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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Treestand safety

Has anyone heard of the issue with the 4 point harnesses that when you fall out of the stand that you may only have a few minutes to get yourself back on the stand? The word I heard is that when you fall out and are suspended by the harness that the leg straps restrict the blood flow to the legs. The arteries feeding the legs are huge and carry allot of blood and when they are restricted several things start to happen in the body and none of them are good.

One thing is the heart starts to beat very rapidly to try and increase the blood flow to the legs; the other is that pooled blood clots and can cause strokes or heart attacks when released.

I am not a doctor I just picked this up in conversation so take it for what it's worth.

I think a take away is that always make sure that your tether doesn't allow you to drop so far you can not get yourself righted quickly.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 11:41 AM
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If you hang long enough yes eventually it could cause loss of circulation to your lower extremities. Hunters should make an effort during the spring and summer month to add physical fitness to their preperations for the upcoming hunting season. Hunters should focus on not only cardio fitness, but also work on building upper body strength as well.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 12:29 PM
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Don't Know about you guys, but the only way I'll be "hanging" around for awhile in my harness is if I'm unconscious! I'm going to grab for anything, especially the tree. Plus I have a knife on me at all times, and if I can't get back up to the stand, I'll cut the harness off and climb down the tree. Last thing in the world I would do is wait for someone to come along, or call someone for help. 1st instinct, get out of the bad situation!

James 1:2-8
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 02:22 PM
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what i learned in OSHA safety class, we learned that hanging in a harness for 15 minutes will kill you. i think it is called suspension trauma. was also told to ---if you have shoulder straps was to cut the leg straps.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 06:53 AM
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Always have a sharp knife on the belt like Tator said.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 10:00 AM
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Yes you can die. This is due to orthostatic incompentence. What happens in orthostatic incompetence is that the legs are immobile with a person in an upright posture. Gravity pulls blood into the lower legs, which have a very large storage capacity. Enough blood eventually accumulates so that return blood flow to the right chamber of the heart is reduced. The heart can only pump the blood available, so the heart's output begins to fall. The heart speeds up to maintain sufficient blood flow to the brain, but if the blood supply to the heart is restricted enough, beating faster is ineffective, and the body abruptly slows the heart. In most instances this solves the problem by causing the perosn to faint, which typically results in slumping to the ground where the legs, the heart, and the brain are on the same level. Blood is now returned to the heart and the worker typically recovers quickly. In a harness, however, the worker can't fall into a horizontal posture, so the reduced heart rate causes the brain's blood supply to fall below the critical level. Orthostatic incompetence doesn't occur to us very often because it requires that the legs remain relaxed, straight, and below heart level. If the leg muscles are contracting in order to maintain balance and support the body, the muscles press against the leg veins. This compression, together with well-placed one-way valves, helps pump blood back to the heart. If the upper-legs are horizontal, as when we sit quietly, the vertical pumping distance is greatly reduced, so there are no problems. In suspension trauma, several unfortunate things occur that aggravate the problem. First, the person is suspended in an upright posture with legs dangling. Second, the safety harness straps exert pressure on leg veins, compressing them and reducing blood flow back to the heart. Third, the harness keeps the person in an upright position, regardless of loss of consciousness, which is what kills workers.

Steps to take if you do fall out of a stand.....
  1. Person should be trained to try to move their legs in the harness and try to push against any footholds.
  2. Person hanging in a harness should be trained to try to get their legs as high as possible and their heads as close to horizontal as possible (this is nearly impossible with many commercial harnesses in use today).
  3. It the person is suspended upright, emergency measures must be taken to remove the perosn from suspension or move the fallen worker into a horizontal posture, or at least to a sitting position.
Hope you found this helpful!!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 11:51 AM
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The hunter safety system harness comes with a strap that if you fall can be used to put a foot in and raise yourself a bit to relieve the pressure of the harness on your body. I though this was useless until I read this post. I might have to dig that lil thing out..

We cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 11:49 PM
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Most fall restraint harness systems come with some form of strap that you tie to the lineman loops located by your hips. after tying both ends, you place both feet in the strap and exert downward force, as though you were standing up in the strap. this will save your life if emergency help is delayed.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 05:40 PM
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Ive been looking at treestands, wanting to get off the ground level. In looking at stands from different companies, Ive noticed that some show their stands as coming with a strap that is attached to both platforms for in the event that the lower platform should come loose. How many of you rig up something similar on your stands to be able to retrieve your lower platform just in case??
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 05:42 PM
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I think that something as simple as a piece of rope with a clove hitch along with a safety knot or even a figure eight knot. Would be a cheap remedy for someone who didnt have one of these straps.
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