You are captaining a paddle raft on a day section of the lower Anamas River outside Durango, CO. While running one of the large breaking waves, one of the bow paddlers, a 15 year-old high school student accidentally hits himself in the eye with the T-grip of his paddle. He tells you he was unable to stick his paddle into the big wave and when the raft buckled he was thrown forward and hit himself in the eye with the handle of his paddle. His vision is normal but says he feels a bit woozy and out of it. The soft tissue around his left eye is both painful (3) and tender. As part of your examination, you ask him to follow your finger and look up and then down. Ben has difficulty focusing during your focused spine assessment but doesn't appear to have any spine pain or mid-line spinal tenderness, passes the motor and sensory exams on his hands and feet, and does not have any tingling or shooting pain in any of his extremities.
What is wrong with Ben and what should you do? Click here to find out.
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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