The Snow Snorkel: a proof of concept study

Windsor, Jeremy S., Hamilton, Edwin, Grocott, Michael P.., O'Dwyer, Michael J. and Milledge, James S. (2009) The Snow Snorkel: a proof of concept study Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, 20, (1), pp. 61-65. (doi:10.1580/08-WEME-BR-183.1). (PMID:19364164).


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Objective: to demonstrate that the Snow Snorkel can be used safely by healthy volunteers buried in snow for up to 1hour.

Methods: nine healthy male volunteers were placed in a shoulder-width trench and buried with snow to a depth of 30 to 40cm. The study was divided into 2 stages. The first stage (Stage 1) was performed with the Snow Snorkel in operation (60-minute duration) and was then followed by a second stage (Stage 2) (15-minute duration) when the device was removed. Arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), axillary temperature (T), and 3-lead electrocardiography (ECG) were monitored throughout the study.

Results: of the 9vol.nteers who were enrolled, 7 were able to complete Stage 1, while only 3 were able to complete Stage 2. In those who completed Stage 1, the mean HR fell by 14.1 beats/min (P=.002), while RR (P=.5) and SaO2 (P=.7) remained unchanged compared to baseline measurements. There were no changes in T or ECG.

Conclusions: simple systems such as the Snow Snorkel are effective during snow burial and warrant further investigation

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1580/08-WEME-BR-183.1
ISSNs: 1080-6032 (print)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Organisations: Human Development & Health
ePrint ID: 348929
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2013 11:32
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:58
Further Information:Google Scholar

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