Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a valuable skill that can save lives in an emergency. Swimming pools and beaches are places where people of all ages gather to enjoy the sun and water. However, heat, exhaustion, and inattention can all contribute to drownings, which needs immediate intervention to prevent.

Knowing how to administer CPR properly and when not to perform the technique can help you save someone’s life. If you’re involved in a boating or swimming pool accident due to another person’s negligence, speak with the attorneys at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers. We can review your case and help you seek compensation for injuries you suffered while in the water.

What is CPR?

CPR is a lifesaving emergency procedure used when someone’s heart stops beating. You may need to perform CPR on adults, children, and infants after an accident, such as near drowning, stops their breathing.

CPR keeps the person’s heart and lungs functioning until medical professionals can treat them. Trained first responders typically perform CPR, but untrained individuals can also use the technique in an emergency.

There are two main types of CPR: chest compressions and rescue breaths. Chest compressions circulate blood and oxygen to the brain and other vital organs. Rescue breaths inflate the person’s lungs so they can start breathing on their own.

Although CPR is generally more effectively performed with equipment such as an automated external defibrillator (AED), you can perform it manually if necessary.

When and How Should You Perform CPR?

CPR can help restart the heart and circulate blood to the brain, but it can also cause damage if performed incorrectly. The first step is to check the person’s responsiveness by tapping their shoulder and asking if they are OK. If there is no response, call 911 and begin applying the technique.

To start, place your hands at the center of the person’s chest and push hard and fast at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. If you are tired, take a break for 10 seconds and then resume compressions. Continue until emergency medical help arrives or the person begins to breathe independently. 

When performed incorrectly, CPR can do more harm than good.  If the person performing CPR doesn’t have proper training, they may break ribs or cause internal damage to the accident victim. Additionally, if the victim has a pre-existing medical condition, such as heart problems, CPR may worsen their condition or even cause death.

Why Someone Might Need CPR

Several types of accidents and medical conditions may warrant performing CPR on someone. Knowing the person’s state can help determine if the situation requires resuscitation.

Near drowning

Drowning is a leading cause of death for children under four and a significant problem for adolescents and adults, especially those with medical conditions or under the influence of alcohol. When someone drowns, their body is deprived of oxygen, leading to brain damage and even death. CPR can help restore oxygen to the body and prevent further damage. CPR can also help expel lung water which can prevent aspiration.


CPR may be needed when someone suffers electrocution. As strange as it seems, electrocution is a serious risk for swimmers, since water conducts electricity. This is also known as electric shock drowning.

Faulty wiring in pool or boat equipment is a common cause of electric shock drowning. Even swimming near a boat or dock that uses AC power for any mechanical function, such as lifts, can put a swimmer at risk. Lightning is another danger, which is why pools and beaches often shut down when lightning is spotted.

If an electrical current disrupts the heart’s rhythm, it can cause the heart to stop beating. In this case, CPR is needed to restart the heart and circulate oxygenated blood to the brain. Without oxygen, brain damage can occur within minutes.

Statistics show that swimming constitutes 8% of water-related lightning fatalities, while fishing and other boating activities account for 64% of lightning deaths on the water.

Boating accidents

Besides swimming and other beach activities, boating accidents are a source of injury when in the water. A high-speed wreck or falling overboard can cause a victim’s heart to stop or their breathing to cease. Statistics support this danger, as boating-related accidents resulted in 767 deaths and 3,191 injuries in 2020.

Hiring the knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier can help you recover damages if you or a loved one has suffered a boating injury.

Sudden Collapse

Pool and beach goers who suffer from medical conditions that may cause fainting are at higher risk of going into cardiac arrest and needing CPR. Heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses can also cause sudden collapse. To avoid heat stroke, wear loose-fitting light colored clothes, drink plenty of water, avoid heavy exertion, and move to shade or an air-conditioned area if you start to feel dizzy, nauseous, or develop a headache.

Compensation for Swimming-Related Activities

A day at the beach or the pool can be fun and relaxing. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful in the water or sun, or others around you are negligent. Whether you’re lying poolside, swimming in the sea, or having fun on a boat, an accident can leave you vulnerable to serious injury and death, as it can take time for first responders to reach you. 

Contact the personal injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier to arrange your free case review and get help to recover compensation for injuries from a swimming-related accident in Louisiana.

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