Drownings may be more likely in rural areas

Toronto – Two new Canadian studies examine locations and rescue attempts related to drowning.

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital found drowning deaths among Ontario residents were almost 3 times more likely to occur in rural areas than urban ones. The study examined 564 unintentional drowning deaths from 2004 to 2008.

The disparity may be due to wider availability of water but less access to swimming lessons in rural areas, researchers said.

As far as help for drowning victims, a separate study from the University of Toronto reported that CPR given by a bystander was common but often unsuccessful. Compared to victims of cardiac events, heart attack victims were more likely to be given CPR, but their survival rate was the same – about 5 percent.

To help improve survival rates, researchers suggested teaching more people the importance of CPR and how to perform it.

The studies were published in November in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education and the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine.