Rare 'dry drowning' condition claims life of Houston four-year-old

In Harris County, a four-year-old boy died over the weekend from a rare disease and local health professionals say it is something all parents should know about.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - In Harris County, a four-year-old boy died over the weekend from a rare disease and local health professionals say it is something all parents should know about.
 
It's called dry drowning. It only affects about one- to two-percent of children, but if left untreated, it can take a devastating turn.
 
The family of Frankie Delgado wants everyone to know your child could still drown days after they leave the water. It's a rare condition, but it killed Frankie almost a week after a family trip to the Texas City dike.
 
The four-year-old had shown symptoms that resembled a stomach bug for several days, including vomiting and diarrhea. It wasn't until doctors found fluid in Frankie's lungs and around his heart that they knew what had happened.
 
Unlike deaths that happen in pools, lakes or at the beach, dry drowning can occur hours, even days, after a person inhales water.
 
"They go into loringo spasm," Dr. David Blanchard said. "It contracts and causes a minimum exchange of air, and they can actually die on land."
 
The uncommon condition mostly affects young children.
 
"The lung volumes in these little children, you only have to take in 3mm per kilo of water to cause a major problem," Blanchard said. "That's a small, minute amount."
 
According to medical experts, symptoms of dry drowning include trouble breathing, persistent coughing, sleepiness and vomiting. If diagnosed quickly, it can be treated by doctors.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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