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CQU researcher seeks input with study into drowning prevention strategies

CQU researcher seeks input with study into drowning prevention strategies
September 30, 2020

Patricia English, a Research Higher Degree (RHD) student at CQUniversity, is eager to attract input from aquatic facility staff and users into the links between pre-existing medical conditions and the risk of drowning in Australian public aquatic facilities.

Investigating the risk management of pre-existing medical conditions to minimise the incidence of fatal and non-fatal drownings within facilities, English sees that her study has the potential to help Australian public aquatic facilities reduce the risk of drowning.

English explains “drowning is a continued risk, particularly in Australia with our water-based culture.

“Those with pre-existing medical conditions have an even greater risk of drowning.”

Coupled with 17-years of experience as a swimming instructor, English feels there is a need for further research into risk mitigation given the wide array of aquatic patrons in Australia, commenting “there will hopefully be numerous groups that benefit from this research. Most people, at some point in their life, visit a public aquatic facility - even just to cool down on a hot day.

“I have been swimming training since I was five years old and like most Australians love the water which inspired me to become involved in aquatic risk management research.

“The fewer risks on-site mean will result in a safer environment for staff and patrons.”

Advising of two components to her research - to provide a comprehensive overview of both aquatic facility staff and users - English added “we have developed two surveys to distribute to staff and patrons of public aquatic facilities.

“These may give different viewpoints of what is considered risky in an aquatic facility and what we can implement to decrease this.”

It will be these differences in findings that English (pictured above) feels will assist her in identifying areas for improvement and risk management strategies, going on to say “we expect to find several risks which may differ between staff and user.

“One outcome could look at the implementation of pre-screening and find methods to decrease the risk for people/staff with pre-existing conditions.”

Risk management expert and principal supervisor on the research study Dr Betul Sekendiz said the current pandemic has made the need for this research even greater.

Dr Sekendiz concludes “the findings of this study will be crucial to manage risks to participants with pre-existing medical conditions at aquatic facilities who may be at higher risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19.”

If you have further questions or any concerns regarding the study, please contact Patricia English email:

Click here to complete the survey for public aquatic facility patrons. 

Click here to complete the survey for public aquatic facility staff. 

Related Articles

23rd September 2020 - Paul Sadler Swimland concerned that limited access to swimming lessons increases drowning risks for children

18th September 2020 - Royal Life Saving and Surf Life Saving Australia report males account for 80% of all drowning deaths

11th August 2020 - Royal Life Saving publishes new National Swimming and Water Safety Framework for learn to swim programs

3rd August 2020 - Yeppoon Running Festival to go ahead in partnership with CQUniversity

30th July 2020 - New research has potential to reduce risk of drownings at Australian aquatic facilities

14th July 2020 - ‘Culturally Competent’ aquatic centres look to reduce drownings among diverse communities

14th May 2020 - CQUniversity and Health and Wellbeing Queensland deliver 10,000 Steps program to boost physical activity

8th April 2020 - CQUniversity research looks at whether wearables could help early detection of Coronavirus

19th March 2020 - Drownings fall across Australian summer of extremes

5th December 2019 - AUSTSWIM receives funding boost to combat multicultural drownings

2nd December 2019 - Rescue tubes trialled at Coffs Harbour beaches to help reduce drownings

2nd December 2019 - Victorian drowning report shows worst toll in 20 years

12th November 2019 - South Australian beach drowning inquest calls for enhanced warning signs and lifesavers to operate over longer hours

7th November 2019 - NSW lifeguards look to halt drownings of foreign swimmers this summer

24th September 2019 - Glenelg drowning inquest hears giant inflatable waterslide blocked lifesavers’ view of swimmers

16th September 2019 - Rising drowning deaths coincide with record summer temperatures

10th October 2018 - Facility operators need to revise emergency plans to cater for cardiac arrest incidents

16th March 2018 - Significant numbers of fitness professionals unprepared for emergencies in their facilities

2nd November 2017 - CQUniversity risk management expert warns of dangerous sports supplement promotions

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