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RE: First Aid/CPR course

In message Fri, 27 Sep 1996 08:45:57 -0500 (CDT),
  Milt Webb <milt@iqsc.com>  writes:

> Well, I finished the course and boy, what an awareness rush. All of a
> sudden I'm looking around thinking, "Any minute someone around me is
> going to choke on something or, pass out."
> I'm glad I took it. It was a grueling three nights but well worth it.
> This all started from reading about first aid, etc. in my outdoors and
> hiking books.
> The instructor asked everyone to bring a normal item from their house
> they thought they could use as a splint. I took a big wooden spoon from
> the kitchen but one person brought a 5' long metal pole! Pretty funny. I
> could see using that for a splint outdoors as that thunderstorm rolls in
> over the hill :-)
> Thanks for letting me share this with you.
> -Uncle Milt

A surprising thing I learned in my EMT course during the required day of
observing in a hospital emergency room was that the medical establishment
never improvises anything:  They have tons of every imaginable resource,
and using procedures not tested in court is frowned upon.

In the backcountry, improvisation is absolutely vital!  One of the best
improvised splints I've seen is made from a one-gallon plastic bleach-jug:
Remove the top and bottom, split the remaining cylinder, round its corners,
and roll it up.  When unrolled and formed into trough shape, it becomes
rigid and is about the right length for a forearm.  Doubled, it can be used
on an ankle.  Pad it well.

I've seen a professional traction-splint (used for femur fracture) which is
essentially a 3-section aluminum tent pole and a handful of nylon webbing,
elastic and velcro.  It costs $80 but you could build your own with $5
worth of materials.

--  Frank    reid@indiana.edu