You are on a 6-day preseason guide training trip for a commercial river company operating on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. There is a party on the 3rd evening of the trip and many of the guides are drinking. When you head for bed around 10 pm there are still a few souls by the fire. An hour and a half later you are awakened by a drunken guide and asked to examine a 28 year-old male trainee who they cannot arouse.
You find Jim lying on his side on a sleeping pad near the fire. He is unresponsive with slow, irregular breathing; his pulse rate is 36 and regular, his skin is pale and his nail beds are blue-tinged. The night is slightly cool, likely in the mid-60s °F but it's warm by the fire where Jim is lying. You remember seeing Jim with a beer in hand but no one can remember how much he drank or if he had some of the whisky that had been passed around. Going through Jim's personal belongings reveals a bottle with a number of unidentified tablets.
What is wrong with Jim 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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