Apr 17 2010
Over the last couple of years, Edale MRT has hosted an excellent Trauma and Casualty Care weekend for Mountain Rescue team members throughout the UK.
Attending the course today and tomorrow from our team are team doctor, Dr. Clare Witney, and team member Fred Taylor.
Clare’s report on the weekend appears below.
It was an early start to travel down to Edale for the medical and trauma weekend, but well worth the effort.
After a tour around Edale’s very well equipped base, we started with the lectures and practical sessions. The course reinforced the importance of a safe approach to any casualty, checking for response, then focusing on airway, breathing and circulation.
In a mountain rescue situation it is also important to assess a casualties cervical spine and check for catastrophic haemorrhage at the same time as airway.
The practical sessions enabled us to practice using airway manoeuvres and assisted breathing and also to look at tourniques and products such as celox for heavy blood loss and their testing in the military. A dramatic scenario had us managing a spraying arterial bleed with tourniques. (Thanks to the Edale team for the vehicle valet after my new silver car became suspiciously red!!)
By the end of the first day we were very appreciative of the social club and the refreshment it provided in the late afternoon sunshine. After a hearty dinner, James Thaker, a mountain guide and member of Edale MRT gave an excellent presentation about his travels around Europe, with some stunning photographs.
Next morning we began focusing on head injuries, reasons for unconsciousness and drugs used in MRTs. The very entertaining orthopaedic lecture by Mr Simon Royston stressed the importance of keeping to the ABC approach, dressings on wounds and splinting any injuries. The practical sessions focused on less commonly used kit, such as scoop stretchers, and the new pelvic fracture immobilisation options.
Discussion of the drugs used in MRT was of particular interest to me, and we looked at new ways of giving drugs without the need for invasive interventions such as injections or cannulas. Fentanyl lozenges such as we use are being introduced in other teams, but intranasal route is increasingly being looked at, with the possibility of intranasal midazolam being used for fitting casualties instead of rectal diazepam, definitely a more attractive option.
In the closing discussion we talked about how teams debrief after difficult incidents, and how we support members who feel particularly affected by some of the situations we may find ourselves in.
Overall, it was a very valuable weekend, and one which I would recommend to any team member whatever their experience of casualty care. It was a great opportunity to meet members of many different teams, benefit from their ideas and how they work together to deliver excellent casualty care on the hill.