Drowning child under the ice

In the algorithm we will show you a case of two boys, who drowned in a frozen pond. We'll go through the process from first aid to emergency department care, where we'll be using different methods of achieving normothermia. We will learn about the specifics of drowning in cold water. The topic was inspired by the case of children from Žamberk, under whom the ice broke in March 2021.

child drowning
Published at: 9.4.2023


The algorithm interactively describes the approach to two critically ill pediatric patients. It guides us through the first aid procedure of caring for two children with hypothermic out-of-hospital circulatory arrest. The trainee will practice the principles of technical first aid as well as the management of a situation where two hypothermic children with different severity of shock must be cured. In my point of view, this is a well prepared tool that will help to study and practice the acquired knowledge in this, for any rescuer, stressful situation.


KLEMENTA, Bronislav, Olga KLEMENTOVA and Pavel MARCIAN. Resuscitace. 2., ed. Olomouc: Epava, 2014. ISBN 978-80-8629-747-7.

MOŠNA, František. Technologie: Mimotělní membránová oxygenace (ECMO). Fakultní nemocnice v Motole [online]. Praha: Fakultní nemocnice v Motole, 2012 [cit. 2022-04-06]. Available at: https://www.fnmotol.cz/blog/technologie-ecmo/

Perkins GD, Graesner JT, Semeraro F, Olasveengen T, Soar J, Lott C, et al.; European Resuscitation Council Guideline Collaborators. European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021: Executive summary. Resuscitation 2021; 161: 1–60. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2021. 02. 003. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Learning targets

1. The student is familiar with the issue of CPR of a drowning child
2. The student knows how to proceed with hypothermia therapy
3. The student is familiar with post-resuscitation care of a drowning child

Key points

1. CPR of drowning persons is initiated with five breaths
2. The maximum heating rate for heated infusions and lavages is 1-1.5 °C/hr
3. Pharmacotherapy is recommended to start from higher than 30 °C of the body core temperature

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