Did I catch your attention with my title? More about that in a minute. But first a little lead-up.
Sea kayaking is almost always an adventure that ends well. Surfing into a sandy shore. Climbing up a rock cliff to take in the view. Braving chilly waters. Bushwhacking back to an abandoned mine.
But what happens when one of your tripping mates experiences a fall or bite or too much time in the water? Rest assured that all of your Horizons leaders are wilderness first aid and CPR trained. Many of us are also instructors and medics. Plus we carry cell or satellite phones that alert emergency personnel if needed.
And you can learn those skills too. In fact we encourage it. Attending a wilderness first aid clinic means you’ll learn about the body’s systems, patient assessment, shock, kits and supplies, and injuries and emergencies including … yes, the penetrating (aka “sucking”) chest wound. Read on.
No kidding. You’d be dealing with a life-threatening medical emergency and advanced care will be needed. Until that arrives,
– Immediately seal the wound with your hand or airtight material.
– Cover it with a square bandage secured on three of the four sides with tape ( never use petroleum jelly). Use a plastic bag, aluminum foil, or any clean non-porous or air tight covering.
– It is important not to completely close off the opening. Leave a flap or corner open so that a one way valve is created (air can escape but not enter the chest cavity).
– Lift the untapped side of the dressing as the victim exhales to allow trapped air to escape, as necessary. Get them out of there asap in whatever postition that is best for their comfort.
Safe paddling (the best preventive medicine I know),