I recently came across Vagal Inhibition. That article says,

(5) Sudden immersion of body in cold water.

can cause vagal inhibition and ultimately death.

Recalling the Ice Bucket Challenge. Going by what the above article says, shouldn't many of the participants have had a vagal inhibition ?

  • $\begingroup$ For one thing the ice bucket challenge is not immersion, you also might want to look at the mammalian dive reflex. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Jun 23, 2018 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


Theoretically, any treatment can cause death. Drinking water can be lethal and oxygen is highly toxic and a strong oxidizer.

To quantify toxicity we usually use Median Lethal Dose (LD50) metric. That is a dose at which half (50%) of test group is going to die.

To answer "Why didn't people taking up the Ice Bucket Challenge die?":

Dose that people used was not high enough to cause any significant increase in mortality. Maybe some people did die, but it was just masked by other news (to some degree)


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