On Wed, 17 Aug 2005, Brian Rohrbacher wrote:

>I would think the seat strap takes pressure off the leg straps.
>I'm thinking the leg straps is what cuts off the circulation.  Is
>this thinking correct?

It is not that the circulation is cut off.  Veins (the blood vessels
that move blood back to the heart) do not have the ability to move
blood without the muscles around them moving.  The veins in your
body have valves every so often that assist in moving the blood back
to the heart.  The problem described in the article is not a result
of blood flow being "cut off".  Rather, the problem described is one
where the muscles in your legs are inactive, and therefore, do not
force the blood back up to the heart.  This results in a lowered
volume of blood for available for the heart to pump.  In this
situation, your heart will "automatically" reduce the flow of blood
by slowing down.  As stated in the article, usually, this reduction
in blood flow will result in the victim fainting, which, for someone
on the ground, is a good thing, because a victim that is prone
(horizontal), gravity can get the blood (at least some of it) back
into the system, and the blood volume will increase.  HOWEVER, since
the vicitim is strapped into an upright position on a tower, this
does not occur, and gravity keeps the blood in the legs.

The thing to learn, for a tower climber, is that it is not a good
idea to let your legs "rest" by hanging from your positioning gear
with your legs completely inactive for extended periods.  By
"extended" here, I mean 2-4 minutes.  When I climb, I will sometimes
"relax" by allowing my legs to dangle below me for a few seconds.
For me, this is not a very comfortable position, but it is nice to
remove the pressure on my feet for a few seconds.

I find this article especially interesting, because when I was in
college, I was a pre-med student, and my "love" was circulatory
system studies.  :-)

Butch Evans
BPS Networks  http://www.bpsnetworks.com/
Bernie, MO
Mikrotik Certified Consultant

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