Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Drowning?

Richard H. Sinert, DO


June 27, 2016

Thermal conduction of water is 25-30 times that of air. The temperature of thermally neutral water, in which a nude individual's heat production balances heat loss, is 91.4°F (33°C). Physical exertion increases heat loss secondary to convection/conduction up to 35%-50% faster. A significant risk for hypothermia usually develops in water temperatures less than 77°F (25°C), which is the temperature found in most US natural waters during the majority of the year. During immersion in ice water, a person will become hypothermic in approximately 30 minutes. Cooling at this temperature becomes life-threatening in approximately 60 minutes.

For more on the presentation of drowning, read here.


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