I have given these details, as from a study of them I was aided in deciding the time of submersion, as well as the intervals which transpired before the intelligent use of remedies. It is also remarkable that, notwithstanding all which has been written about ready remedies for drowning, no one present knew anything about them, although living in a seafaring community.
I immediately directed that the patient should at once be placed upon the ground, which was sloping, and arranged his rubber boots under the back of the head and nape of the neck, so that the head should be slightly elevated and the neck extended, while the head was turned somewhat upon the side, that fluids might drain from the mouth. The day was clear and moderately warm. Respiration had ceased, but no time was lost in commencing artificial respiration. The patient had on a shirt and pantaloons, which were immediately unbuttoned and made loose, and placing myself at his head, I used the Silvester method, because I was more accustomed to it than any other. It seems to me more easy of application than any other, and I have often found it of service in the asphyxia of the newly born.
The patient’s surface was cold, there was extensive cyanosis, and his expression was so changed that he was not recognized by his fellow townsmen, but supposed to be a stranger. The eyelids were closed, the pupils contracted, and the inferior maxilla firmly set against the superior. One of the men who had brought him ashore had endeavored to find the heart’s impulse by placing his hand upon the chest, but was unable to detect any motion.