Wilderness Medicine Case Study 31
You are on the 5th pitch of a new route on Elephant's Perch in the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho when you climbing partner, Jonna, takes a forty-foot lead fall. During the fall, she made contact with the rock a couple of times. Hanging from her harness immediately after the fall, she is awake and alert, complaining of severe pain in her left arm near her elbow. There is enough rope for you to lower her to your belay stance on a micro-ledge. Once on the ledge, you examine her arm and find it tender, slightly deformed, with no range-of-motion, and painful (6 out of 10) with good distal CSM. Her right knee also hurts (2 out of 10) and is slightly tender with some minor abrasions, but has complete range-of-motion and she is able to bear weight. Jonna reports that she did not hit her head or trunk during the fall; however, her helmet is scratched, her neck is sore (2 out of 10), and she has a mild headache (3 out of 10).
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Don't know where to begin or what to do? Take one of our wilderness medicine courses. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.
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