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Old 08-01-2005, 09:56 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Some ideas follow regarding first response from a recently formed Medical Kiteboarding Forum:

The victim of a head impact may not realize he is in danger. Seek qualified medical attention rather than trying to "tough it out." That choice may well have cost this man his life.

If you witness a kiting accident where the kiter could have a suspected neck or spinal injury and is on land DO NOT MOVE HIM. Attempt to reassure and keep the victim motionless as well. Keep warm with a blanket and wait for a paramedic with a stretcher and proper skills to move him. If he is in the water of course he must be moved to prevent drowning but avoid excessive spinal movements to get to shore, then do as above. If it is you that is injured or the person is walking wounded and has pain in the spine or neck then seek proper medical examination in the first instance (at an ER). It would be best for any movement of the victim to be accomplished by paramedics if feasible.

The victim may have suffered an Epidural Hematoma as a result of the head impact. This can be a slow potentially lethal injury that can evade detection by not only the victim but also by bystanders. Recovery prospects are often good with early treatment however. The victim may have a "lucid interval" in which he can convince bystanders that he is alright.

As a side note, the writer had a similar experience some years back after a serious kiteboarding related head injury. He managed to convince two individuals who witnessed the 80 ft. lofting into a wooden fence that he was OK. He proceeded to stumble around for 4 to 5 hours presumably in an incoherent state pending transport to the ER and treatment. His use of a helmet was credited as saving his life by the attending neurologist.

Diagnosis of an epidural hematoma can be evasive even in a medical setting, requiring a CAT scan. Considering possible outcomes absent proper care, it is best to tactfully compel head impact victims to seek proper medical attention.
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