Brain Injuries from Drowning

Cartwright - January 9, 2020 - Swimming pool accidents

San Francisco is a beautiful city that invites outdoor fun. Unfortunately, dangerous swim accidents can ensue. While you may think of drowning as being a fatal accident, the truth is that drowning refers to taking water into the lungs, from which victims can be successfully rescued. Sometimes, however, drowning victims (or near-drowning victims) suffer serious brain injuries. If someone else’s negligence leaves you or someone you love with a drowning-related brain injury, consult with an experienced San Francisco drowning attorney today.

Water and Brain Injuries

The fact is that any body of water can lead to drowning – even a bathtub or a hot tub. When water enters your lungs, it deprives your body of the oxygen it needs to function properly, and it cuts off the necessary transfer of oxygen to your blood and brain. If this goes on for any length of time, it can cause significant brain damage. Brain damage caused by drowning – like other kinds of brain damage – is extremely unpredictable, and it’s difficult to know exactly what the effects will be or when they will come into play. 

Brain Injuries: Treatment and Recovery

The brain injuries sustained in near-drownings vary from victim to victim in accordance with the severity of the injury. And while there is no cure for the damage sustained, there are certain factors that can affect the seriousness of the injury and recovery. These include:


  • The Victim’s Age – It’s probably no surprise that the very young and the elderly are more susceptible to serious brain injuries associated with drowning. One complication is that these age groups often lack the strength and ability to help save themselves in the first place.
  • The Duration of the Submersion – The longer the victim is submerged in water determines the amount of oxygen deprivation that occurs, and the longer the subversion, the more serious the damage. When it comes to drowning, an additional minute or two of submersion can mark the difference between a successful recovery and permanent brain damage
  • The Duration of Unconsciousness – The longer the victim is unconscious, the more serious the injury is likely to be. When a victim remains comatose for six or more hours, there is usually an unfavorable recovery outcome, and the injury is typically permanent.


The prognosis for brain injuries caused by drowning is extremely unpredictable, but those sufferers who demonstrate healthy improvements within the first month have more favorable chances of recovery. When recovery is possible, the vast majority of improvements will present within the first six months. In any accident involving water, seeking immediate medical attention is always in your best interest. 

If Someone Else’s Negligence Leaves You with a Drowning-Related Brain Injury, You Need an Experienced San Francisco Drowning Attorney on Your Side

Drowning accidents are terrifying, dangerous accidents that can leave victims with permanent brain injuries. The dedicated drowning attorneys at The Cartwright Law Firm, Inc., in San Francisco are here to help. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (415) 433-0444 today.


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