and Outing Emergencies/Safety Issues
What Will You Do?
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You are outside walking with a group of patients. A dog comes
up and one of the patient pets him. Another dog comes up and
starts a dog fight. Unfortunately, the patient tries to separate
the dogs and gets attacked by both dogs. What will you do?
The safest way to break up a dogfight
requires 2 people. Each person grabs the back feet of one of
the dogs. The dog is picked up like a wheelbarrow. With the
legs up, both dogs are then pulled apart. Once they break apart,
it is critical that the people do not release the dogs or the
fight will begin again. They need to start to turning in a circle,
or slowly swinging the dogs in a circle while they back away
from the other dog. This stops the dog from curling and coming
back and biting the person holding their legs.
2) What will you do if a black bear attacks your group?
If a grizzly or black bear charges, do not run. As the Colorado
Division of Wildlife's bear expert Tom Beck explained, "If
you run from a black bear, two things are certain. It will chase
you and it will catch you." Black bears bluff charge about
99.99 percent of the time. Grizzlies also false charge, sometimes
up to three or four times. However, if the bear makes contact,
you must know how to react, and the strategy is different for
black and grizzly bears.
If a black bear makes contact, it is usually a "predatory" attack
and may occur abruptly or unprovoked, e.g., while you are sleeping
in your tent. The only way to deal with this type of attack
is to fight with anything you have. You need to convince the
bear to give up on you and look for easier prey.
If a grizzly attacks,
experts suggest that you curl up, face down on the ground and
cover your head. Leave your backpack on your back. Pull your
knees toward your jaw to protect vital organs. Lay still and
do not scream or fight back. If the bear stops perceiving you
as a threat, it will stop the attack. When the attack stops
see if the bear is still in the area. If it is, continue to
play dead. If a grizzly does a predacious attack (in the middle
of the night, for example) fight back.
3) What will you do if
attacked by a mountain lion?
Mountain lions are efficient predators
that ambush their prey after lying in wait or after a short
stalk. In Colorado, there have been two fatal mountain lion
attacks on humans in the last 100 years. When prey runs in front
of a lion, the lion is stimulated to attack. Therefore, it is
extremely important that you do not run if you encounter a mountain
lion. Since lions are typically interested in an "easy
meal," make yourself look formidable by raising your backpack
or opening your coat and facing the lion; do not turn your back.
If attacked, fight back. Use sticks, stones, items you are carrying
in your pockets or your bare hands. Lone joggers, children and
small adults are at greater risk of attack. Hike or jog with
a friend. If you hike with children, keep them with you at all
4) One of your patient is bitten by
a rattlesnake. What will you do?
- Remain calm and take deep breaths to relax
- Try to move slowly toward a telephone and
call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
- DO NOT try to capture or kill the snake;
it will probably just bite you again.
- DO NOT apply a tourniquet.
- DO NOT cut the bite.
- DO NOT try to suck out the poison.
- DO NOT apply heat or cold to change the temperature
of the bitten area.
- DO NOT apply electricity to your body.
- DO NOT apply meat tenderizer or other home
remedies to the bite.
- DO NOT take any food, medications or alcohol.
- DO NOT remove any bandage that has been in
place for a while. If bandages are too tight(no detectable
pulse beyond the bandage), they should be loosened but not
- Stop any severe bleeding with direct pressure
to the wound. (Severe bleeding is rare, but you can expect
even minor bites to ooze watery blood.)
- Contact local emergency medical personnel.
- A mechanical suction device may be of some
value if used immediately.
- If no emergency medical care is available,
get yourself to the nearest medical treatment facility- but
keep calm, walk rather than run, drive safely rather than
- You were probably bitten on the hand or arm.
Keep that arm down at your side- do not elevate it, even though
elevating it may seem to relieve the pain. If you were bitten
on the leg or foot, do not lie down for any length of time
- try to stay on your feet or seated. Keep the bite below
- Some specialists recommend an ace bandage,
applied without excess pressure above and below the bite,
for rattlesnake bites.
