Meant to increase awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and raise funds for essential research into this devastating illness, the ice bucket challenge took the Internet by storm this summer.
The basic idea
The challenge is based on participants having a bucket of iced water thrown at them. Having successfully undergone this ‘treatment’, they then nominate friends, colleagues or relatives to take the challenge within 24 hours or make a donation to ALS, motor neurone disease or other charities.
When things go wrong
As this clip below shows, not all challenges go according to plan. In addition to the challenge’s inherent dangers (see below), both the participant and his ‘assistant’ in this video could have sustained serious personal injuries. Their ambitious approach to the challenge could easily have ended with the assistant being injured by falling off the roof, while the participant may have suffered an injury by falling objects like the water-filled bin, the detached guttering or pieces thereof.
Inherent challenge dangers
Even less ambitious participants can suffer accidental injuries, in particular through cold shock and diving responses. Cold shock results in the participant’s heart rate trying to accelerate. The diving response triggers an opposite reaction. Experiencing both of these responses simultaneously can trigger abnormal heart rhythms. Known as arrhythmia, this can trigger cardiac arrest. If alcohol is consumed in large quantities before, during or after the challenge, this risk is increased significantly.
Challenges with fatal consequences
The challenge has already claimed at least two lives. A young Scottish man died after jumping into a water-filled quarry after taking the icy challenge. Unable to hold his breath due to a cold shock-induced gasp response, this 18-year-old drowned; while a combination of arrhythmia and alcohol killed a 40-year-old man in New Zealand.
Slips, trips and falls are also quite common causes of injuries following these challenges. A British mother, for instance, suffered severe whiplash when the cold shock made her run, slip and bang her head. Having knocked herself out, she was at first believed to have broken her neck.
Accident Advice Helpline specialises in helping people who have suffered slip, trip or fall injuries to get personal injury compensation. Whether your injury followed an ice bucket challenge or occurred elsewhere, if it happened within the last three years and was not your fault, call this law firm now for no win no fee* legal assistance by highly skilled in-house lawyers.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice