View Full Version : Suspension Trauma

Maple Flag
04-12-2004, 11:15
I posted this at the LF board a while back, and thought people here would like to see it.

This danger was never discussed in my high angle rescue course, but I think it should be part of the curriculum for rope rescue people and their supporting medics.



04-12-2004, 13:05
Good read. Thanks for sharing. I have not seen this study, but there are plenty others out there on the subject.

I have not witnessed a ST myself and have alot of time logged in harness. I can tell you that being suspended with your legs dangling gets old fast. Everyone on our RIT teams have their own harnesses and the fit/wear is heavily scritinized by the team leaders.

One of the biggest factors and maybe the biggest when dealing with the rescuer is keeping their knees bent instead of having them dangle. This is much easier in mountain/high-angle rescue as opposed to confined space. Several of the better harness makers have adjustments on the tops of the legs that will hold the legs up in a seated type position for times when the rescuer will be in harness for some time (ie: hanging on the side of a stokes during a litter pick by helo or on a transverse litter haul over a ravine/river)

From the studies I have read window washers and high-rise steel workers are at the biggest risk. They are generally wearing very loosely fitted full-body harnesses, tend not to cinch them up, and use harnesses with a rear attachment point. They also tend to use a standard rope safety instead of a tear-away anchor.

As a side note, stokes baskets/litters should be used whenever possible instead of a quick-attach RSQ harness or pick harness. These as well tend to leave the victim dangling.

just my .02