Following some great feedback on our New Year Quiz we plan to make the quiz a regular feature. We hope it helps you keep your skills up to date and fresh in your mind. So grab a cup of coffee, put on your best thinking hat and have a crack at these…
Quiz question 1:
On returning to the youth hostel after a long day on the hills you come across an adult casualty collapsed in the car park who is unconscious and unresponsive, and not breathing. There is no one else in view what would you do…
You need to get help first – enter the youth hostel and rouse help or make a phone call yourself. We have to assume the casualty has had a cardiac arrest and requires early defibrillation to give them the maximum chance of survival. As soon as you have made the call, return to the casualty and then begin CPR with 30 compressions and then 2 breaths
Quiz question 2:
You are leading a 5 day trek with a group of 10 sixth form students and one teacher in the Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. You are accompanied by two local guides. You are camped in a small clearing in the jungle at the end of the first day of the trek. One of the students is taken ill with vomiting and diarrhoea. She is sick three times over the evening and has to make numerous visits to the toilet. By the following morning she is exhausted, feeling weak and still being sick. What would you do…
Not an easy one but certainly not uncommon! And as with most scenarios the answer depends on lots of factors. I think it is clear that the girl is not currently in a fit state to be embarking on 4 more days of trekking in the tropics. Therefore the options are:
1 – To take a rest day with the whole group where you are.
2 – To send the teacher and the local guide back with the sick girl and continue with the rest of the team.
3 – Turn the whole group round.
There’s never a hard and fast right or wrong here – it will depend on the experience of the teacher – the quality of the guides, the terrain you have passed through on day one and if you have time to extend the trek by a day, perhaps taking a rest day and seeing how she is on the following day. Of course it will depend on how sick the girl is – are we happy that given a day’s rest she could walk back slowly with the teacher? Of course we also have to consider the rest of the group – whilst we don’t want to cut short everyone’s experience we don’t want to push the group on with inadequate staffing and have to deal with a secondary issue.
My personal preferred option would be sit it out for a day. To work with the local guide to teach the remainder of the group some jungle skills, perhaps shelter building or firelighting, then to assess and monitor the student through that day. If she is no better by the next day then I would probably look to turn the whole team around to ensure getting her back safely.
A key thing is to ensure you have fully explained to everyone in advance that situations like this may occur and discuss what will happen. If the only option which has ever been discussed is a 5 day trek from A to B, then it is far harder to deal with this situation when it comes up.
For the answers to both questions just follow the link to our first aid and field safety blog.