While paddling a Class V section on the Wind River in WA, a 35 year-old intermediate kayaker turned over in a rocky rapid. While upside down, Jamie hit his face and head against a boulder before being scraped out of his boat. He was rescued by his friends unresponsive and with a pulse, but not breathing. He started breathing spontaneously after one of his friends delivered a few rescue breaths. Five minutes later he awakened with a severe headache (7) and no memory of the event. Jamie's neck is stiff and painful (4) with mid-line spinal tenderness at C-3 and a tingling, electric-like pain shooting down his right arm whenever he moves his head. He appears somewhat stunned or dazed and reports numbness in his upper lip and gums and difficulty breathing through his nose. His nose is both painful (4) and tender. He is able to stand but has difficulty with his balance and walking.
What is wrong with Jamie 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.
Looking for a reliable field reference? Consider consider purchasing one of our print or digital handbooks; our digital handbook apps are available in English, Spanish, and Japanese. Updates are free for life. A digital SOAP note app is also available.
Our public YouTube channel has educational and reference videos for many of the skills taught during our courses. Check it out!