Friday, May 9, 2008

Notes from the Trauma Conference

As I said before, it's conference season, so about every other week I will be attending an event of some sort for the foreseeable future. Today's event was a trauma medicine conference. While much of the information was technical (IOs, ETs, and massive amounts of data), many of the case reviews provided information that could prove useful in any emergency situation:
  • In rural medical emergencies you need to have a complete medical kit with you. If you don't have the items you need, you won't be able to run down the street and resupply like you would do in a city. You want to have with you items you are familiar with and not rely on random items provided by others that a) you may be unfamiliar with and b) don't meet your emergency needs. This applies to survival supplies as well.
  • Bring more than you need. Depending on how far you are from civilization, you will need the supplies and meds necessary to take care of an emergent situation for a much more extended period of time than when you are in the city.
  • Communications are important. The ability to communicate where you are is even more important. There are no cross streets in the wilderness.
  • Usually, the more people available to help during an emergency the better. Extra man power comes in quite handy for everything from carrying a patient to bagging a patient to providing and extra set of hands for the myriad of other tasks that are required during an emergency.
  • Mark your trail when you are heading out to a rescue. That way back up will be able to find where you went.
  • Take reasonable safety precautions. Many trauma patients get that way because they don't wear a helmet when they ride their motorcycle, don't wear a seat belt when they are in the car, fall off ladders, walk out in front of moving cars, aren't paying attention, etc.
  • During a disaster someone needs to be in charge. A dozen people giving orders doesn't work and neither does no one giving orders. Having a knowledgeable, experienced person who isn't afraid to take charge, give orders, and apologize later would be a good choice in a disaster situation.
  • A disaster plan, which is well known by all it impacts, is practiced regularly, and is revised after each event is very important.
  • Never stop learning. In every field, there are always new developments, new techniques, new materials, new supplies, and new information that can increase your chance of survival in many different kinds of disasters.

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