Here are some pictures from the class mock rescue on Saturday. The pictures were taken by one of the course instructors, Matt Link. Click the image for a larger version.
Our patient obviously had a broken femur. The patient head-to-toe exam revealed a possible head injury as well. That means one person has to pull traction on the leg, and another has to hold the patient’s head steady to prevent any further damage to the spine.
The patient, Laura, was quite the actor. Nothing instills a sense of realism more than having blood everywhere and a patient screaming her lungs out. Anyone else within a mile radius must have been pretty freaked out.
I was the Incident Commander (IC), or leader, of the group, but I had to take a couple turns pulling traction so the others could rest.
We had to put a tarp over the patient to help keep her warm. It was probably 38 degrees out. It felt like summer to me.
At this point, we had the entire group back together (2 of them had gone off to search for the reported second hiker, but we eventually learned from Laura that the second person had left to go get help), so I started putting together the litter to transport our patient.
Here’s Chris, building the traction splint for Laura’s leg. He made a good one. You can also see Brenda starting to take over patient care from Curt. Brenda did an excellent job talking to Laura and keeping her occupied while we got everything ready.
Chris, putting the finishing touches on the splint, and me, putting the finishing touches on the litter. Brad is packing everyone’s stuff up, Curt is pulling traction on the leg, and Bradley is filling out our SOAP note.
This is a BEAM (Body Elevation And Movement) move to get Laura into the litter. You can see padding for her neck, lumbar, and knees already in the litter.
Plenty of padding is needed to keep a person warm and comfortable in a litter basket.
The tarp both traps heat and keeps the patient protected from the environment.
Navigating obstacles with a litter basket is hard. We had to carry that thing for about a mile, on what would be considered a “rugged” trail. This was one obstacle, a wall in the middle of the trail.
Yes, my back hurt when I woke up the day after. This was another fun one, a series of switchbacks.
Finally! Our trial ended where it began, at the Bryant Creek Shelter House. We started from there at 6pm and arrived back at 9:16. An hour of that was the patient transport.
Time to reclaim all our gear. I got a little dirty.
And debrief time, where we talked over the procession of events, heard the patient’s view, and gave negatives and positives for the evening.
It’s an experience I’ll never forget. I hope I never have to use what I’ve learned, but I’ll be prepared if I do.