The second two weeks would be spent on the Summit providing medical care to the Jamboree attendees and staff, followed by a half-day final scenario exercise utilizing many of the skills learned on the rotation. Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, W.V. generously donated a conference room for our use for the didactic sessions and even provided free meals for the participants and lecturers during our time there.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 32 – No 12 – December 2013
The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine arranged housing for the students and residents for the month without any charge to them. Other physicians and PAs in the area with a special interest in wilderness medicine gladly assisted with completing the lecture schedule.
AirEvac Lifeteam in Summersville, W.V. was instrumental in setting up many of the workshops in swift water rescue, basic rope rescue, spinal immobilization, landing zone set up, and the final scenario exercise. Working closely with Dr. Steven Eshenaur, Summit Medical Director, we were able to work out transportation issues for the participants on and off of the Summit, meals on the Summit, and their clinical assignments at the high adventure events there.
During the first two weeks of the rotation, we covered a wide variety of wilderness medicine topics. This included material such as animal bites, insect envenomation, altitude sickness, burns, diving emergencies, hypothermia, cold water immersion, heat emergencies, and many more.
Our schedule covered a fair amount of the core curriculum required for a Wilderness Medicine Fellowship by the Wilderness Medicine Society, and we were granted 24 credit hours toward fellowship by the WMS. We also had workshops in basic rope rescue, orienteering, spinal immobilization, splinting improvisation, landing zone set up, wilderness survival, and basic swift water rescue.
These experiences were new for many of the residents and students, but everyone enjoyed learning these new skills and putting them into practice on the Summit. Once the Jamboree commenced, the nine participants were divided into groups of three and had rotating assignments to areas of the camp that were considered to have the highest risk of injury, such as the mountain bike trails, BMX bike trails, and skateboard park. The Wilderness Medicine participants each spent one day working in the mobile hospital on site and two days with EMS response units. Thankfully, we had a very well-planned and safe Jamboree and had very few serious injuries.
Many of the activities on the Summit that were feared to be high risk, such as the zip-lines and the rock climbing and rappelling, had no injuries at all during the Jamboree. The students and residents gained a great deal of experience with spinal immobilization and management of orthopedic injuries and heat-related illness.