Girl survives 18 minutes submerged in pool
Published 11/02/2009 | 08:39
A young girl who spent nearly 20 minutes at the bottom of a pool has made an almost complete recovery, it has been |revealed.
Oluchi Nwaubani had been starved of oxygen for around 18 minutes — three times longer than the brain can usually survive — in Bromley, London, last September.
Despite being warned that even if she were to live she may never walk or talk again, her parents are hopeful of a full recovery and said that movement is currently her main problem.
“Nevertheless she is now on her feet — she's walking, she's running, and her speech is very good,” said her mother, Tayo.
“She's all over the place. You can't keep her down.”
It is thought that the quick |response from emergency services to the scene of the accident may have helped save her life.
The two-year-old was airlifted to hospital before being transferred for specialist care to Great Ormond Street, where she began breathing again on her own after just three days.
It is possible that her age |combined with the cold water may have helped her survive her |ordeal.
“Contrary to popular belief small children are quite strong — they have very healthy hearts, lungs and brains,” said Ffion Davies, an A&E consultant and member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
“On top of that, the cold water will have slowed down the body's metabolism and so you can actually survive quite a long period without oxygen.”
There have been several such cases in recent years of both |children and adults surviving |for prolonged periods under water.
US toddler Michelle Funk was also two when she was submerged in a cold Utah river for nearly 70 minutes in 1986.
Within two years she had largely returned to normal.
Last year, a 35-year-old London architect was found floating in the water off Cape Town.
It is thought John Deeks was without a pulse for as long as an hour.
Cool water is thought to have played a part in his survival as the water he was swimming in was believed to have been around 15C (60F).