The Visible Behaviour of Drowning Persons: A Pilot Observational Study Using Analytic Software and a Nominal Group Technique

Carballo-Fazanes, Aida and Bierens, Joost J. L. M. and International Expert Group to Study Drowning Behaviour, . (2020) The Visible Behaviour of Drowning Persons: A Pilot Observational Study Using Analytic Software and a Nominal Group Technique. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (18):6930. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1661-7827

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Abstract

Although drowning is a common phenomenon, the behaviour of drowning persons is poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to provide a quantitative and qualitative analysis of this behaviour. This was an observational study of drowning videos observed by 20 international experts in the field of water safety. For quantitative analysis, each video was analysed with Lince observation software by four participants. A Nominal Group Technique generated input for the qualitative analysis and the two principal investigators conducted a post-hoc analysis. A total of 87.5% of the 23 videos showed drowning in swimming pools, 50% of the drowned persons were male, and 58.3% were children or teenagers. Nineteen persons were rescued before unconsciousness and showed just the beginning of downing behaviour. Another five were rescued after unconsciousness, which allowed the observation of their drowning behaviour from the beginning to the end. Significant differences were found comparing both groups regarding the length of disappearances underwater, number, and length of resurfacing (resp. p = 0.003, 0.016, 0.005) and the interval from the beginning of the incident to the rescue (p = 0.004). All persons drowned within 2 min. The qualitative analysis showed previously suggested behaviour patterns (immediate disappearance n = 5, distress n = 6, instinctive drowning response n = 6, climbing ladder motion n = 3) but also a striking new pattern (backward water milling n = 19). This study confirms previous assumptions of drowning behaviour and provides novel evidence-based information about the large variety of visible behaviours of drowning persons. New behaviours, which mainly include high-frequency resurfacing during a struggle for less than 2 min and backward water milling, have been recognised in this study.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2020 03:56
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2020 04:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: observation; video analysis; bystander; nominal group technique; LINCE software; water safety
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4299 Other health sciences > 429999 Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4299 Other health sciences > 429999 Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186930
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39729

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