The Fault in Our Stars actor, Ansel Elgort accepted the ice bucket challenge for fund raising. Elgort took part in the viral ice bucket challenge, by taping himself shirtless and pouring the ice bucket water on his head. The video uploaded on YouTube immediately caught everyone's attention.
The challenge works in a simple manner, a person is nominated to take part in the challenge by one of his friend, he then has to take part by recording a video of himself doing the complete act and then uploading it on YouTube. Those who complete the challenge have to nominate other friends, who would then nominate others.
The challenge is used to raise awareness by friends and relatives of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates neurodegenerative disease, also known as ALS, in 2012. He is now paralysed and cannot talk and is fed through a tube.
Tough Elgort emptied a whole bag of ice in the bucket and poured the cold water on his head, shouting "Oh my God!" His post read, "I got nominated to do one of these challenges and at first I thought it was dumb, but then I realized that it was for a good cause. Raising money for ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. Today I gave 500$ to the research and I encourage you to give as well!"
The ALS association has seen a ten times increase in donations only between August 4 and August 6. The challenge has gone viral, attracting many people. But doctors' say, the challenge is not something one must indulge in as it could be life threatening. On July 7, Willis Tepania, 40, died after completing the challenge, he suffered from a cardiac arrest.
Former neonatal pediatrician Dr Stephen Wealthall fears that if the social media game for fund raising goes on, it may take someone else's life. He is urging people to stop it. "The throwing of cold water unexpectedly over the face and head is an extreme danger," he said. Explaining further that the sudden water poured on the head closes the larynx and slows the heart rate, a person stops breathing due to this; there is a chance that this may lead to death. "Some people will react very badly and that someone will die, and it might not be immediately."
In normal cases breathing returns back to normal, but it could lead to a rare reflex called the "diving reflex." He stated that someone who already has rotten coronary arteries may receive insufficient oxygen and can lead to sudden heart attacks, which happen in a lot of cases, he specified.
Dr Wealthall pointed to two instances that prove the dangers of dousing cold water on one's head. As a British navy cadet doctor he observed human being's reaction to cold water, when thrown on the head. The study found that some young, fit individuals who dived head down into the ice cold waters had "to be hauled out and resuscitated." Another instance is when in the 1980's the belief that throwing babies in water could help them learn swimming led to the collapse of several babies.
He suggests either to stop the challenge for one's own health or just go feet first into the ice water.