Swimmer in A&E after ‘secondary drowning’ scare

Bexhill Leisure Pool SUS-170202-102525001
Bexhill Leisure Pool SUS-170202-102525001

A swimmer wants to warn others of the dangers of ‘secondary drowning’ after she was rushed to hospital three days after accidentally aspirating water into her lungs.

Sally Sinclair was attending an aqua therapy session at Bexhill Leisure Pool on Thursday, January 11 when she collided with another swimmer.

She said: “I proceeded to cough and cough and was asked if I was OK by the pool attendant and offered a glass of water.

“I carried on with the aqua therapy session coughing most of the time.

“I continued to cough when out of the pool.”

The following day, Sally had started to feel unwell and by Saturday night she was unable to breathe laying down, forcing her to spend the night in a chair.

She said: “In the morning my daughter came to see how I was, was quite shocked and immediately phoned NHS 111 who, having spoken to her, ordered an ambulance.”

Sally was rushed to A&E at the Conquest where doctors discovered her temperature and blood pressure were high and she was suffering from an infection.

She was prescribed antibiotics and steroids and eventually allowed home to St George’s Road.

Sally said: “It transpires I am suffering from secondary drowning, which I had never heard of.

“Apparently the recognised procedure for someone who has aspirated water into their lungs is to recommend that they take themselves to A & E, or see their doctor or call an ambulance.

“At no time did anybody in authority at the pool inform me of this or of something called ‘secondary drowning’ which has the potential to kill if not treated promptly.”

A spokesperson for Freedom Leisure said: “At the time of the incident the pool was being used privately by a third party.

“We have strict policies and procedures that we expect any hirer of the pool to adhere to and we will take this opportunity to remind all hirers of the pool use guidelines.

“Secondary drowning is a serious, but luckily rare occurrence and we praise Mrs Sinclair for using her own personal experience to raise awareness of it, as symptoms generally start 1-72 hours after an incident it can be tricky to identify.”

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