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New research has potential to reduce risk of drownings at Australian aquatic facilities

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

The research being undertaken by Central Queensland (CQ) University research student Patricia English (pictured)has the potential to help Australian public aquatic facilities reduce the risk of drowning through investigating the effects of pre-existing medical conditions.

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, the Research Higher Degree (RHD)  student felt there was a need for further research into risk mitigation given the wide array of aquatic patrons in Australia.

English adds “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.”

English said there would be two components to her research to provide a comprehensive overview of both aquatic facility staff and users.

“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 will assist English to identify current areas for improvement and risk management strategies.

English advises “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.”

Image: Research Higher Degree (RHD) student Patricia English is investigating the risk management of pre-existing medical conditions to minimise the incidence of fatal and non-fatal drownings within Australian public aquatic facilities.

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