Lake Charles doctor discusses 'dry drowning' - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lake Charles doctor discusses 'dry drowning'

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)

The parents of little Frankie Delgado say the four-year-old died six days after returning home from a trip to Galveston Bay. His parents say he was briefly knocked down by a wave but got right up and seemed normal.

But days later his parents say he became severely ill, vomiting and in pain.

His father described the severe illness that came over the child.

"'Ahhh.' He went like that! 'Ahhh!' He looked at me with these painful, hurtful eyes like I've never seen him before like that," said the boy's devastated dad.

The little boy died and his story is receiving national attention.

Dr. Clifford Courville, a pulmonologist in Lake Charles, says "dry drowning" and "secondary drowning" are not medical terms. He says it is unusual for symptoms to develop days after an incident.

"It would be a rare event for nothing to be noticed until several days later, unless it were truly a delayed event such as a pneumonia," said Courville.

But he says if a child or adult breathes in water or other fluids it's important to pay attention to symptoms.

"The immediate assessment is very important. One of the first things you would look at is, is your child responding? Do they seem awake and alert? Is their color normal? So, a child that is blue is very concerning. But even coughing, complaints of chest pain, wheezing, all of those would be very abnormal as well, and should prompt one to seek medical attention for further evaluation," said Courville.  

He says a key symptom demanding medical attention is when someone has difficulty breathing.

"I think anytime someone is getting worse one should consider seeking medical attention, such as an increase in cough, increase in lethargy or failure to respond, act like their normal self," he said.  

To prevent injuries, Courville encourages education, swimming lessons, fences around pools, approved flotation devices and always supervision around water.  

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