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Hypoxic blackout: are your lifeguards prepared?

Posted by Kayla Eggert, AINS, ARM on Sep 27, 2023 8:30:00 AM

Organizations with swimming pools must be aware of hypoxic blackout which is an emergency that occurs when a swimmer hyperventilates and then passes out underwater. This can swiftly lead to the person drowning if they’re not pulled out of the pool. Ensure your aquatics staff members are trained on how to spot swimmers practicing extended breath holding exercises, which can quickly lead to hypoxic blackout. However, this is just the first step. Once your guards have identified that a swimmer is practicing something dangerous, are they able and empowered to talk to the swimmer and stop them? This can be quite challenging, especially because lifeguards are often younger than swimmers at the pool. Practicing challenging conversations in training settings and also ensuring lifeguards know that they can always rely on management to back them up if needed can help. Check out our video below for more information on hypoxic blackout and how to support your guards.


Topics: Aquatics

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