Canyoning, Medical, Safety

MINOR INCIDENTS DURING CANYONING

Canyoning is an exciting, extreme sport with lots of adrenaline. Being not focused during canyoning can cause some minor incidents that will make a descent more demanding than it should be.

Vertigo:

It is a disorder caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the brain, stimulated by the vacuum that suddenly appears while facing down of rocks, a terrace, a balcony, or a high top above the ground. The centre of circulatory and nervous system gets instantly affected, resulting in nausea, tendency to vomit or even faint.

What to do:

– Breath and try to be cool.

– Inform the leading canyoner and all other team members of the situation.

– Seek assistance at all relays.

– Concentrate on a slow and safe descent.

– Drink fluids regularly until the exit.

Sprains:

It is something that can easily happen when descending a canyon and especially in areas of crossing slippery rocks that need attention.The most common case is the twist of an ankle.

What to do:

– If a twist has just occurred, the ankle should be raised up and a cold bandage needs to be placed for at least 30 minutes to regulate the internal bruising and blood circulation.

– If there is pain in the ankle area as well as swelling, the chance of a fracture is high.

– If the pain persists, the ankle needs to be placed in a casual splint as if it was broken.

– All serious sprains should be treated as potential fractures until proven otherwise.

– All team members must be notified that there is a fellow canyoner who cannot perform properly and might need further assistance.

Cramps:

A long descent, difficult water flow and slippery rocks can become a test for the muscular system of the body, especially for the legs.Leg cramps occur suddenly and are very painful.

What to do:

– Rest is the first step of treatment.

– Deep breathing, massaging the tight muscle and relaxation, as soon as possible, gives positive results.

– A painkiller speeds up the recovery process.

Descending a canyon is something that needs to be taken seriously. It is lots of fun most of the times but it can cost you an injury if you are not focused at all times during canyoning. Consider the environment of a canyon and the difficulty of a potential rescue mission, so practice – practice – practice and stay on top of the situation with caution and grace.

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