- Once you reach the hospital, the physician
will complete the steps necessary to administer the antivenom
and monitor your progress.
5) You are out in an open field when
a lightning storm hits. What will you and your patients do?
If you are isolated in an open area and you
feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning
is about to strike), bend forward, putting your hands on your
Do not lie flat on the ground.
If no structure is available, get to an open
space and squat low to the ground, with hands on knees as quickly
as possible. (If in the woods, find an area protected by low
clump of trees -- never stand underneath a single large tree
in the open.)
On a nationwide basis, lightning kills more
people than any other weather phenomena except flooding. 80
per cent of people hit by lightning do recover, but nearly a
quarter of them suffer major after effects.
6) You are travelling along
a lonely long stretch of desert road in Arizona. The van breaks
down and you haven't seen another vehicle in hours. The temperature
is 125 degrees and everyone is getting dehydrated. How will
you get water in the desert?
You should bring plenty of water
if you are travelling in the desert!
Desert solar stills, a customary
inclusion in most survival manuals, are marginally effective
at best and should be considered a last resort. This involves
digging a hole in sandy soil, covering and suspending clear
plastic into it and collecting water which condenses on the
plastic in a container at the bottom. Water lost digging and
preparing one generally cannot be recouped by its output.
Using clear plastic or clear plastic
bags as a "transpiration" collector can be a better
bet if leafed bushes exist, though even they often only work
marginally when you need it the most. Wrapping the clear plastic
around green foliage and tying it tight traps the moisture given
up naturally by transpiration and increases output because of
the trapped solar heat. A rock in the bag or tying it down makes
a low point for the water to collect. Barrel and other cactus
are also highly overrated as a potential water source. At many
times of the year, the only reliable source of water in the
desert is the water you bring along. Sad to say, but even in
the most remote wilderness, water from natural sources like
streams and springs must be considered contaminated. Before
consumption it should be purified, if at all possible, by boiling,
chemical treatment or filtering. In North America, generally,
bringing water to a rolling boil is a sure bet. Contrary to
popular myth, it is not necessary to boil water for extended
periods or for even longer at higher elevations. Simply bringing
it to a boil is all that is necessary to kill those bacteria,
cysts and other nasties which can be killed by such temperatures.
7) You and your group are
playing a game when one of your patient loses a tooth due to
an impact injury. What can you do to save his tooth?
It's important to retrieve the tooth, hold
it by the crown, and rinse off the root of the tooth if it's
dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments.
If possible, put the tooth back in its socket. If that isn't
possible, put it in a container with milk or water and then
get to the dentist as soon as possible.
8) You and your group find
a pond that has iced over. Do you venture to walk out on it?
How thick should the ice be before you can safely traverse it?
Only walk across areas of at least 4 inches
of clear, solid ice. Remember, though, that even if ice is a
foot thick in one area on a lake, it can be one inch thick just
a few yards away.
Snowmobiles need at least 5 inches of ice,
and cars and light trucks need at least 8-12 inches of good
For additional information about
ice safety go to http://www.securityworld.com/
9) Your local resort/recreation center
has a hot tub. What are some of the dangers you need to be aware
of in regards to hot tubs?
The main hazard from hot tubs and spas is the
same hazard involved with swimming pool drowning. The CPSC has
reports of more than 700 deaths since 1980, with about one-third
of those deaths due to the drowning of children under age five.
There have been several deaths from extremely
hot water (over 110ºF) in a spa. High temperatures can
cause drowsiness, which may lead to unconsciousness, resulting
in drowning. Raised body temperature can also lead to heat stroke
There have been at least 18 incidents since
1980, that the CPSC is aware of, in which parts of the body
have been entrapped by the strong suction of the drain of pools,
wading pools, spas, and hot tubs. Of these incidents, 10 resulted
in disembowelment and 5 other people died.
Since 1978, CPSC has reports of
49 incidents (including 13 deaths) in which people's hair was
sucked into the suction fitting of a spa, hot tub, or whirlpool,
causing the victim's head to held underwater.
For additional info go to http://www.securityworld.com/
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