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New Method of Restoring the Apparently Drowned

water, methods, lungs and subject


It is important to note the Schafer method was adopted by the Royal Life Saving Society, in preference to the Marshall, Hall, Sylvester or Howard methods, after experimental research ex tending over a period of 15 years. During this time forty dogs were experimented upon, by which means valuable information was obtained, prov ing the utility of the new system. It is worthy to note the dogs were anaesthetised before being drowned. One very essential discovery was the fact that the lungs were capable of absorbing quite a large quantity of water. This was not previously believed possible, as it was feared that water in the lungs would prove fatal. The writer has for years contended that water in the lungs was not dangerous, my reason being deducted from many accidents witnessed during my seven years' experience in the shipbuilding trade. In this connection I saw and assisted in many cases, one extraordinary case being that of a fireman who fell into the dock, remaining under the water some ten minutes before the grappling irons brought the body to the surface, when we imme diately placed the stomach of the subject over an ordinary petroleum barrel, rolling it gently back ward and forward, assisted by two persons, hold ing the head in order to prevent it from getting too low. The water came out of the mouth at each movement. The quantity seemed in excess of

what a normal stomach could hold, and led me to the natural conclusion that this was due to all open passages in the system being filled with water. It is essential in cases like this and long submer sion, that the action of resuscitation should be pro longed for about an hour. The subject alluded to came completely around in 30 minutes, being able to proceed to the ship, where he was placed in the boiler room, when the ordinary methods of apply ing hot cloths and friction were resorted to ; the only complaint of the rescued person being that his ribs were very sore. This is why this and simi lar crude methods should not be used, as there is serious risk of injuring the subject. The main advantage of the Schafer method lies in the fact that the most delicate organs of the body are in no way disturbed. The extreme simplicity of the method is a great feature ; the older methods re quired three assistants, the Schafer only requiring one. The advantage of this will readily be appre ciated; in the case of a boat accident, three per sons could attend to three cases, instead of one, as hitherto. It may be interesting•to note the writer was the first to demonstrate this in Canada, car rying out the method in the class formed at the Y. M. C. A., Lindsay, Ontario, February, 1908.