Leal S, Becker F, Nespoulet H, Zellner P and Cauchy E
Introduction: Suspension trauma describes a set of symptoms that occurs when a person is suspended motionless in a harness, which can evolve rapidly to unconsciousness and even death. Therefore, rapid initial care by first responders appears to be vital, even before the arrival of emergency healthcare. There is currently no consensual management algorithm.
Methods: The objective was to make an analysis of previously published data concerning this topic and to propose a specific algorithm for in such cases.
Results: The victim should be released quickly from motionless suspension by the first responders; if unconscious and/or presenting injuries, emergency assistance must be called. If a rapid descent is not possible and the subject is conscious, leg muscle activity must be maintained or a saddle may be placed under the thighs. In case of unconsciousness and/or trauma, and if access to the victim is possible, first responders, while waiting for an emergency team, will place the victim in a holding position, with straps or a net. On the ground, the recommendation is to follow international basic life support guidelines.
Conclusion: Nowadays, the existence of such dramatic situations is confirmed, but research studies still must be undertaken in order to support knowledge in this area.