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Related to avalanche: Avalanche breakdown
Wilderness medicine A natural disaster in which massive unsorted mixtures of snow/ice/rock/mud cascade down a steep incline. Powder snow avalanches can exceed speeds of 300 km/h, and masses of 10,000,000 tonnes
Statistics Europe, 150 deaths/year; USA/Canada, 15/year; most are recreational—e.g., snowmobilers, mountaineers, back-country skiers
Avalanche risks Decreased snow stability; slope angles > 35º
Emergency action Do not wait; even in well-equipped ski areas, helicopters take 45 minute to arrive
Survival 15 minutes—85%; 30 minutes—40%; 1 hour—20%; 2 hours—0%
Cause of death Crush injury, hypothermia, suffocation
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avalancheGeomedicine A natural disaster in which a massive block of snow cascades down a steep incline Statistics In North America, ± 15 die thereof/yr; in Europe, 150/yr; most are recreational deaths–eg, snowmobilers, mountaineers, backcountry skiers Avalanche risks ↓ Snow stability; slope angles > 35º COD Crush injury, asphyxia. See Geological disaster.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.