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Why the Terms Near Drowning, Dry Drowning, Delayed Drowning, and Secondary Drowning Should Not be Used.

Lincolnshire, IL, April 10, 2015 --( The Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI), a leader in the aquatic safety field, has released a position statement designed to clarify the correct definition of drowning as adopted by the World Health Organization, international lifesaving and lifeguarding agencies, and medical organizations. Despite efforts to standardize definitions and clarify that drowning is a process, the use of incorrect and confusing drowning terminology continues. As recently as 2015, stories regarding the dangers of “secondary,” “dry,” and “delayed” drowning were widely circulated on social media and picked up by print and broadcast media as well.

One of the reasons it is so important that we (parents, doctors, researchers, lifeguard trainers, EMS, aquatic safety organizations and the media) use the same correct language is so that we can get a better understanding of the scope of the drowning problem and learn to better prevent and treat it.

The Position Statement was authored by SAI's Medical Directors. Justin Sempsrott, MD is a frequent lecturer across the globe, publishes widely on the topic of drowning, and has won numerous awards and honors from educational institutions and conferences. He is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a member of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

Seth C. Hawkins, MD is an emergency physician and EMS medical director in North Carolina. He attended Yale University, graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Master Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The full Position Statement is available for viewing and download at

About SAI:

The Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) is one of the five nationally recognized water safety certification agencies in the United States, with a growing international presence. Not only is SAI the fastest growing agency, founder Jill White is consistently named one of the “Power 25” in the world of aquatics professionals. Her innovative leadership and vision have also been recognized by the World Waterpark Association, which in 2010 bestowed on her it prestigious Al Turner Memorial Commitment to Excellence Award and inducted her into the World Waterpark Association Hall of Fame in 2014. SAI collaborates in drowning prevention and standards development initiatives and its representatives frequently speak at national and international industry conferences. Clients embrace SAI's comprehensive programs and recognize that its consulting staff and Medical Directors are the most highly trained and experienced in the industry. Operations and program development are based in Savannah, GA and Lincolnshire, IL, with coordination for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia based in the Abu Dhabi office.

Contact Information:

Starfish Aquatics Institute

Leslie Donavan


Contact via Email

Dr. Sempsrott and Dr. Hawkins

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Date:Apr 10, 2015
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