Sunday, September 19, 2010
Near-Drowning....Then and Now
A few mornings ago, while watching the news and getting Adam ready for his day...ABR, ABR and ABR...and a walk, reading and the movies, there was an interview with a Colorado family. Their two year old son was involved in a near-drowning in July. He was underwater for twenty minutes, given CPR and flown to a hospital where his body was kept cool using ice while in a medically induced coma. Except for the age of the child, this story was similar to Adam's. However,when Adam was life-flighted to a trauma center (twelve years earlier), they warmed his body and the outcome was that Adam was severely brain injured. Listening to the story with a lump in our throats, we are happy for the fully recovered little boy and sad for our young man. Doctors could give the family little assurance that the cooling of the body would work. Obviously, this procedure should be standard in cases of near-drowning. Wishing that "now" was "then", only takes us away from the present.
People have many misconceptions about the word "near-drowning." The severity of the injury depends upon the amount of time that the brain was deprived of oxygen, the age of the victim and his/her physical condition, temperature of the water, etc. Near-drowning does not mean that the person did not drown and that they are fine. Since Adam's accident, we have seen few near-drowning survivors, though we have seen many brain-injured children and young adults. People often ask if Adam has cerebral palsy because he has contractures at his elbows, wrists, ankles and knees. Basically, it comes down to a lack of oxygen to the brain and the part of the brain that is effected ( in Adam's case, the basal ganglia), This lack of oxygen often results in a collapse of the musculoskeletal system. We have discovered that the therapy ABR (Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation) addresses this specific issue. The inventor, Leonid Blyum, refers to ABR as the back door to addressing the structural effects of a brain injury...volume, mobility and then function.