Stories From The Field

The most frequent question we're asked is "What is the craziest thing you've ever witnessed while in the field?".  Below are a few real life scenarios that could have been a lot worse without medical services on standby.  There is no substitute for experience and preparation.  Contact Adventure Medics for your next event... because certified peace of mind is priceless.

Are you a medical professional?  An event organizer or participant?  If you have a story you'd like to share with us where medical or emergency services were either used or needed to prevent a negative scenario, fill out the form below.  Your real life scenarios help us learn and adapt so that we are amply prepared for whatever may come our way!  (Please do no include specific patient information. ie: names, event names, dates, etc.)

Stories from the field

 

While at a remote job site in AK I had a patient who was about 23 y/o who started complaining of flu like symptoms. Night sweats, fever, etc. We usually monitor these patients for a few days while they are quarantined so nobody else gets sick. His symptoms progressed into vomiting and diarrhea in the next few days. Nothing checked out while doing a full body assessment but when I tested his urine I found some increased white blood cells which doesn't necessarily mean anything but they started increasing dramatically over the next few days. I made the decision to medevac him with the suspicion of appendicitis to the closest hospital. They did a full workup and sent him back saying he just had the flu. He did not get better and now it had been a week. I decided to medevac him again but this time I bypassed the smaller hospital and sent him to Anchorage to our Trauma 1 hospital. While we were waiting for the medevac he actually started feeling better but this is a sign of the appendix actually rupturing so we continued with the medevac. When he arrived at the ED in Anchorage they performed an immediate appendectomy (removal of the appendix) and treated him with hardcore antibiotics for 2 months.

 

Once we had a worker that fell from 6 feet and landed just right to tear his descending aorta (biggest artery that supplies blood from the heart to the rest of the body). While on the outside it was hard to tell, his vital signs just weren't adding up, and his pulse was getting weaker. The decision was made to immediately medevac him despite camp managers objections. We had to move him very gently as any movement could have terrible consequences and continue to tear open his aorta. He was medevaced to the hospital where they performed immediate emergency surgery. He survived without any lasting detriments. This injuries have a 90% mortality rate.

 

While doing standby during a wildland fire a line medic received a small cut on his arm from a branch. He came in to see us after two hours because it was a little red. I cleaned the wound, traced the outline of the redness and told him to come back if the red markings started to spread. Within and hour it spread all the way up his arm. He had a serious staph infection and needed immediate antibiotics to help stop it. This illness if not recognized and left untreated can turn deadly if it enters the bloodstream

 

While with a fire department in Alaska, I got called out to a head trauma on a 18 month baby. This was way out of city limits and required that I ride a 4wheeler out to meet them. When I arrived on scene I found the baby had crawled away from the parents and fallen off a ten foot cliff. We had to first rescue the baby off the cliff and at the same time I was calling in a medevac. After getting the patient I did a quick assessment and found her stats to be very low and in critical condition. We spaced out an LZ and supported the childs airway and laceration to her scalp. Medevac arrived shortly after and the child was flown to the nearest level 1 trauma center where they did immediate surgery to alleviate a subdural brain bleed. She is alive and well today.

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