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Vaginal injury: Avoid the water skiing douche

Beware: Water skiing douche

Every year, emergency rooms across the country experience an influx in water-related injuries, many caused from water skiing accidents. Though its natural to think of external water skiing injuries, such as broken limbs, there are a range of internal injuries that can also occur. Rarely mentioned but potentially fatal, women can suffer from serious injuries to the vagina, perineal area and rectum (men can also sustain perineal and rectal injuries). These types of injuries, referred to as the "water skiing douche" or "water skiing enema," are potentially life threatening and if left untreated can result in heavy blood loss and death.

What is the water skiing douche or enema?

Although rarely mentioned, water skiing poses certain dangers to both men and women. Besides the obvious dangers of drowning or colliding with a boat or propeller, severe injuries to the vagina, perineum or rectum can occur when a water skier falls into the water at high speed. Depending on the location of impact, the water skiier may end up with a water skiing douche or water skiing enema.

Injuries associated with the water skiing douche or enema

When a water skier falls backward towards the water in a sitting position and the buttocks strike the water with great force, this unintentional maneuver causes a flood of water to enter into the vagina or rectum. The worst case scenario is severe lacerations to the vagina wall or a rectal blow out.

The speed and force of the impact can significantly influence the amount of water that is forced into the body cavity and is a major factor in the severity of the internal damage. Injuries caused by the water's force can include tears in the vaginal wall, vaginal perforation, and damage to the bladder, cervix, uterus or fallopian tubes.

Beware: Water skiing douche

Other substantial injuries can also occur internally including a severed artery, displacement of the colon, and injury to the bowels. Similar types of injuries can occur if a rider falls backwards off a jet ski with their legs apart or when children attempt to sit on a high pressure water jet in a water fountain at a water park or public monument.

Prompt treatment is imperative

The most common indication that the water skiing douche or water skiing enema has occurred is the visible presence of blood seeping from the vaginal or rectal area. Bleeding can start unexpectedly and can turn into a medical emergency very quickly so prompt medical attention is absolutely necessary. If left untreated, severe blood loss and going into shock are possible.

Initial treatment for vaginal or rectal lacerations will include the placement of perineal pressure packs on the area to control bleeding and possibly anti-shock trousers may be used.

Often in cases when the vaginal or rectal wall has been lacerated or an artery severed, emergency surgery under a general anesthesia is required to repair the damage and stop the bleeding. In the most severe cases, long term health problems can persist if the damage involves the bowel, bladder or fallopian tubes.

Avoid internal water skiing injuries by wearing the right gear

Many amateur water skiers are not aware that such accidents can occur while they are enjoying a ride across the water's surface. Many of them unwittingly wear regular swimsuits, which offer no protection against pressurized water injuries to the vaginal, perineal and rectal areas.

The water skiing douche and water skiing enema can be prevented by donning swim gear especially designed for water and jet skiers. Professional water skiers are well aware of the dangers of hitting the water at high speed and wear protective swim pants that protect against perineal and internal injuries.

If you are planning your summer fun in the sun on water skis, be sure to talk to a water skiing expert and get fitted with the proper water skiing wear to avoid the potentially fatal water skiing douche and water skiing enema.

More ways to stay safe this summer

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