A story about a deep Blackout.
updated corrected 25 aug after input from Stig Severinsen
In 2001 I filmed Hubert Myer blacking out at 10-15 meters in the Ibiza world cup. I remember his twisting body with air flowing out of him - the safetydivers lifting up his limp lifeless body on to the boat and the pink foam coming out of his mouth. He had been down to70 meters.
1.53. Safety diver returns without seeing the athlete, signals upwards from 5 meters
1.55 Judge in water goes down directly.
2.00 Second safety goes down.
2.08 Athlete goes unconcious, I see her as it happens.
2.12 I grab Athlete at 21 meter
2.16 Second safety helps at 17 meters. He holds from behind, I hold head and block airways.
2.30 Removes mask just before surfacing and start BTT
2.42 I try 3 blows into mouth but fail due to bad position of headand maybe laryngospams.
3.02 First safety manages to blow into lungs*.
3.08 Athlete opens eyes.
1 minut of unconciousness! *If it was the blow into lungs that made her concious or if the laryngospasm let go before the blow we can not say.
Regarding the safetysystem we can note that the third safetydiver was never needed, neither was the antiballast system. Another blackout story during a training session here.
1. Do not try blowing into the lungs with the victim in the water. Water might get into mouth and down to the epiglottis and it might seal even more. If land is far a way of course you have to do something and a blow into the lungs might be what is needed.
Now the medical people says something that is news for most of us. YOU CAN NOT OPEN A laryngospasm - it will open when the oxygen for that muscle has run out - or when the victim is persuaded to wake up.
Stig mentions that the brain listens even if you are uncouncious, and others suggest how important it is to make the victim feel safe. Safe enough to dare to start breathing again since the brain is actually trying to "save the lungs" from the water.
2. The conclusion could be that the BTT (Blow tap talk) is the right first approach, and...
3. Get the victim as fast as possible on to dry land if BTT does not work.
Since the new standards for CPR tells us that blowing into the lung is not the essential part of the CPR, the pumping of the heart is the most important thing. One blow into the lungs is enough and then you need 30 heartsqueezes to pump the blood up to the brain and back down to the heart and the lungs. So swimming to land stoping to do an inblow several times might not be the right approach. You waste your time and you might get water down to the epiglottis. We also are told that the head has to really be bent backwards in order to open up the throat for a blow into the lungs.
Stig writes: "I have done "lungblow" MANY times...(blown directly after BO in sea and pool) and EVERYTIME the diver has woken up JUST after the blow. I feel quite sure that FIRST the epiglottis closes (reflex)...maybe because of water in mouth, maybe because of low body oxygen level or maybe because of a "vacuum" from the lungs..that is...the person is fighting to HOLD breath...and the epiglottis gets sucked down towards the lungs (closes)..this OPENS when air is blown in and the body starts to breath again."
Is this an indication that we have "breathing reactors" not only in the face but maybe also in the mouth/throat.
Stig comtinues: "I think the larynx goes into cramps at a later state...after epiglottis closes...but not necessarily because of this...I am not saying the epiglottis HAS to be closed for a laryngospasm to happen....Note taht 10-15% maintain the laryngospasm/seal until cardiac arrest (dry drowning)"
And finishes with: "DO SOMETHING...and use your common SENCE...and remember that all situations are always DIFFERENT".
The reaction to water inhalation