Friday, November 18

How Not to Die: 20 Survival Tips You Must Know

From Popular Mechanics, a list of survival tips covering a variety of outdoor situations, from watching a baseball game to cutting down trees to drinking too much water during exercise.

America's national pastime may seem a gentle pursuit, but it is not without its fatal hazards. The 2008 book Death at the Ballpark: A Comprehensive Study of Game-Related Fatalities, 1862–2007 catalogs deaths that have occurred while people were playing, watching, or officiating at baseball games. Among the causes is commotio cordis, a concussion of the heart that leads to ventrical fibrillation when the chest is struck during a critical 10- to 30-millisecond moment between heartbeats. About 50 percent of all victims are athletes (and the vast majority of these are male) engaging in sports that also include ice hockey and lacrosse, the U.S. National Commotio Cordis Registry reports.

STAT: The registry recorded 224 fatal cases from 1996 to 2010. Commotio cordis is the No. 1 killer in U.S. youth baseball, causing two to three deaths a year.

DON'T: Take a shot to the chest. Even evasive action and protective gear are not significant deterrents. Of note: Survival rates rose to 35 percent between 2000 and 2010, up from 15 percent in the previous decade, due mainly to the increased presence of defibrillators at sporting events.