Dangers of Suspension Trauma

Date: 
5th March 2013

According to Wikipedia, Suspension Trauma can be defined as:

Suspension trauma (Syn. "orthostatic shock while suspended"), also known as harness hang syndrome (HHS), or orthostatic incompetence is an effect which occurs when the human body is held upright without any movement for a period of time. If the person is strapped into a harness or tied to an upright object they will eventually suffer the Central Ischaemic Response (commonly known as fainting). If one faints but remains vertical, one risks death due to one's brain not receiving the oxygen it requires. People at risk of suspension trauma include people using industrial harnesses (fall arrest systems, abseiling systems, confined space systems), people using harnesses for sporting purposes (caving, climbing, parachuting, etc.), stunt performers, circus performers, and so on. Suspension shock can also occur in medical environments, for similar reasons

The risks of suspension trauma need to be carefully assessed when purchasing fall protection gear and accessories. We recommend that a suspension trauma relief strap be fitted to the safety harness so as to provide the wearer with the ability to 'stand' in the harness, thereby restoring blood flow to the wearer's vital organs.

Click here to view the steps when using a suspension relief strap