Epileptic Triathlete Drowns in Indoor Pool

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Dr. Tom Griffiths, ED.D ::::

A middle aged Tri-athlete drowned during training in a swimming pool with lifeguards on duty; he was also an Epileptic    Epileptics are approximately 20 times more likely to drown compared to swimmers without seizure disorders.  In fact, the Tri-athlete experienced a previous seizure in the same pool within the same year.  Although he was hospitalized, he was successfully rescued and resuscitated during his first pool seizure.  During his second seizure, he was not so lucky.  Although there were only a few swimmers in the pool that day, the lifeguards on duty missed the athlete, in part because he was performing dangerous underwater endurance drills.

After much finger pointing, there was a modest settlement for the family of the deceased.  Defense claimed the Tri-athlete knew of his condition and exacerbated it by breath-holding, as well as by failing to swim with a buddy aware of his medical condition.

Tom Griffiths, ED.D, is a consultant with DJS Associates and can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

 

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