The recent case of a 4-year old girl who almost died after swallowing pool water has got people worried about a rather unknown phenomenon: dry drowning. Now, her mother is warning everyone about the dangers of dry drowning and how it could kill children. On an April Saturday afternoon, Elianna Grace was at her grandparents’ house in Florida. She was blowing water out of a pool noodle toy when tragedy struck. The girl almost died because of what she did.
According to her mother, Lacey Grace, by a complete freak accident, the girl wanted to blow at the exact same time that someone on the other end did. This caused the water to shoot directly down her throat, making her body respond in the same way as if she was drowning. Immediately after, the 4-year old reportedly vomited and slowly recovered. However, the ordeal was not over. By Monday, Elianna had started developing a fever. She slept a lot on Tuesday and the next day, the school contacted her parents to tell them that she had a fever again.
The bizarre phenomenon of dry drowning
When the girl’s family took her to urgent care, the doctor told them to get her to the nearest Emergency Room. Her heart rate was incredibly high, her oxygen level was low, and she started to turn purple. Because she swallowed pool chemicals, she developed an infection. The doctors diagnosed Elianna with chemical pneumonitis, aspiration pneumonia and also, perihilar edema.
The phenomenon of dry drowning is not actually medically recognized. However, it occurs when water enters someone’s body and causes the same effects as drowning, but without having the person submerged under water. The biggest problem is that oxygen fails to reach the brain. This triggers symptoms like coughing, difficulties breathing, chest pain and eventually, if left untreated, the person can die.
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