Search and Rescue

Debrief of 9 March 2003 Litter Training


Tom would very much like input from all participants and instructors. What's here is only a very, very brief show-and-tell of Tom's part in the training, and it should be more than that!


Larry lead a discussion at the trailhead about litter handling technique, focussed mainly on the fine points of litter transport.

The litter team then dispatched to the known location of the subjects --- we were told that there were two men, one injured.

Upon arriving at the first man, David Chapstick, the team's WFR (David Dixon) began an assessment. Soon after the litter team arrived at the first subject, we heard the second one calling from a short distance away, and two team members were dispatched to locate him. It turned out that the second man was the one with more severe injuries. The subjects stated that they had been trying out a new "extreme sport" called "rock diving."


The first subject had abrasions on the heels of both hands, a deep abrasion to the left knee and several contusions to the left shin. Here's what he looked like.

Wide view of subject 1

And a close up: close view of subject 1

The subject did not reveal until later that he was positive for Hepatitis B.

The second subject had fallen a short distance (less than 3 feet), but presented with deep abrasions to the right leg, a large hemotoma with swelling on the right shin, and abrasions to the lower shin. He was unable to put weight on the leg and was in extreme pain. The assessment was an unstable, closed fracture of the tibia and fibula. Here's what he looked like on the scene:

Wide view of subject 2

And a close-up: Close-up view of subject 1

In both cases, the make-up used to simulate the injuries would have washed off if the "wounds" were really debrided, so we simply stated that we *would* have cleansed the wounds if they were real, and moved on to the bandaging. Subject 1's palms were bandaged with gauze pads and a kling gauze wrap. His knee abrasions would also have been bandaged, but we simply stated that it would be done and didn't use up any more supplies to practice that.

Similarly, for subject 2 we did not actually bandage the simulated knee abrasion to avoid wasting members' personal medical supplies.

Subject 2's unstable leg fracture was hand-stabilized, and then splinted with SAM splints and a foam sleeping pad. Here's what it looked like after splinting. Note that in a real injury of this sort we would have removed the subject's sock and made sure that the bare foot was accessible for testing of distal circulation, sensation and motion throughout the litter haul, while also protecting it from the elements.

subject 2's splinted leg

Lessons learned

Just a few thoughts off the top of Tom's head. THIS NEEDS TO BE AUGMENTED WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S THOUGHTS!

More to follow as members provide feedback

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Materials and training for the simulation of the injuries depicted on this page were obtained from Image Perspectives.

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Last Modified: 04/20/15 12:43:20
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