First Aid for a Drowning Man
There are several rules that are taken into a consideration when saving a drowning man’s life. If the man is conscious, the rescuer approaches very carefully because he might be grasped from the drowning man and pulled down under water. In order to prevent such an accident, the approach is done from behind and the drowning man is held in the so-called “sailor’s grip”. This grip allows the rescuer to swim fast while holding the drowning man.



When the drowning man is taken out of the water, he is laid with his feet higher than his head. This helps the water go out of the lungs. The mouth is cleared with the forefinger.



If the drowning man doesn’t breathe, artificial respiration mouth-to mouth must be started. The head is bent backwards in order to open the respiratory tract. The rescuer shuts off the drowning person's nose and starts blowing air into the mouth.



If the artificial respiration is done in the right way, the chest of the drowning person rises a few centimeters. Five quick blows are made in the same way. The pulse is then checked. If there is pulse, the artificial respiration should be continued.
If there is no such, indirect heart massage is made. First, the rescuer kneels down beside the unconscious man. With one hand, the first aider finds the breastbone which is located between the two sections of ribs. The hand is placed on the lower part of the breastbone and with a quick strike (not too powerful because it might fracture the ribs), the breastbone is hit. If the heart beat starts, the artificial respiration is continued. If it does not, indirect heart massage is applied – one palm is put in the lower third part of the breastbone; the other palm is placed on the top and with straightened elbows short rhythmic pushes are made (70 per minute).



The first aider makes 15 pushes and 2 blows in the mouth. First Aid is done until the patient begins to breathe and his heart starts to beat. If there are no such functions after 30 minutes, First Aid should be discontinued.

First Aid for a Diver
In this case, artificial respiration should start under water if possible. If the rescuer has a breathing apparatus, he lifts the drowning man up and puts the mouthpiece in his mouth. Air penetrates into the drowning person’s lungs. Then, he is pulled down. Because of the difference in pressure, the air is chased away from his lungs. When they reach the surface, they take off all heavy equipment. The artificial respiration can be continued mouth-to-mouth. Before that, however, the mouth should be cleared from anything that can stop the flow of air.