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Old 06-14-2016, 12:28 PM   #11
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One of the neighbors took a spill on his quad several winters ago. Before any structures were up on the vacation home sub-division. The road was still officially "New Rd". Called 911, the ambulance corps were there in about 10 minutes.

If there is any risk to life and limb, call 911. Only if we are totally inaccessible (1/2 way up the side of a mountain) will I try anything beyond First Aid.

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Old 06-14-2016, 03:16 PM   #12
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Glad the DW is OK.
Just an aside to the emergency, I carry insurance that will get my 5W home IF I had a major issue. DW does not want to pull the trailer that far. We have practiced so she can get it off the road and parked as long as there is not heavy traffic.

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Old 06-14-2016, 03:38 PM   #13
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In our case, DW was conscious, aware of her surroundings, and able to move on her own. We felt that we could get to the hospital far sooner than a rural ambulance service could. And we knew where the hospital was and how long it would take to get there. We feel we made the right decision under the circumstances. As it was, the hospital was very busy.

DW is very diligent about what she eats due to her allergies; this was just one of those freak occurrences.
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:38 PM   #14
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warning.. next time could be anaphylaxis.

Ambulance services are portable ER's. Paramedics can give you epi and benadryl and medications right in the field.
It is usually not a good idea to drive yourself. Can you do mouth to mouth while driving?

Airways aren't something to mess with. The days of the "ambulance driver" are past.

Every situation is different but sometimes its best to stay put and bring the ER to you.

I live in a rural area and in my experience the volley first aid squad is a thing of the past. Most services have paid in station staff. This is not universal but there is recognition that ALS has to start in a few minutes if needed.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:01 PM   #15
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Having worked in the emergency services field for the past 25 years, I can tell you that there are times when you shouldn't transport a patient to the hospital yourself. As with anything, no one set of guidelines can cover all situations. I would recommend anything involving a compromised airway, potential stroke, potential heart attack, any altered mental status, and any any major trauma should be transported via ambulance. The only exception would be if I knew it would take longer for EMS to arrive than it would for the trip,to the hospital. The potential of someone collapsing while your driving to the hospital is too great. It is impossible to render aid and drive at the same time. Use your best judgement! Stay safe and happy camping!
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:28 PM   #16
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I had a heart PVC (pre-ventricular contraction) episode a few years ago when camping at an RV park in Salida, CO. I rode my bike up to a nearby mountain pass (about 4000 feet elevation gain, top at 12,000 feet elevation), and on the way down, I could feel my heart acting strange.

What could I do? I continued rolling my bike down the mountain and made it back to my trailer at the RV park. I didn't feel any signs of anxiousness, tightness in my chest or pain, but after checking my pulse and finding my heartbeat was regularly skipping beats, I called 911.

The ambulance showed up 10 minutes later and checked me out. I told them of my history of PVC's, they told me they didn't see any immediate danger to my health, but strongly recommended I go to the hospital to get myself checked out.

In the meantime, the park manager came over to see what the excitement was. The paramedics wanted to know if I needed to ride to the hospital in the ambulance. I asked the manager if he would take me to the hospital, and he say "sure!". He took me, and I had no charges for the ambulance.

If the paramedics thought I had more of a problem, I would have taken a ride with them, but since they weren't too worried about my condition, I didn't have a problem telling them "Thanks, but I can get to the hospital myself".

My problem was being out of shape, too much caffeine, too much exertion, and the low-oxygen air at the high elevation. Doctor at the hospital told me to cut back on the caffeine and keep doing what I was doing. Seemed to appreciate that I was exercising.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:17 PM   #17
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I am certainly not saying someone did anything wrong. I am saying however use 911, it's there for a reason. All this talk about response time might be valid, but in my experience most folks who "self-present" to the ED do so because they don't want to make a big deal about whatever issue they are dealing with so they forgo calling EMS. My own parents are this way. It's not about response time it's about pride.

As I said originally I work in Healthcare. Also, I live rural and understand the concern about time for EMS to arrive; but I still think it's safer and more efficient to call 911.

A driver rushing someone to the ED may very well arrive before an EMS rig can. But EMS can stabilize in the field, push meds, start fluids, perform diagnostic 12-lead EKG and forward to Cardiologist if necessary. At a minimum they will call ahead so the ED and staff is preped and waiting. EMS can determine in the field if escalated services are required over the local hospitals capability and make the choice to divert.

My local fire department is all volenteer and are dispatched to render aid on all medical calls; but so are a professional ALS EMS service. In fact staffed ambulances are staged through my the county at the ready waiting for calls. This is frequently the case is rural areas.

Don't write-off 911. They can and will save lives.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:03 PM   #18
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I had an emergency in Wall, S.D.

My daughter had an allegeric reaction. I ran to the camp office, he said phone 911, so I did.

15 minutes later a fully equipped town ambulance shows up with two people. Within minutes 5 additional people showed up.

These are all volunteers in Wall. They come when the call goes out. There was no town doctor.

The lead person happened to be a nurse who works in the children's E.R. in Rapid City, around 50 miles down the road. He was wonderful.

My daughter got fantastic care, things stabilized and no trip to the hospital was necessary.

My hats off the volunteers in Wall, these are people who left their dinner as soon as the call went out, to come to the campground. God Bless them and the city of Wall for a wonderful, fully equipped ambulance.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:33 PM   #19
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I think it's important (after you call 911) to also notify the park management/rangers or whatever. They know the local area, location of, distance to and best route to medical facilities. They may also have medical resources themselves.

We were staying in Yellowstone National Park when my daughter came down with a fever. During the night it got MUCH worse. Turns out Yellowstone has a fully equipped clinic with volunteer doctors on call 24/7. They thought it might be her appendix and had a medical helicopter on standby - but a few hours on antibiotics calmed things down and all was well the next day.

My wife is a nurse and spent the night talking with the medical staff. Turns out you can volunteer to spend a week at Yellowstone. A Doctor or Nurse works 4 hours on, 20 hours on call - but can enjoy the park and their entire family can stay in the lodge for free. I'll bet quite a few national parks have deals like this.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:58 PM   #20
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You need to know whats around you when your at remote campgrounds. If you have health issues I would just ask about facilities when checking in. One campground I was working at, in a very remote area, we had an emergency. A gentleman who was getting ready to leave after spending a weekend with his kids and family, went down. We called the local volunteer FD and they came. Picked him up and headed the 60 miles to the hospital, through mountains. Air flight was not available. They barely got on there way, when the gentleman passed away. They actually brought him back and put him in the Rv till the coroner could get there, several hours later. Kinda weird but, they had no place to keep him, and the AC Rv was the best place. His kids were besides themselves, but the wife was fine. He had heart issues and several other "incidents" so, it was not a shock. He spend the last days surrounded with those he loved...and went fast...all in all not a bad way.

Bottom line, not everywhere in the country is serviced with good ambulance, EMS or health services. If health is an issue, be aware of where your going, and either accept the risks or change plans. Most times patients ae helo'd out, but unfortunately the helo was out on a call in the opposite direction. Getting to help quickly is utmost no matter how it may happen.

Like most things in life, be aware of where your at, your surroundings and yourself. Sometimes you just need to be prepared to take care of yourself, help may not always be a phone call away.

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