All posts tagged harness

You may have heard of it as many different names, but if you want to learn practical, well researched information on suspension trauma than you have before, take an hour and watch the video below. In it, Dr. Roger Mortimer, gives his take on what is actually happening to people who are hanging in a harness and why he thinks they sometimes die because of it. I had the pleasure of seeing Dr Mortimer present this at the International Technical Rescue Symposium. He’s a great great presenter without any qualification. As a doctor explaining medical stuff to a lay crowd, he’s surely the best in the business. He’s also a cave rescue guy and has spent his share of time in a harness.

Someone who was left hanging:


high five fail

The readers digest version of the big points:

– Death from hanging in a harness is caused by lack of victim movement, not the amount of time they are hanging.     Have the victim move their legs if they are able.

– Tell the hospital the victim has rhabdomyolysis and to prepare to treat them for that. It will save a lot of time and confusion on both sides.

– It’s okay to lay the victim down after they have been removed from rope.

Here is a link to the paper published in the Wilderness Medical Society Journal:






Let’s drop some acid… on our harnesses and see what happens to them.


This is what equipment manufacturer Black Diamond said to themselves after a customer returned a harness that just kind of blew apart at the seams. The short version of the results is that hydrochloric acid is REALLY bad for nylon. To see how Black Diamond came to that conclusion, check out the writeup that they did:


[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/68054494 w=400&h=300]