By Doha Ghouth
JEDDAH – A 50-year-old man who almost drowned at sea earlier this week has died after failing to seek medical attention after the incident.
Hussien Barada was at sea with his family when he fell off their fishing boat. After assuming their father had gone swimming, his children later grew alarmed and his son Hasan went into the water to save him. His family carried out CPR and other emergency procedures however Hussien refused to go to the hospital due to a fear of doctors.
Despite his concern, Hasan didn’t want to put pressure on his father to go to the hospital.
“I was very alarmed because he knew how to swim but I don’t know what happened to him underwater,” Hasan said.
However, just one week after the incident Barada lost his balance and fell, badly injuring his head. Hasan said: “He kept saying I’m fine but still neglected visiting the doctor. Two hours later we heard screams and went to see what was going on but it was too late – according to doctors he had a seizure.”
Near drowning incidents are extremely critical and CPR is not the only emergency procedure needed.
Diving instructor Abdulrahman Mihdar said: “Visiting a doctor is a must in these cases because suffocation cuts off the brain’s oxygen which could lead to partial damage or full brain damage if not dealt with immediately.”
There are other possibilities besides drowning and brain damage.
Trauma specialist Dr. Ibrahim Alwan said: “Water borne organisms can cause serious infections that especially attack the central nervous system after ending up in the lungs of a drowning person.
Some of these infections are fatal and difficult to treat which is why seeking medical treatment is advised.”
The patient may not show any symptoms until one to three weeks after the near-drowning incident, at which point fever, vomiting and seizures are common symptoms.
According to Hasan, Hussein Barada had many illnesses due to the fact that he refused to seek any type of medical attention. The Barada family are now trying to educate people on how self-destructive phobias can be.
According to behavioral therapist Dr. Ceren Balaat, there are several treatments to deal with phobias.
“Hussein suffered a specific phobia of hospitals in general possibly because of an incident with a doctor in his childhood or linking hospitals with the death of a loved one or in general.”
She says that cognitive behavioral therapy significantly reduces phobias by helping the sufferer change his or her way of thinking. Other treatments include medications which affect levels of serotonin in the brain.
“Side effects associated with these medications are unworthy and treatment can be given through sessions,” she said.