General Directions when an accident or injury occurs
- Stay calm; make certain no one else is in danger.
- Establish if anyone in party has medical or first aid training. Put someone in charge of first aid.
- Triage; examine victim and determine injuries; question, if conscious.
- Establish priorities for treatment :
*Critical (death producing)
*lack of breathing
*lack of heart beat
- Decide if anything has to be done – have a reason for everything you do
- Assign responsibilities to assure proper treatment, shelter, warmth and evacuation
- If extent of injury is unknown, move patient as little as possible.
- Carry out indicated and necessary first aid
- Constantly reassure victim
As a Rule
- As a rule, don’t move victim, but wait for more efficient methods of transportation to arrive from outside help, UNLESS victim’s condition will worsen by delay.
- Have one person in charge – at the head of victim.
- Practice method of lifting and carrying victim before doing it, and practice away from victim.
- Never leave victim alone.
- Unless victim’s life is at stake, move deliberately and with care.
- Send accident information ahead, including needs and evacuation plans.
- Be aware that victim is lying still, perhaps in shock, while you are working; maintain victim’s body heat.
- Do not step over victim.
- Plan a rotation of carriers – those not carrying, pack ahead; have advance group set up camp, etc.
- Rucksack Carry – large pack bag is slit on the sides near bottom; victim steps in like a pair of shorts, drawstring tied around waist; victim rides piggy back.
- Coiled Rope Carry – rope is coiled in a circle about 1.5 feet long and twisted once to form a figure of 8 (or coil is split as coiled); victim sits in loops and carrier inserts arms as though putting on a pack.
- Four-hand Seat – useful for short distances; two carriers stand side by side; each grasps his right wrist with his left hand with palms down; then, each grasps the wrist of the other with the free hand to form four-hand seat.
- Hiking Pole Carry – for long distances; carriers wearing rucksacks stand side by side with shaft resting between them in their pack straps; victim sits on padded shaft resting between them in their pack straps; victim rests arm over shoulders of each carrier.
- Interlaced Rope Stretcher – employed to lower severely injured person down difficult terrain; series of overhand knots zigzagged forming loops for handholds or for poles.
- Travois – two small trees cut and laid parallel with branches stripped from upper side; those underneath left to cushion ride; two cross braces are lashed atop the trunks 6 feet apart; rope is used for diagonal bracing and then laced zigzag fashion from side to side.
- Two poles wrapped in Gerry tent or other tarp
- Two poles through arm sleeves of heavy shirts or jackets
- A-frame travois with seat for victim; dragged instead of carried; consider back or internal injuries