An injury caused by the sudden entry into very cold water. Freezing water can incapacitate muscle actions, and disturb the heart rate and breathing, making it impossible to swim. Sudden immersion can result in loss of consciousness, which may lead to death from drowning, a stroke, or heart attack. Participants of water sports, such as canoeing, are at obvious risk, and should always wear wet- or dry-suits to retain body heat. Safety procedures should ensure quick removal of someone who has fallen into cold water, a change into dry clothing, and warm drinks. Alcohol should never be given because it encourages heat loss.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.