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Why Can Falls Kill You?
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corpse


Oct 25, 2003, 8:20 PM
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I read somewhere that if you find yourself falling from height into water, you basically have two choices:

1) try to land feet first and make yourself as skinny as possible. If there's too much force though, it will break your long leg bones and drive them into your abdomen and chest like spears (shudder).

2) try to land flat and horizontal, spreading the force of impact out onto as much of your body as possible. People have survived bridge falls like this that probably would have killed them had they chosen option 1, but had some of the most severe bruising I've ever seen.

I suppose that if you were falling on land, and had a perfectly flat featureless landing zone, option 2 might work... I think some skydivers have survived like this - basically hitting the ground flat and reportedly "bouncing" when they hit! Given the hostile terrain at the base of most crags, I wouldn't think this would be practical - if you were to land on a raised rock, all of the initial impact force would be concentrated there.

read somewhere? Darwin Awards? hehe But speaking of "hearing" things, I have a swimming pool in my old 'hood and they closed their high dive.. S'posedly someone did a belly flop (see option 2 above), and the force caused his belly to split wide open, gutting him basically. I can't see it being any more forgiving on land.


dominicanclimber


Oct 26, 2003, 1:44 AM
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Amen Brother, or sister, Or Uhhhhh
Amen.
hehe climbing rocks


papounet


Oct 27, 2003, 1:37 AM
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Probably a ton more but I'll try:

Spleen laceration/rupture-->internal hemorrhage-->shock+death
Brain hemorrhage=death (usaully, or vegetative state)
Heart bruising leading to irregular rhythm and death
Fractured ribs-->pneumothorax-->no oxygen=death
Neck Fracture-->spinal cord laceration-->no breathing=death
Head trauma-->seizure-->no breathing=death
Any artery laceration-->massive blood loss-->Death
Massive Crush injury (like a vehicle accident)-->kidney failure-->death
:(

Don't know your background or where you got this horror list, but it's quite accurate to what doctors look for when recovering someone :-(

I know, I fell 14 m on a wooden floor in a gym (forgot to tie my 8 properly). I fell in a sort of sitting position (my knot failed when I let go of the last hold after having readched the tope of the route). In the one and half second, available (-.5gtē+14=0=>t= 1.69s), I can testify that I barely had the time to think about my kids, and slightly extend my arms behind/below me.

I smashed my 2 wrists, and one heel, broke 4 vertebra including C2 (resulting in hematoema compressing the spinal cord), injured one kidney, and had to fight to breath. But I am alive, and climbing again

I would think that only super-trained gymnast can actually re-orient themselves in the time it takes to fall. Lynn Hill actually survived 30m fall by reaching for a tree !!!

I would advise you to attempt to land upright but without locking the legs and attempt to roll. Any force absorbed by your legs (or by their crumpling) would be less force to absorb by your brain.


ajkclay


Oct 27, 2003, 3:06 AM
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:shock: people replied to this?


afiveonbelay


Oct 27, 2003, 6:46 AM
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Boy I've seen some threads take a wild turn but this one is a doozy.

THERE IS ANOTHER SITUATION THAT CAN HURT YOU WHILE CLIMBING OR DOING ANY AERIAL WORK.

Do NOT have a factor 2 fall on static gear!!! The impact forces transmistted to your body from your harness thru the fall can quickly exceed 10kN. Result crushing of pelvis, snapping of back bone, bad internal bleeding.


nadroj


Nov 19, 2003, 11:29 AM
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the most common cause of death in a car crash is from tertiary impacts.
i.e the car hits something, you hit the car(seat belt or whatever) then your internals hit you!! The most common is your heart rips away from all the arteries. (The heart is a very dense organ). This can apply to any/many of the organs including the brain. I imagine that it would be the same for impacts from a fall.

The main problem in an impact is that your organs will tend to keep moving (ahh Newton). There is not much that can be done about this.


jabtocrag


Nov 19, 2003, 3:18 PM
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In reply to:
Speaking of falling into water... here's a horror story for ya.

We used to jump off this bridge (high school days), it was about 80 ft above a canal. We used to take a keg out and try to slam your beer before you hit the water. A girl jumping one day landed on her butt (wearing a bikini) she had to be pulled out of the water, noticeabley in pain and bleeding profusely. A trip to the ER and it was determined that the force of the water on her anus ripped it open. Not much later a guy was killed when he hit a log that had floated down the canal. That ended my jumping days.

A buddy of mine loves to waterski/slalom/wakeboard and took a nasty spill right on his ass. Got a free colonic and "everything" just came out...uncontrollably. Another female friend hit hard and it ripped her anus up bad. Quite painful, so she said!!


ricardol


Nov 19, 2003, 3:55 PM
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all this talk of asses ripping and butts bruising ..

*** shudder ***

-- ricardo


climbsomething


Nov 19, 2003, 4:21 PM
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This is an outstanding thread, best of the day, and I haven't even flamed anybody in it!

Destroyed anus action... aaaaiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee!! :shock:


harrisha


Nov 19, 2003, 4:46 PM
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If your ever in Kansas climbing it might just be safe to try to spread the force over the maximum area possible. It has now been proven that Kansas is truely flater than a pancake.

