Resuscitation of the drowned person in the era of COVID-19 disease: A common ground for recommendations, identifcation of research needs and a global call to action

This position statement is presented on behalf of the International Drowning Researchers’ Alliance [IDRA], International Life Saving Federation – Medical Committee [ILS-MC] and International Maritime Rescue Federation [IMRF]


The following recommendations have been developed in April-May 2020 and based on the current knowledge of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19).
As countries, regions and aquatic organisations are at different stages of the disease and have different approaches to reducing the impact of the virus, there may be variations in practice that need to be considered before their implementation. There is also a wide variety in drowning and drowning resuscitation settings around the world. In some drowning resuscitation settings, these recommendations can be easily implemented. In other settings, there will be national recommendations or laws that overrule the situation. It should be recognised that many settings will deserve urgent improvisation or decision making beyond or in conflict with these recommendations. This may be either in the interest of the drowned person or the aquatic rescuer.

The COVID-19 places many common drowning resuscitation procedures into a different perspective. Alternative procedures are being implemented but have not yet been tested or validated for applicability. It is expected that during the next few months more information will become available which will further inform the evidence-base of these recommendations.

Communication with the working group is via Catarina Queiroga, chair. (