June 18, 2007 12:00am Article from: Daily Telegraph
MYSTERY surrounds the collapse of Olympic swimmer and TV personality Brooke Hanson at a spa exhibition.
Doctors have confirmed both Brooke and her sister Jade suffered an electric shock, but workplace inspectors have ruled out an electrical accident.
Hanson, 29, collapsed after climbing out of a swim spa at a pool and spa show at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. She had been demonstrating the swim spa, a small pool that creates a strong current to swim against, for long-time sponsors Endless Spas.
"One minute she was signing autographs and swimming in the pool and having fun and posing for photos with all her fans and the kids and everything and the next minute she was handed a water bottle from her sister (Jade) and they both got an electric shock," father Ian Hanson said.
Mr Hanson said she collapsed immediately after leaving the pool, and showed "immediate effects of a major electric shock".
"She was shivering and her fingers and toes were all quivering and she was exhausted," he said.
"It was extraordinary. She was fading in and out of semi-consciousness and we kept talking to her so that we didn't lose her altogether."
Mr Hanson said his daughter, who was released from hospital late last night looking pale and in pain, suffered a head and shoulder injury – "a few bumps and bruises" – from her collapse. He said doctors had confirmed both his daughters had suffered electrical shocks.
"He certainly indicated that there certainly had been some affects of a shock, there's no doubt about that," he said.
"Her younger sister Jade was right alongside her and handed her a water bottle and that seemed to trigger things off with the shock.
"She was not convulsing but she was getting pretty close to it."
But an inspector from Victoria's independent electricity safety authority, Energy Safe Victoria, said electricity played no part in the mystery incident, spokesman David Guthrie-Jones said.
"We had one of our most experienced investigators at the site. It has been thoroughly investigated and we found nothing there that could have caused an electric shock," Mr Guthrie-Jones said.
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria also distanced themselves from claims Hanson had suffered an electrical shock, saying the swimmer "appeared to lose balance and fall heavily".
Hanson has just completed her contract as a presenter with the Nine Network's lifestyle program What's Good For You.
Three weeks ago the newlywed swimmer had re-entered the pool to resume training in the lead-up to the Australian short course swimming titles in Melbourne in August.
After that, she planned to weigh up her future, which could include a ticket to next year's Beijing Olympics or one of several lucrative offers of television work.
Hanson won gold in the 100m individual medley at the World Short Course Championships in Shanghai last year after winning a silver medal in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, she won a gold medal in the 4 x 100m medley relay and silver in the 100, breaststroke after failing to qualify for the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
She will see her doctor and have some massage therapy over the next few days but is expected to make a full recovery. Hanson was released from The Alfred about 9.30pm suffering a bruised shoulder and stiff neck.
She will see her doctor and have some massage therapy over the next few days.
The whole family was relieved the champion swimmer's injuries were not as bad as first thought, with Hanson expected to make a full recovery.
"It's very very exciting to see here released, we're so relieved and we had a big family hug,'' Mr Hanson said. "No one wants to see a look on their daughter's face like that. She just wants to go home and have some leftovers from last night's big party, it's good that she's hungry."
The Hanson family, who live in the Gold Coast, were in Melbourne for a big party to celebrate Hanson's husband of seven weeks' 30th birthday. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21923370-2,00.html
"Tachycardia." That's what it's called when the heart goes into a series of very rapid, incomplete beats. Sort of like a seizure, or convulsions.
The heart is essentially electrically controlled. When a 'defibrillator' is used, many times it is to use the power of a big battery to overrule the chaotic impulses that, for whatever reason, the body is generating. A person in a state of tachycardia might very well show other twitching, feel numbness and tingling, etc.
The electrical 'net' of the body needs certain minerals to operate properly. That's why bananas (rich in potassium and magnesium) are so popular with distance runners. If your body runs out of these minerals .... tachycardia can result from even mild exertion.
None of this explains the reported 'shock' to the second victim.
Just wild guessing ... but you don't need an electrical shock to think you've felt one.
Blood tests will tell much. Once I transported the victim of a nearly fatal shock to the hospital. Upon arrival, they appeared perfectly normal ... and were treated in a perfunctory manner by the staff. Then the blood tests came back ... talk about a change of attitude! The tests confirmed that the guy had been waiting in line at Heavens' Gate ...
AN electric shock was the cause of champion Australian swimmer Brooke Hanson's collapse at a pool and spa exhibition, Victoria's electricity safety watchdog said today. The 29-year-old Olympian keeled over after stepping out of a demonstration spa pool at the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) industry show at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on June 17.
Hanson had been taking part in a demonstration for long-time sponsors Endless Spas.
Her sister Jade also suffered an electric shock and the Olympic swimmer spent several hours undergoing tests at Melbourne's The Alfred hospital before being released.
Ken Gardner, director of Energy Safety at Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), said a temporary electrical installation was the probable cause of electric shocks.
"Although we have further interviews to conduct ... we are of the opinion that one of the temporary electrical leads in use at the spa display did not have a proper earth connection and this could have caused the fault,'' Mr Gardner said.
"As a result of the fault, some 15 volts AC of electricity would have been injected into the water.''
ESV spokesman David Guthrie-Jones explained the relatively low voltage would have been exacerbated by a number of additional factors, resulting in the electric shock.
"Fifteen volts alternating current might sound quite low but Ms Hanson had been in the spa pool water for a long time,'' Mr Guthrie-Jones said.
"That, coupled with the fact that the water was salty and ionised being pushed through a water jet pressure system, all combined would have had a more serious effect.''
Gidday gemmie, welcome to ECN, mate! I have to ask, even though this was a temporary arrangement, why was there no RCD in the line to this spa pool, when the Regulations specifically require one? If the people that were holding the demo of the pool have this attitude towards electrical safety, what is the build quality of thier products like?.