Mountain Medicine at UNM

Uploaded by unmhsc on 10.03.2011

>>VOICE OVER: As the sun rises over the Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque’s open spaces beckon
with miles of adventure for hikers, bikers and climbers. But a day of adventure can easily
turn disastrous for those who are ill prepared for their outing.
>>NAT SOUND: “Help me! Help!” >>JASON WILLIAMS: Yeah it’s relatively common;
it’s more common than you might think. We typically have 4-6 rescue calls per month.
That’s just within the Albuquerque Bernalillo County metro area. So it can be common.
>>VOICE OVER: Which is why rescue teams and wilderness medics practice their response
with drills like this one, held recently in the Sandia foothills east of Albuquerque.
The University of New Mexico offers a number of Austere and Mountain Medicine programs,
aimed at training medical providers for scenarios like this.
>>JASON WILLIAMS: Mountain medicine is an emerging field of emergency medicine that
focuses on providing care for patients in mountainous areas. We teach people how to
provide adequate medical care under harsh environmental conditions.
>>VOICE OVER: And those harsh conditions can be close to home, especially in New Mexico.
>>JUSTIN SPAIN: As you can see, the city’s right over my shoulder, super close. You go
for a day hike in the Sandias, where we have loose rock, which is what we’re known for,
and they hit the ball bearings of granite, lose their feet and go tumbling for 20 or
a 100 feet. >> VOICE OVER: That’s just what happened
in this scenario. When wilderness paramedic Jason arrives on the scene, he finds the young
climber with a broken leg and hypothermia. He begins to administer care, while other
members of the UNM EMS Academy Austere and Mountain Medicine Program and the Albuquerque
Mountain Rescue Council, set out to get the injured climber off the cliff face.
>>DARRYL MACIAS : Whatever you do, you don’t want to go without a trained person if you
want to climb up a rock. A lot of people like to scramble, be we find a lot of people are
ill equipped with regard to their shoes and their training. So it’s really important
to know your limits. >>VOICE OVER: And that doesn’t just apply
to climbers and back country adventurers, but to anyone heading out for what might seem
like an easy day hike. >>JUSTIN WILLIAMS 4.28: For a day hike, the
key is water, and know where you’re going, know the terrain you’re walking into.
>> DARRYL MACIAS: 6.16 and it’s important to take plenty of clothing, because in the
mountains a nice balmy day can turn into a cold, windy, even snowy day.
>> VOICE OVER: Experts remind us to stay on designated trails and to carry a cell phone,
a flash light and, if possible, a GPS device. And if you do get lost in a remote area, Williams
says, stay put and call for help. ###