Heart Attack On The Mountain

This happens from time to time, especially the more time you spend hiking in the hills and mountains; either in your own group of hikers, or coming across another group.

There are so many different situations and variations that there is no single right way of dealing with this incident.
Here are a few considerations though.
Heart Attack On The Mountain

1. Assume The Worst

2. React Instantly By Dialing 112 & Asking For Mountain Rescue
(Good To Have A Phone Handy In Your Pocket, Dry & Fully Charged)

3. Give Your Location By Mountain Range, Mountain; & Grid Reference If Asked (Do A Mountain Skills Course)

4. Tell Mountain Rescue You Have A Heart Attack Incident & Ask For A Helicopter

5. First Aid Needs To Happen The Instant You Are Off The Phone – CPR – Or Beforehand If Another Of Your Group Has A First Aid Qualification (Do An Outdoor First Aid Course)

6. If You Will Be Doing Both Rescue Phone Call & Emergency CPR, Make Call First Before Beginning CPR
(Don’t Even Worry About Checking For Breathing/Pulse Before Making Your Call. You Can Always Call Mountain Rescue Back & Tell Them It Was A False Alarm)

7. Is The Rest Of Your Group Safe, Warm, Protected From Elements?
(You Currently Have Only One Casualty, You Don’t Want Multiple Casualties From Cold/Hypothermia)

8. Are You Safe? Take Your Time Approaching Casualty
(It Can Be Easy To Trip/Fall In The Panic/Adrenaline Of The Moment)

9. Check Breathing/Pulse/Vital Signs. Vital Signs Can Be Really Hard To Find.
If There Are None, Or If You Are Just Unsure As To Whether The Casualty Has Vital Signs, Start CPR
(Do An Outdoor First Aid Course)

10. In This Situation Don’t Worry About Insulating The Casualty From The Cold/Wet Ground, Just Go Straight Into CPR

11. Listen For Vomit In Their Throat/Air-Way As This Is Likely To Happen & Needs To Be Cleared ASAP
(Good To Carry Some Surgical Gloves In Your Backpack Top Pocket & A Rigid CPR Face Mask)

12. Keep Yourself Safe & Try To Stay Calm (Easier Said Than Done)

13. Keep Your Friends/Group Safe (One Person In Your Group Should Be Appointed To Keep An Eye On Everyone Else)

14. One Person In Your Group Should Be Appointed To Handle Phone Calls With Mountain Rescue
(This Person Should Have Several Phones At Their Disposal, Inc 087 & 086)

15. If You Are By Yourself & Need To Perform CPR & Mountain Rescue Phone Calls At The Same Time, Place Your Phone Beside You & Put On Loudspeaker (Works Well On A Calm’ish Day)

16. Although Slight Overkill A Basic Flare Can Be Useful For Signalling In The Helicopter. Otherwise A High-Vis Jacket Works & Is Lightweight To Carry In Your Backpack

17. Ignore The Helicopter, Unless They Communicate With You. Just Keep Doing Your CPR Until Instructed Otherwise

18. As The Helicopter Comes In Watch For The Down-Draught, Blowing Away Backpacks & Gear
(You May Be Surprised How Powerful & Noisy It Is)

19. When You Initially Put Down Your Own Backpack At The Start Of The Incident Keep It Close To You & Be Really Careful It Can’t Roll Away

20. Be Careful Coming Off The Mountain Afterwards, As Concentration Will Be Naturally Effected

Heart Attack On The Mountain

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