods: Retrospective analysis of the electronic database of the emergency centre for adults of the university hospital in Bern. Between 2000 and 2014 all fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents were analysed using specific medical keywords. Results: 126 patients were included. Ninety-one (72%) were male, 94 (76%) aged between 16-44 years, 107 (89%) of the incidents occurred in rivers. In 83 (68%) cases the activity during the incident was swimming. Twentytwo (18%) were non-accidental drowning incidents, 14 (11%) of all the drowning patients needed reanimation and 6 (4.8%) died within 24 h. Conclusion: Our analysis shows that it is important to have a closer look at the efforts and effectiveness of prevention done against drowning of young men in high-risk aquatic settings. Further there is a need to report drowning incidents according to international standards in order to draw conclusions for prognostic factors and therapy in the future.