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Author Topic: Schoolyard fainting trick  (Read 5534 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Schoolyard fainting trick
« on: 12/08/2007 20:33:22 »
I remember when I was at primary school (yes, they DID have them back then!) we used to do this thing where we'd hyperventilate for a minute or so then someone would squeeze us in a bearhug causing us to faint.

Why did that happen and was it dangerous?


 

another_someone

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Schoolyard fainting trick
« Reply #1 on: 13/08/2007 20:23:31 »
The human body does not breath in response to a lack of oxygen, but rather to an excess of CO2 (i.e. it regards expelling CO2 as more critical than absorbing O2).

If you hyperventilate, it is quite possible that the can expel so much CO2 that it stops breathing, even when it is is need of more O2.  This can cause the brain to become starved of oxygen (causing the fainting) without the breathing reflex kicking in.  It can theoretically cause death (which is why when I tell people that I used to regularly hyperventilate and then spend around 4 minutes underwater, they tell me that I was being stupid - and I certainly did panic one of my teachers who thought I was on the verge of drowning).

The bear hug may have simply be an additional way of restricting the ability to breath (and because there was no overload of CO2, it would not cause a panic reaction that might cause you to fight yourself free to gain more breath).
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Schoolyard fainting trick
« Reply #2 on: 13/08/2007 22:06:52 »
Ian - that sounds feasible. I've been wondering about this for years but only just thought to ask.
 

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Schoolyard fainting trick
« Reply #2 on: 13/08/2007 22:06:52 »

 

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