Drowning can happen hours after getting out of the water - WNCN: News, Weather

Drowning can happen hours after getting out of the water

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - From 2008 to 2012, 138 kids drowned in North Carolina. During that time, Craven, Pitt, and Onslow counties had at least three drowning.

However, when a child drowns it doesn’t always happen right away, death can occur hours later.

"In some cases, especially in children they can have these submersion injuries, where they are under water for a time longer than we all are comfortable with, they actually do get some water in their lungs. The problem isn't apparent right away, but hours later,” said Chief of Emergency Medicine at Vidant Medical Center, Dr. Ted Delbridge.

Some signs of this type of injury are continually coughing and difficulty breathing hours after getting out of the water.

“The children who have problems are the ones that are coughing and looking like they are having trouble breathing.  A child that looks like [they have ]asthma or have pneumonia and it’s an hour after they were under water for longer than they thought they should be, that child has got a problem and they should come to hospital," said Delbridge.
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