Cold water swimmers tend to faint, also after the swim

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Interesting article here on Icelandic Review, about how Reykjavík sea swimmers are prone to fainting, sometimes during but also often after the cold dip. Physicians encourage people to show extreme caution when swimming in the cold water, as they risk hyperthermia, unconsciousness and even swimming malfunction, causing them to loose mobility, which may lead to drowning. People must also realize that if they immediately immerse themselves in hot pots, as is common practice in Iceland, blood pressure can suddenly drop and cause them to faint.

Íslandsbankasjósund 20. maí 2011 from Ragnar Torfi Geirsson on Vimeo.

(Video included only because it involves Icelandic sea swimmers)

That is exactly what happened to Hildur Eva Ómarsdóttir who almost passed out while showering after a soak. She contributes it to the fact that perhaps she hadn’t eaten enough before the swim.

Her swimming companion, also a young woman, rushed to her friend’s aid but ended up fainting herself and falling to the concrete floor of the shower area. Her injured face required nine stitches.

In the past two years, staff at Nauthólsvík Beach in central Reykjavík has had to deal with sixteen serious cases, of which calling an ambulance was necessary in six cases, and one was a heart attack. Cases where of fainting where people quickly recover are not always documented, and it can therefore be assumed that they are significantly more. But, it should be noted that the swims have been more than twenty thousand in that period.

Read more here on Icelandic Review

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, part-time coach. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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