Maya Gabeira: rescue breaths are critical

Andrew Schmidt, director of Lifeguards Without Borders, has issued a simple response to the treatment of Maya Gabeira, during her near-fatal accident in the big surf.


On the 27th October, 2013, Carlos Burle saved Maya Gabeira's life, at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal. He took her out of the water and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

When an adult is suffering an heart attack, he is having a cardiac problem. Blood has stopped pumping around the body. Heart compressions are applied to "restart" the blood flow.

What is drowning? The primary cause of injury and death by drowning is a lack of oxygen. The primary goal of treatment is to provide oxygen.

The issue with people who drown is different from those suffering an heart attack, because they lack oxygen in blood, so we need to give them oxygen. Pumping blood without oxygen around the body is not helping at all.

Medical authorities say that CPR for drowning patients should still include ventilation. Andrew Schmidt adds that "whether it is mouth-to-mouth or pocket mask, you're going to do the greatest amount of good".

You can become of great value for your friend in need if you understand the basics of the resuscitation of a drowning victim.

The most important thing is not getting water out of lungs, but providing oxygen. So, rescue breaths are critical if you want to bring a surfer back to life.

Also, take a look at the health risks of big wave surfing.