‘Emphysema aquosum’ is the term used to describe hyperexpanded and ‘waterlogged’ lungs seen in cases of wet drowning.
TYPES OF DROWNING
- In this the water is inhaled into lungs . This is of two types, i.e. Fresh water and Salt water drowning.
- Haemodilatation (Fresh water drowning)
- Haemoconcentration (Salt water drowning)
- Water does not enter the lungs, but death results from immediate sustained laryngeal spasm due to inrush of water into the nasopharynx or larynx.
Secondary Drowning or Near Drowning/Postimmersion Syndrome
- Near Drowning is defined as initial survival at least beyond 24 hours of an individual after suffocation due to submersion in fluid. It does not necessarily lead to long-term survival and is associated with secondary complications, which require further medical management.
Immersion Syndrome or Hydrocution
- Hydrocution or immersion syndrome refers to sudden death in water due to vagal inhibition as a result of:
- cold water stimulating the nerve endings of the surface of the body
- horizontal entry into the water with a consequent strike on the epigastrium
- cold water entering eardrums, nasal passage, and the pharynx and larynx which cause mucosal nerve ending stimulation.
Signs of Drowning
- Fine copious frothy discharge from mouth and nose.
- Water in stomach or intestines
- Diatoms in Bone marrow :Diatoms are ‘unicellular algae’ suspended in water.The extracellular coat of diatoms contains silica.
- Emphysema aquosum is seen in wet drowning
- Edema aquosum is seen in drowning of unconscious.
- Cutis anserinus or goose skin
- Paultaf’s hemorrhages:subpleural hemorrhages as a result of alveolar wall rupture.
- Weeds, mud, grass in tightly clutched hands.
- Gettler test is done for drowning and estimates the chloride content of blood in both sides of heart.