Thursday, June 9, 2016
Cumberland Island NS: Week 1
Yesterday at Cumberland Island National Seashore I helped my first patient. I recently got certified as an Emergency Medical Technician and now I can use my skills on the island. My first patient was an 11 year old male with a chief complaint of loss of consciousness, seizures, nausea and dizziness. Ranger Reitchel and I responded to the call and conducted our assessment. The patient was stable and had good vital signs but experienced another seizure and loss of consciousness following our secondary assessment. We then immobilized the patient to a backboard in a stokes litter and requested an advanced life support helicopter, trauma one, to meet us on the island to transport. The patient was at Seacamp campsite so we performed a patient carry out in the stokes litter to get the patient to the patrol vehicle. We then transported the patient in the truck to meet trauma one, I stayed in the truck bed with the patient. The trauma one helicopter was waiting for us at the Dungeness Ruins. We then transferred patient care to trauma one so that our patient could be transported to Baptist Medical Hospital.
As I was typing up this post today we got another EMS call for a 57 year old female with a chief complaint of loss of consciousness, dizziness, and nausea. Ranger Lawrence and I responded to the call, I was the primary EMT on this call and felt more confident after the EMS call yesterday. The patient was stable but lethargic, cool and clammy, and had poor perfusion. Any patient that experiences a loss consciousness is of high priority. We requested trauma one, the ALS helicopter to come and transport the patient to the hospital. The island can only be accessed by boat or aircraft. Transporting a patient by boat to meet an ALS ambulance can take up to an hour. Helicopter transport was necessary for both of the EMS calls mentioned. I'm definitely looking forward to developing my EMT skills and getting medical experience.
The 57 year old female patient had hiked 17 miles earlier in 87 degree weather with high humidity. Many of the EMS calls we receive are heat related due to visitors not properly preparing for their hikes. Many visitors do not pack enough water or plan their hikes according to their current physical status. Many visitors from out of state are not used to the heat and humidity in Georgia and do not take that into account when planning their hikes. In the weeks to come I am going to work on a Preventive Search and Rescue Program to help educate visitors on how to properly prepare and what supplies they should bring with them before embarking on their hikes. (Don't worry, all photos were taken after patient care was transferred to trauma one)
Humans aren't the only species we help, in the photo below you can see Ranger Reitchel helping the park biologist relocate a baby white fawn who fell into a ditch by the Dungeness Ruins. We moved the fawn out of the ruins and into the woods very close by. We didn't want the fawn to injure himself in the ruins or be bothered by the public. The fawn's legs are not fully developed, making it difficult to walk. The fawn was only moved a short distance so that his mother would still be able to find him.