It's important that doctors keep an eye on these patients over the years after the accident, as thinking, memory, and learning problems may not show up until the kid is much older, said study author Dr. Pertti Suominen, from the Hospital for Children and Adolescents at the University of Helsinki.
And the specific nature of the near-drowning, including how long kids were under water, could matter for their long-term health and happiness as well.
"In patients with an estimated submersion time of 10 minutes or longer the (quality of life) was significantly lower than in patients with a submersion time less than 10 minutes," Suominen explained to Reuters Health in an email.
The researchers tracked 64 kids who had been admitted to their intensive care unit between 1985 and 2007 following a near-drowning when the kid had to be given CPR. Eleven of the kids died in the hospital, and nine more died within six months from a brain injury related to the accident.
Researchers also said that how quickly and effectively a near-drowning victim gets CPR is a factor in minimizing the neurological impact of the incident.
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