Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: We strongly agree with Dr Fink about
the importance of rapid localization and extrication of buried avalanche survivors.
The efficacy of avalanche rescue transceivers is well documented and should
be requisite equipment when traveling in avalanche terrain. An individual
buried in an avalanche wearing the artificial air pocket device would also
require transceiver localization. Unfortunately, more than 70% of the deaths
mentioned in the 45-year US avalanche analysis were in recreational categories.1 Persons pursuing recreational activities generally
are less practiced in the use of avalanche transceivers and are significantly
slower than professionals at finding buried transceivers (mean, 32 minutes
vs 18 minutes).2 Therefore, the increased
survival time after burial afforded by the artificial air pocket device may
have the greatest impact among the recreational group.
Grissom CK, Radwin MI, Harmston CH. Improving Survival During Snow Burial in Avalanches—Reply. JAMA. 2000;284(10):1242-1243. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1239