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24/7 Emergency

You have a full range of emergency care waiting for you at Desert Care Network, including:

  • Emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • The Desert Region’s designated trauma center, staffed by dedicated trauma surgeons
  • Personalized care by physicians and nurses with advanced training in emergency medicine
  • A well-equipped ER prepared for injuries, heart care, stroke care and other life-threatening situations

You can rely on Desert Care Network for full-service emergency care when you face life-threatening situations.

Our emergency department’s highly trained physicians and triage nurses will treat your illnesses ranging from broken bones to life-threatening injuries. Plus, once your emergency care is complete, we can connect you with a primary care physician or specialists to help manage your ongoing care.

Advanced heart and stroke care

Heart attacks and strokes are frequent causes for emergency room visits. To prepare for such events, our emergency team follows proper protocol to assure heart and stroke patients receive potentially lifesaving treatment as quickly as possible. Desert Regional Medical Center is an Accredited Chest Pain Center, a DVN-GL Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, and is designated by Riverside County as a STEMI Receiving Center if you or a loved one needs advanced heart care.

Trauma care

Trauma and surgical critical care surgeons are available 24 hours a day for your life-threatening emergency care needs at the Richards Emergency Trauma Center at Desert Regional Medical Center, designated a Level II Trauma Center by California Emergency Medical Services. The center serves an area from Banning and Beaumont to the West, Imperial County to the South, the Arizona border to the East, and Twentynine Palms and the high desert to the North.

Emergency Room Services

More Information

What Is Dry Drowning?

Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death worldwide, making it a major public health problem according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although images of pools come into mind when we think of drowning, a person can drown while drinking, when liquid is inhaled or when splashed with liquid.

The term "dry drowning" was once used to refer to very rare cases when a person dies from difficulty breathing days after being submerged in water.

Dry Drowning vs. Secondary Drowning

Both dry drowning and secondary drowning are nonmedical terms used to refer to acute lung injury resulting from underwater accidents.

With so-called dry drowning, water is inhaled through the nose and mouth causing the vocal cords to spasm and shut, preventing air from entering the lungs. It is called "dry drowning" because the victim's lungs do not have water in them.

Secondary drowning or delayed drowning is another term people use when water builds up in the lungs, where it can irritate its lining, causing edema or swelling. It occurs more rapidly after immersion in fresh water.

While dry drowning sets in less than an hour after a person inhales water, secondary drowning can happen up to 48 hours after a water accident.

Most medical authorities and organization now discourage the use of these terms. The preferred term is simply “drowning.”

When to Seek Medical Attention for Dry Drowning

Irritability, unusual behavior, or poor energy levels may set in following a water accident. This could mean the brain is not getting enough oxygen. Other symptoms to watch out for include:
  • Uncontrollable or continuous coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Fast or hard breathing
  • Abnormal breathing patterns
  • Trouble breathing
  • Foam at the nose or mouth
If a person has drowned, immediately perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and ask someone to call for medical assistance.

How to Prevent Dry Drowning

There are many ways to prevent water accidents. The American Red Cross recommends the following safety tips to reduce dry drowning:
  • Ensure every member of your family learns to swim.
  • Wear layers of protection, such as a life jacket, especially in large bodies of water and while boating.
  • Provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water.
  • Always swim in an area with a lifeguard.
  • Know what to do in a water emergency, such as basic first aid skills and CPR.
  • Males have about twice the risk of drowning than females, according to the WHO due to riskier behavior, such as drinking alcohol near or in the water. If you have been drinking, avoid engaging in any water-related activities for your safety.
If you or someone you know have symptoms of dry drowning hours after coming out of the water, go to the nearest hospital or call 911 to rule out the possibility of complications, such as bacterial pneumonia. Please do not delay care.

Sources:
World Health Organization
National Institutes of Health
American Red Cross
Medical News Today
Healthline