Meant to be for a good cause, namely raising both awareness of and funds for much needed research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, the popular ice bucket challenge should carry a serious health warning. Dangerous in itself, the challenge is also prone to causing injuries by slipping, tripping or falling objects.
Why the challenge is dangerous
The ice water participants have thrown at them causes two responses in their bodies. The first is cold shock, which results in the body trying to increase the rate at which the heart beats. The second response, which is caused by water splashing into the face, is called the diving response. This tries to do the opposite, namely slow the heart’s rate down. Occurring at the same moment, these responses can cause arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm that in turn may trigger sudden cardiac arrest.
As the clip below shows, there are other risks of potentially serious accidental injuries. In this clip, a young woman and a little girl stand below a balcony-like structure. Above them, a male is attempting to empty a large bin full of water over them. Unfortunately, as he tries to tip it over, it slips off the railing it is perched on and lands, still almost full, on the back of the woman’s head.
The bin looks like a 50 to 70 litre capacity plastic hobby bin. Taking the weight of water to be one kilogramme per litre, the weight of this bin filled almost to capacity with water would have been between 40 and 70 kg. The clip cuts off at this point, so it is not known if the woman sustained a personal injury in this challenge fail, but possible challenge-related injuries the woman could have sustained include anything from concussion or whiplash to a broken skull or neck. Being injured by falling objects of this size and weight could potentially be fatal.
A health warning when nominating others for this challenge should tell nominees to be sensible, be careful and avoid injuries by falling objects, as well as slips, trips and falls.
Many slip, trip or fall injuries are caused by actions or inaction of others. In such cases, the person suffering the injury may be entitled to personal injury compensation. If you think you may be eligible to claim compensation, make contact with Accident Advice Helpline today.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice