Avoiding Suspension Trauma
Hanging motionless and suspended in your FAS after a fall can cause the leg straps to constrict blood flow. The pressure can make blood pool in the legs, limiting circulation and depriving organs of oxygen. This is called suspension trauma and can lead quickly to unconsciousness followed by death. To avoid suspension trauma while you wait to be rescued:
- Step into your suspension relief strap, and stand up to relieve the pressure caused by the leg straps.
- If you do not have a suspension relief strap, move your legs continuously by pushing off from the tree, or raise your knees and pump your legs frequently to keep your blood flowing until help arrives.