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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Upside down 8-Jun-2007 At 10:07:59 AM shamus
Snowball, as several people have commented on, the injuries inflicted in a car crash will follow a different pattern to climbing injuries. Car crash - you're flung around inside a very small space, hemmed in by solid objects. The body's only response in to bend and twist arond them, impact upon them and break. Climbing accident - For the most part you're in open space, and you can happily bounce off one bit of rock with plenty of space before you hit the next bit. The solid objects are what causes the deceleration that causes the trauma. Cars have chunks of metal and shatter-proof glass in all the wrong spots as far as catching high-speed bodies go.

No, I dont expect any of the first-aid things i've mentioned will save a life in and of themselves. Snapping a femur is bad. Severing the femoral artery with broken end of femur is worse. I'd recommend you dont try it. But... if you're talking about losing 2litres of blood, thats not going to stop because the vessel clots, its gunna stop because tension in the tissue prevents blood leaving the vessel. Which is why applying sufficient compression to the site will reduce the rate of blood loss, and perhaps let the person survive to receive that surgical intervention. The body wont compensate long-term for lost blood volume, and its compensatory effects are why blood pressure is a poor indicator of blood loss. But the mechanisms which keep pressure up are what maintain blood flow to the brain and heart, keeping people alive at least initially.

Breaking a femur is HARD! Breaking the skull is EASY. One of them has a lot of opportunity to move around, absorbing impacts. That same one has bout 4inches of muscle overlying it and protecting it. If you want to discuss these sort of things with me, I'd be happy to learn from anyone, but I guess the poor innocent readers must be getting a bit sick of all this. I haven't always put in my full reasonings / justifications behind what I've said, that doesn't mean they dont exist. I'm not sure what sort of level of assumed knowledge there is out there.

My belief - if you feel like not wearing a helmet, go for it. It would be extraordinarily irresponsible for someone to actively recommend against wearing helmets, in particular to beginners or people who may not have a good understanding of the considerations, especially if you are unwilling to fully outline and justify your reasoning.

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