Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Canadian Avalanche victims die significantly quicker than Swiss counterparts, study finds

Date:
March 22, 2011
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Avalanche victims buried in Canada die significantly quicker than those buried in Switzerland, according to new research.

Avalanche victims buried in Canada die significantly quicker than those buried in Switzerland, according to new research.

Related Articles


"Significant differences were observed between the overall survival curves for the two countries; compared with the Swiss curve, the Canadian curve showed a quicker drop at the early stages of burial and poorer survival associated with prolonged burial," writes Dr. Pascal Haegeli, Simon Fraser University, with coauthors. "Poorer survival probabilities in the Canadian sample were offset by significantly quicker extrication (median duration of burial 18 minutes v. 35 minutes in the Swiss sample)."

The study, by researchers in Canada, Italy and Switzerland, was undertaken to better understand factors that affect survival during an avalanche burial and to help improve rescue, resuscitation and safety protocols worldwide. The data included 301 Canadian and 946 Swiss records of completely buried avalanche victims between 1980 and 2005. The Canadian sample included more people involved in mechanized backcountry skiing and snowmobiling compared with the Swiss sample.

While trauma reduced survival primarily within the first 10 minutes of burial, the study also revealed that avalanches in areas with denser snow conditions -- such as the maritime Coast Mountains -- were associated with an earlier onset of asphyxia. Furthermore, the authors state that the reduced survival associated with prolonged avalanche burials beyond 35 minutes may have been due to limitations in clinical skills at the accident site and during transport as well as to long distances to advanced care facilities.

The consistently lower survival chances among Canadian avalanche burials clearly highlight the importance of prevention through education and avoidance.

However, when an avalanche burial does occur, prompt extrication by companions is paramount for survival. While the window for a successful companion rescue has been previously described as the first 18 minutes, this study shows that in Canada the window is smaller and 10 minutes might be a more appropriate guideline.

"Rescue teams need to be educated in avalanche rescue techniques. In addition, protocols are needed for more efficient evacuation to appropriate treatment centres, including tertiary care centres for extracorporeal rewarming of people with severe hypothermia," state the authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pascal Haegeli, Markus Falk, Hermann Brugger, Hans-Jürg Etter, Jeff Boyd. Comparison of avalanche survival patterns in Canada and Switzerland. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.101435

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Canadian Avalanche victims die significantly quicker than Swiss counterparts, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110321134451.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2011, March 22). Canadian Avalanche victims die significantly quicker than Swiss counterparts, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110321134451.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Canadian Avalanche victims die significantly quicker than Swiss counterparts, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110321134451.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins