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Could you save your friends life? A must know: Basic life support review for all backcountry travelers.

May 11, 2015

The avalanche hit, your friend was down below you and he has now disappeared into a cloud of snow. 

 

You watch. Keeping your eye on him or her, you travel down to the place where they were last seen. Switch your beacon to search mode, locate the person, and are able to dig them out.

 

Awesome. You've dug them out, exposed their face, but when ask them if they are ok you get no response. You shake them and you get nothing, no response.

 

Now what?

 

If there are more than rescuers, one person needs to check their phone and if there is service they need to call 911 and the other person needs to initiate CPR. 

 

If you are by yourself, attempt a 911 phone call to activate a response team. If you don't have service, move on, do not waste much time.

 

The next step is to check for a pulse. There are three basic places that you should know where to check (check these on yourself now so you know where to feel them):

 

1. Carotid pulse (Neck)

2. Femoral pulse (Groin)

3. Radial pulse (Wrist)

 

You should only check for pulses for about 10 seconds. 

 

NO PULSE? Now its time for action.

 

Initiate CPR:

 

COMPRESSIONS: Chest compressions need to be 2 inches deep. The pace of CPR is to be 100 compression/minute. If you crack a rib you are doing it correctly. 

 

BREATHS: Every 30 compressions you give 2 breaths.

 

REPEAT!

 

After 2 minutes recheck pulses and repeat. Remember to only spend 10 seconds on rechecking pulses. While checking pulses it is a great time to switch the person doing CPR and allowing them to rest.

 

Continue CPR until pulses return, help arrives, or you dont regain pulses in 30-45 minutes. There is no good answer on when to stop CPR if pulses do not return. 

 

PULSE?

 

If the victim has a pulse but is not breathing, assess the airway for a foreign body and give a breath every 5-6 seconds. Recheck pulses every 2 minutes and start CPR if you loose pulses.

 

 

 

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