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Caring for the injured rider--are you ready?


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I just realized the topic "proper ski pickup etiquette" I was reading was old. My thoughts below seem to be in a different direction perhaps a new topic would be more appropriate. Sorry if I messed this up.

I think this thread has digressed to a totally different question. If we are to answer the original etiquette concern, being courteous is always the right answer--But never at the risk or safety of a human soul. There should be no argument about this point.

I believe the proper approach to the injured person (in the water) lies somewhere between the discussion above. Racing to the person and quickly pulling them into the boat by the life jacket on one side and slowly approaching as to not create a wake or backwash on the other side are extremes. A critical situation, such as has been described, is one we all may find ourselves in. It is best we are prepared and have previously discussed and planned for this worst case Scenario . Chances are it will be a loved one (not that that matters) and they will need our precise, well thought out intervention for survival.

Now in regards to an injured person in the water. The first and foremost concern is the airway and breathing. A dead paralyzed patient (from a cord injury) is much worse than a living paralyzed patient. Yes, reasonable spine Precautions should be taken in all unconsious individuals and those with mental status changes. The driver should drive with no other responsibilities until the boat is stopped. The spotter must take responsibility for the injured. I believe the driver should return as quickly as safely possible with no regard to the wake or water conditions. The quickest way to the injured is by the spotter leaving the boat (with a life jacket on) and supporting the persons head out of the water. Mouth-mouth breathing can be given immediatly in the water should it be required (unresponsive patient). By now the boat has been properly positioned and the driver is now ready to assist in retrieving the injured from the water. With one person in the water and one out a "log roll" or other "push-pull" type maneuver can be used to rest the patient on the platform. Further assessment of breathing status and heart beat should be make. Full CPR may be required. If the situation is still dire and the dock is more than just a minute or two away the patient should be moved off the platform. Movement by cradling the patient in both your arms will be reasonably safe. Carbomonoxide is not to be underestimated. In this situation it just might be the straw that broke the camels back.

When talking about our safety, being prepared is paramount! How many of you know how to use the stuff in your first aid kit?? How many have a first aid kit?? Is a group buy in order??

With the X-games type of stunts we try, injuries are going to happen. As boat owners (and as the captain of our ship) lets take some time ( a minute or two) with our family and guests and discuss the responsibilities of the key people in the boat. Chaos never leads to a optimal outcome. Who knows-it just might be you that needs the help.

Many of the tragic injuries I seen in the ER may have been altered if those involved would have taken some time to learn some basics of what might be needed in the event of something gone wrong. Lets not take better care (and know more) about our boats than our loved ones.

Please dont take this as a soap box or know it all opinion. Just some thoughts that might make a difference to someone.

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To Lee: Thanks so much for posting.

Too often, folks believe "that won't happen to me"..... when in fact, that's likely what everyone believed before they experienced their own accident. Being prepared is critical. Both what everyone needs to do, and how to do it quickly.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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While I agree that an injured person in the water is priority one, power turning to hasten rescue is still the wrong thing to do.

That could send dangerous wakes to the injured and it actually takes longer to turn - not to mention possible injuries to passengers.

Best to be calm and safe.

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While I agree that an injured person in the water is priority one, power turning to hasten rescue is still the wrong thing to do.

That could send dangerous wakes to the injured and it actually takes longer to turn - not to mention possible injuries to passengers.

Best to be calm and safe.

A power turn will send the wake away from the downed skier.

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This is one of those reminders that all of us need at the beginning of a season. I have a full first add kit and when I go for a week end trip I have one of those EMT bags with all the goodies. I don't know how to use it all but I have it just in case.

Who is CPR certified??? I am.

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I just make my brother and his wife come with us. He's in med school right now and she's an EMT. All of their friends are EMT's and/or doctors.

Unfortunately, when they're not around, my business degree and my best friends knowledge of construction equipment doesn't help us much. But we were both lifeguards back in the day.

A refresher course would probably do some good in water rescue.

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This is one of those reminders that all of us need at the beginning of a season. I have a full first add kit and when I go for a week end trip I have one of those EMT bags with all the goodies. I don't know how to use it all but I have it just in case.

Who is CPR certified??? I am.

I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night. Biggrin.gif

J/K I am as well.

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I am certified, I took a refresher course last year and three days after I completed the course my 3 year old son decided that he was going to play with pennies in a toy ice cream cone and he swallowed 4 pennies. Long story short but I had to use it on him, boy is that hard to do on your own child! All is well.

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