Drowning is the third most common cause of death in the pediatric age group in Florida. The clinical presentation, laboratory data, modes of therapy and outcome of 34 cases of near-drowning in children under the age of 14 years were reviewed. The most common clinical findings on admission were a history of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, tachypnea, pulmonary edema, and acidosis.

Twenty-eight (82%) patients survived. Twelve (35%) required mechanical ventilation. Of these only six survived, four of them with severe neurological sequelae. Modern management of respiratory failure is important for the ultimate survival of these patients; however, the final neurological outcome seems to be related to brain damage at the time of the asphyxia rather than to subsequent management.

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