Friday, July 2, 2010

is there a doctor in the house

Well not exactly a doctor but we did have one dentist, one veterinary surgeon and one medic in the group, so we were well qualified to deal with any medical emergency along the way.

And luckily so, because one day we had just such and emergency.
As you all know , on long kayak journeys, dressed in a dry suite or other cumbersome clothing , stopping to pee along the way is not an easy experience. You cant just jump into the water, hang around a bit while you let go and then scramble back into your kayak.You either have to have some device connected to your plumbing or you need to stop , go ashore  and then do the necessarry.  Well S decided to cut down on her drinking in order to minimise the hassle. Not the vodka mind you, but the water. No one really noticed, until on the second last day while we were on our longest journey. At some stage she began to feel unwell, cold and nauseous. We hooked up a tow line and began to tow, and tried to comfort her but to no avail. She got worse as the time went on. Eventually we had a 3 man tow system  pulling  and as soon as they got to shore Humi took control.

He bundled her up to get her warm, set up a tent and put her in a sleeping bag and another person in the tent to get her warm. After a while when she was not responding he decided to set up an infusion, this because she was vomiting as well. He diagnosed hypothermia and dehydration .In order to improve the hypothermia he wrapped the infusion line with hand warmers so that the fluids entering her body would warm her up too. This seemed to work and after a while she  began to feel better. Luckily this all happened on the last day which was a semi rest day and there was no pressure to get anywhere.
Just goes to show, you never know when you are going to need some medical help and it can happen to anyone at any time, so best to be like the scouts and Be Prepared


Silbs said...

Great post, great lesson, nice save. When JB (an EMT) and I (cardiologist) paddle, we are always on the watch for these things...and we practice this stuff at instructor updates. I am so glad it ended well and that you had the right stuff with you...and the talent.

Lee said...

Great post! The young girl looks to be in good shape as well. If she wasnt I'm sure she woulda been in rougher condition.

Thanks for sharing. It's god for paddlers to put a real face/ situation to the problems experienced!

Again great post