Author: L Dykes, MD

SO WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?: LOCATION IDENTIFICATION IN NORTH WALES.

Unlike calls from landline telephones, mobile phones do not provide EMS call handlers with a full address, and positional estimates from mobile phone signals can have a margin of error of up to 3000m (approx.. 9900 feet) in rural areas. We noticed that mountain casualties attending our Emergency Department in North Wales often struggle to pronounce Welsh-language place names. We wished to determine whether the ability of 999 callers to accurately pronounce (or describe) their location within Snowdonia National Park affected the efficiency with which their location...

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MOUNTAIN MEDIC ALERT: DO MOUNTAIN USERS WITH CONDITIONS THAT MIGHT REQUIRE URGENT SELF-TREATMENT CARRY RESCUE MEDICATION WITH THEM IN THE HILLS?

Mountain users in the UK range from super-fit athletes to children and older people.  Search & Rescue (SAR) personnel are regularly called upon to rescue and treat casualties with pre-existing medical conditions who have become unwell in mountain locations unaccessible by road.  In the event of an emergency arising in a remote mountain setting, help is likely to be much slower arriving, compared to an urban environment.  For example, in Snowdonia (North Wales), the minimum time for help to arrive is typically in the area of 45 minutes (RAF SAR helicopter from...

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MOUNTAIN EMERGENCY: MOST CALLERS DON’T KNOW HOW TO CALL FOR HELP USING THE 999 SYSTEM, AND MOST AMBULANCE TRUSTS DON’T HAVE PROTOCOLS TO HELP.

Ambulances can’t get up mountains, and air ambulances can’t land on steep ground. However, UK ambulance assets are sometimes tasked to inaccessible locations that require a Search & Rescue (SAR) response, e.g. Mountain Rescue Teams (MRT) or hoist-equipped helicopter . We wished to ascertain: (1) The proportion of mountain users aware of correct procedure to call for help in event of a medical emergency in a location inaccessible by road (999>Police>request MRT), and (2) the proportion of UK ambulance services with formal...

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