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Melbourne, Australia

Dyson K.,Ambulance Victoria | Dyson K.,Monash University | Morgans A.,Ambulance Victoria | Morgans A.,Monash University | And 6 more authors.
Resuscitation | Year: 2013

Aim: There are few studies on drowning-related out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in which patients are followed from the scene through to hospital discharge. This study aims to describe this population and their outcomes in the state of Victoria (Australia). Methods: The Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry was searched for all cases of OHCA with a precipitating event of drowning attended by emergency medical services (EMS) between October 1999 and December 2011. Results: EMS attended 336 drowning-related OHCA during the study period. Cases frequently occurred in summer (45%) and the majority of patients were male (70%) and adult (77%). EMS resuscitation was attempted on 154 (46%) patients. Of these patients, 41 (27%) survived to hospital arrival and 12 (8%) survived to hospital discharge (5 adults [6%] and 7 [12%] children). Few patients were found in a shockable rhythm (6%), with the majority presenting in asystole (79%) or pulse-less electrical activity (13%). An initial shockable rhythm was found to positively predict survival (AOR 48.70, 95% CI: 3.80-624.86) while increased EMS response time (AOR 0.73, 95% CI: 0.54-0.98) and salt water drowning (AOR 0.69, 95% CI: 0.01-0.84) were found to negatively predict survival. Conclusions: Rates of survival in OHCA caused by drowning are comparable to other OHCA causes. Patients were more likely to survive if they did not drown in salt water, had a quick EMS response and they were found in a shockable rhythm. Prevention efforts and reducing EMS response time are likely to improve survival of drowning patients. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Matthews B.L.,Life Saving Victoria | Andrew E.,Ambulance Victoria | Andrew E.,Monash University | Andronaco R.,Life Saving Victoria | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion | Year: 2016

Drowning is a major cause of injury and death worldwide. This study aims to expand the evidence in fatal and non-fatal drowning. A retrospective study was conducted to investigate fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents attended by ambulance paramedics in Victoria (Australia) from 2007 to 2012. A total of 509 drowning incidents were identified, 339 (66.6%) were non-fatal, with 170 (33.4%) resulting in death. Children aged 0–4 years had the highest crude drowning rate (7.95 per 100,000 persons). Non-fatal incidents were more likely to be witnessed by a bystander when compared with fatal incidents (43.7% vs. 20.0%, p < 0.001). Spatial analysis indicated that 35 (43.8%) local government areas (LGAs) were considered at ‘excess risk’ of a drowning event occurring. This study is the first to apply spatial analysis to determine relative risk ratios for fatal and non-fatal drowning. These findings will enable geographically targeted and age-specific drowning prevention activities. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Source

Matthews B.,Life Saving Victoria | Andronaco R.,Life Saving Victoria | Andronaco R.,RMIT University | Adams A.,James Cook University
Safety Science | Year: 2014

Aquatic safety signs are widely used to alert potential users to hazards such as strong currents (rips), submerged rocks or dangerous marine life. To assist in providing guidance on the way such signage should be deployed the present study asks to what extent warning signs on the approach to some popular beaches add to the existing knowledge of beachgoers exposed to such signage. Interviews were conducted with 472 users at four beaches in the Australian state of Victoria. Three different signage conditions were used; no signage, a single standard composite signboard, and signage spatially separated into four types of signs; location name and emergency information, safety hazard symbols, lifeguard service information, and prohibitions. The interview investigated hazard identification, signage recalled, comprehension of that signage and, to elucidate a question about the shape of warning signs, whether users noticed whether warnings were in a triangle or diamond shape. Currents/rips was the hazard foremost in respondents minds regardless of whether signage was present warning of this danger. Less than half of the respondents (45.0%) reported observing any signage. Of those that did report observing signage the majority noticed the hazard related symbol signs above any other information provided. Neither composition of the sign (i.e. separated or composite/standard sign) nor symbol shape affected recognition. Strategies to direct beachgoers to read and heed the information on aquatic safety signage are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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