1.000=mathmatical value of perfect flatness

.957=flatness of a pancake

.9997=Flatness of Kansas

These are acctually the puplished results of a recent scientific study.


snars


Dec 11, 2003, 3:59 PM
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I know, I fell 14 m on a wooden floor in a gym (forgot to tie my 8 properly). I fell in a sort of sitting position (my knot failed when I let go of the last hold after having readched the tope of the route). In the one and half second, available (-.5gtē+14=0=>t= 1.69s), I can testify that I barely had the time to think about my kids, and slightly extend my arms behind/below me.

I smashed my 2 wrists, and one heel, broke 4 vertebra including C2 (resulting in hematoema compressing the spinal cord), injured one kidney, and had to fight to breath. But I am alive, and climbing again

That's bizarre, I've seen someone fall pretty much the same way you described (about the same height, hitting concrete), landing in a sitting position (also remaining conscious..eyes wide open :( ), sustaining the same injuries...but more severe from what I can judge by your post.
It still surprises me that it's even possible to survive such an impact, but then again: it's only possible by 'sacrificing' limbs and pelvis to take the impact and protect the central nervous system. Something has to break at that speed....

Anyway, glad to see you're still here :wink:


daryl314


Dec 11, 2003, 4:13 PM
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i heard somewhere that around 60-70 ft is where falls start to get fatal into water.... i know a ton of people have done DWS off of Mayorca, with 60' cliffs, and even have jumped off the top with no deaths to my knowledge... granted the top 10'-20' looks like all jug hauls, so figure most falls were between 10' to 50' or so. cool show on the discovery channel last night where they dropped a dummy into water from 150'.... it ripped the legs right off the dummy and tore it to shreds. not good.

When you do DWS over the ocean, don't the waves and foam cut down on the surface tension? Maybe 60-70 foot falls into flat water would suck, but I'd guess that ocean water would be a little friendlier.


robmcc


Dec 11, 2003, 4:24 PM
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[
I know, I fell 14 m on a wooden floor in a gym (forgot to tie my 8 properly). I fell in a sort of sitting position (my knot failed when I let go of the last hold after having readched the tope of the route). In the one and half second, available (-.5gtē+14=0=>t= 1.69s), I can testify that I barely had the time to think about my kids, and slightly extend my arms behind/below me.

Interesting. I took a shorter fall and it felt like I had 5 minutes to watch the wall drift back (I jumped), slowly start moving up, than racing up, watching the patterns in the lichen as the sound of the wind rose. Not wind, precisely, but me falling through air. Then pulling a piece, flipping over and continuing to fall before hitting the rock and flipping over once more. Total distance, maybe 30 feet. 35 max. Time, 2-3 seconds max considering the deceleration of pulling pro and hitting the rock. Quite likely under 2. During the inverted fall bit, which was maybe 10 feet, I have a crystal clear memory of thinking. "Oh, that sucks. Inverted fall on a soloist." The irony was almost funny at the time. I could have done Hamlet with all the time I had.

To deck, or not to deck?
That is the question!
Whether 'tis nobler on the ground
to suffer the sprains and fractures of outrageous fortune...

Ok, ok, I'll spare you.


zee


Dec 12, 2003, 8:58 PM
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I took a 150 foot deck when I was eleven...50 meters for you metric guys...I passed out in the first split second..."oh shit" passed out...didnt really have time to think oh shit, but enough time for the chemicals that would normal elicit that expression to pulse through my body and knock me out. The fall I would presume, no one saw it so it is open to speculation, was similier to the position of a manaquin thrown from a building or other high place...when I came to I was unable to stand and was a wee bit foggy headed. Upon discovering that my feet doidnt appear to be working correctly, I called for help and after a period of time was found by my brother...he called my dadd and other brother. My dad examined my toes and observing that I could wiggle my toes declared that I was alright and should quit being a pussy and walk outta there. Insisting that this was not possible, they grudgingly carried me out to the car, we drove around the grampians a bit and then spent the night at the youth hostel, where I had to be carried to take one of the more painful s**ts of my life. Then I complained about the discomfort of the bed for a bit, which ellicited response of "shut the F**k up you whiney bastard" from my brothers, and after a couple of dead arms I crawled to the floor which for some odd reason was more comfortable then the bed.

We drove home, the scenic route, my dad had to drive through every pothole to find some freakin spring with water and stuff. Then we drove back home where my mum freaked out and scalded my dad, then took me to the clinic, where the doctor said I had a broken wrist...was just a bit of a bruise I had noticed in the morning...but couldnt tell about the legs, so off to the hospital....my brothers thought I was taking this whole act a little far...where the orthopedic dude was pissed at my dad after he found that I had shattered my pelvis in 7 places, and broken the neck of my femur. So six years of surgery and rehab later...I was ready to climb again.

Over the years the question has reoccered "how did you survive" and after a degree in aerospace I think I have a pretty good answer...

F = mA

given that my mass was relatively small (60-90 pounds), the force with which I impacted was also small...so in conclusion

to survive a fall from great heights, make sure yer ass is skinny, and your belly trim, the less you way, the greater your chances of survival.

Oh and land in a relaxed unconscious position. Ass first, arms in front backwards, yer ass takes the brunt with the rest of your body whiplashing and disapating the energy.

The previous post suggesting the roll works fine as long as you fall from less then 20 feet, above which your moving to quickly to react (average reaction time 0.4 seconds) to the initial impact with the roll.

my two cents...

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