Dangers Associated with the Ice Bucket Challenge

the MPR take:

While the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised significant funds for the ALS Association, there are risks associated with the stunt when it’s done incorrectly. Two deaths have already been linked to the challenge, the first related to drowning, while another was associated with a heart attack after the participant drank too much bourbon. The most dangerous consequence of the Ice Bucket Challenge appears to be the potential for cardiac arrhythmias, which can be triggered when a person holds their breath while simultaneously being immersed in cold water.  For people with pre-existing cardiovascular disorders, this can be particularly dangerous; certain drugs such as antihistamines, antipsychotics, and antibiotics can also increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. The best way to minimize the likelihood of cardiovascular complications when doing the challenge would be to not hold one’s breath for too long and to tuck one’s chin towards their chest in order to keep the face dry. Also, totally submerging one’s body in cold water should be avoided since the effects will be much greater than just getting a bucket of cold water thrown over the head.

Why The Ice Bucket Challenge Can Kill
Why The Ice Bucket Challenge Can Kill
The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised an impressive amount of money and awareness for motor neuron diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease). When you imagine the dangers of cold water, you probably think of hypothermia. Another victim, 40-year-old Willis Tepania from New Zealand, had a heart attack after drinking a bottle of bourbon.


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