Treating hypothermia is a possibility that can affect every water sport enthusiast.
Understanding hypothermia is important. Now that you’ve recognized the signs and symptoms it’s time to act. Do you have a “Duty to Act”, yes you do. You’re an outdoor professional and understand that this is a client or a friend and your the leader. These scenarios play out the longer you’re involved in the outdoor industry and thanks to Tom Burroughs students leave his classes with information that may help them move with purpose when the time comes.
I felt fortunate to learn about hypothermia and the techniques for treating it through a re-certification course in Dilsboro North Carolina with the ACA. Understanding the signs of hypothermia is the first step and treating the symptoms or problems is the next step. Tom confidently moves you through patient treatment keeping it simple and efficient recognizing the problems and treating them methodically as they come, that makes it a no nonsense approach. He would re-enforce do no harm and don’t over do it. Just use common sense.
Patient care was hands on during the next part of his lecture and participants were encouraged to wrap students up in some of the latest thermal barriers he demonstrated. These thermal barriers were simple as Tyvec or plastic sheeting and moved into space looking bags and small footprint pack-able Marmot sleeping bags. The foundation of the care, literally was what’s underneath the victim. To me that’s something that can be easily overlooked. Put some kind of barrier under the victim before re-warming them. Sounds like a no-brainer, but when the defecation hits the oscillation and people are hurt defaulting to solid education and good habits are the best assets we could have in a life or death situation.
It was great to learn, then do and that’s exactly what happened during my time at Tom’s course. This is the footage that I took and edited to assist anyone who may find themselves needing this information and I strongly encourage anyone interested to learn more from Tom and check him out on his facebook page for the next class he’s teaching.
Tom was great to learn from. I was informative and professional. I highly recommend taking a class that he is teaching.Steve Barber, Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue Instructor