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What is the First Stage of Cold Water Immersion

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Lorenzo Novas
Lorenzo Novashttp://ellarei.com
Lorenzo has a keen eye for detail and a natural gift for storytelling, allowing him to craft compelling content that captivates and informs his readers. Whether he's exploring the latest trends in technology, delving into the intricacies of finance, or sharing his insights on travel and culture, Lorenzo's work is always engaging and thought-provoking.

Do you know that 320,000 people die every year by drowning underwater? But, what shook us more was that many died from cold water immersion. So, we will discuss what is the first stage of cold water immersion in today’s blog to make you prepared.

Besides we will throw a short guide on the four stages of cold water immersion. This will give you enough precaution whenever you have boat journeys. So, keeping everything aside, let’s get into the details.

What is Cold Water Immersion?

You may have heard of cold water immersion as an “ice bath.” The ice bath is a therapy to relieve pain. However, this article does not discuss the pleasure boat shower. Rather we will focus on the accidental cold water immersion.

What is Cold Water Immersion Called?

Cold water immersion is known as “cold shock.” This is because you would experience cold shock after touching extremely cold water. When you feel the cold water, there will be some sudden reaction.

Your body temperature will be above the water temperature. So, your body will try to release the temperature to the water. And this sudden change will reduce your body’s inflammation, slowing your heart rate.

What is the first stage of cold water immersion?

A person can experience a variety of psychological and biological responses after immersing in water. First, the temperature change and contact time influence the person to have a cold shock. Then the cold water immersion stages begin.

Four Stages of Cold Water Immersion

  1. Initial Cold Water Immersion

This stage is called the cold shock or gasp reflex. You will inhale water after muscle spasms in this stage.

  1. Short term Cold Water Immersion

You will lose basic skills during this stage by losing your sensation. You will also lose your swimming ability.

  1. Long term Cold WaterImmersion

Long-term immersion affects after 30 minutes of contact with water. After that, your body temp[erature will drop below the normal level causing hypothermia.

  1. Post Rescue Collapse of Cold Water Immersion

The sudden blood pressure drop will make you unconscious in this stage. Also, you council s stop breathing even after being rescued.

Loss of consciousness most often occurs during the third stage of cold water immersion. So, the drowning person must be focused on reaching the shore before being knocked out.

First Stage of Cold Water Immersion?

“cold shock” is the primary event of the first stage of water immersion. Cold shock can take place in the first three to five minutes. After that, it causes some gasping and panic. 

It can cause heart stroke of the sudden heart rate bounce.

People with weak hearts can die during this short period—especially those who do not swim panic the most.

What Should You Do if You Fall Overboard into Cold Water?

Sudden immersion in extremely cold water results in voluntary gasping. But you can take some precautions during this event.

  • Hold onto something and try to stay strong like a basement.
  • Stop panicking and try to straighten your nose above water and breath.
  • Don’t try to remove your clothes; it will reduce the temperature even more.
  • Get on the water immediately before losing your sense and strength.

Get the person out of water when treating victims of cold water immersion. It can happen in front of you on beaches or pools.

Cold Water Immersion Benefits

Cold water immersion is used as an exercise. Many people do it regularly to power up their stamina. However, only experienced people should do such activities. 

But should you have cold water immersion before or after exercise? It speeds up your muscle recovery. So, you must do it two or three hours after your main workout session. 

That’s everything about cold water immersion and what is the first stage of cold water immersion.  We will answer questions afterward. We recommend you have col water immersion recovery techniques to stay safe in extremely cold areas. Thanks for reading.


What are the stages of cold water immersion?

There are four stages of cold water immersion. They are 1. Initial cold Water immersion, 2. Short-term cold water immersion, 3. Long-term cold water immersion, 4. The post-rescue collapse of cold water immersion. The four stages happen sequentially when you fall under extremely cold water.

What is Stage 2 of cold water immersion?

Stage 2 of cold water immersion is the Short term cold water immersion. It is also called the “swim failure” stage. People lose their ability to move their hands in this stage. This stage happens between the first 30 minutes of the immersion. In addition, expert swimmers also face this stage in fine weather. They usually stop swimming and keep their heads above the water. 

What is Stage 3 of cold water immersion?

Stage 3 of cold water immersion is called long-term cold water immersion. This stage starts after 30 minutes of cold water immersion. The body loses the temperature much faster than usual in this stage. As a result, the person can suffer from hypothermia in this stage after losing the body’s core temperature. More importantly, hypothermia can kill a person in this stage. People often lose consciousness and die before drowning underwater.

What is Stage 4 of cold water immersion?

Stage 4 of cold water immersion is the post-rescue collapse. This event takes place after getting rescued from an unwanted incident. Consistent slow blood pressure can cause heart failure during this period. Plus, cold water can damage the lungs afterward. And cold blood from arms can spread in the core of the body. In this stage, the person needs emergency heat and medical support to recover the body temperature as soon as possible. Further, the rescuer must give CPr and pulls out water inside the lungs.

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