Ohio Injuries: Drowning

An average of 112 Ohioans die every year as a result of drowning, and another 244 are treated in emergency departments. Approximately half of drowning-related injuries in Ohio requiring an EMS run (47%) or a trauma admission (53%) occurred at home. The following data come from the Injury in Ohio report.*

Health Care Resource Utilization

  • From 2005 through 2007, injuries due to drowning resulted in an annual average of:
    • 244 Emergency Department Visits
    • 155 EMS Runs
    • 90 Inpatient Hospitalizations
    • 112 Fatalities
  • The percentage of emergency department visits for drowning-related injuries by selected age groups in Ohio from 2005 to 2007 were:

  • 46.7% of drowning incidents requiring an EMS run with a recorded location of injury occurred at home, while another 27.5% occurred at a place for sport or recreation

  • Males accounted for more EMS runs (67.5%), emergency department visits (66.1%), and inpatient hospitalizations (62.4%) related to drowning than females


  • Drowning-related hospitalizations in 2005-2007 accounted for an annual average of:
    • More than $2 million in hospital charges
    • 345 days of hospitalization
  • Mean length of stay was 3.8 days

  • Although the number of hospitalizations per year decreased by 37.8% from 2005 to 2007, mean hospital charges and mean length of stay increased by 52.4% and 34.8%, respectively

  • 66.4% of drowning-related inpatient hospitalizations were unintentional, 24.7% were self-inflicted, and 8.5% were of undetermined intent
  • Adults ages 25-64 years accounted for 41.3% of drowning-related hospitalizations per year, followed by children ages 0-4 years with 24.4%
  • 83.4% of inpatients were discharged home
  • Both mean hospital charges and mean length of stay were higher for females ($24,191 and 4.6 days, respectively) than for males ($22,667 and 3.4 days, respectively)


  • 45.7% of drowning deaths occurred among adults ages 25-64 years, followed by 18.5% among young adults ages 15-24 years, and 14.3% among children ages 0-4 years
  • Males accounted for 74.3% of drowning-related deaths

*Data for this report were obtained from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Department of Health. This research brief is part of a series reporting on leading causes of injury among selected age groups in Ohio.