Avalanche burial has a high mortality and yet in some cases there have been some amazing saves despite prolonged cardiac arrest. An international working group undertook a systematic review to examine 4 critical prognostic factors for burial victims in cardiac arrest. You have a better chance of surviving a prolonged burial if you have a patent airway and a pocket of air (even a very small one), are hypothermic, and preferably not hyperkalaemic.
Prognostic factors in avalanche resuscitation: A systematic review
Resuscitation. 2010 Jun;81(6):645-52
Using a sophisticated infrared six camera motion capture system, investigators demonstrated decreased cervical spine movement when collared volunteers self-extricated from a mock smashed up Toyota Corolla, when compared with extrication by paramedics using a backboard.
The authors conclude that in ambulatory subjects who do not complain of back pain, the least motion of the cervical spine may occur when the subject is allowed to exit the car in a c-collar without backboard immobilisation.
Cervical spine motion during extrication: a pilot study
West J Emerg Med. 2009 May;10(2):74-8
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