Maddy Cope: Climbing the unknown in Mongolia
Mammut UK athlete and climber, Madeleine Cope, has just returned from a three-week trip to Mongolia – not the first place you think of as a climbing location!
Mountains mean freedom. But the wildness of nature also holds dangers for humans. A short moment of carelessness, a wrong step or an fortunate incident can lead to a serious accident for the rope team. Particularly in remote areas, one should always be able to guarantee adequate first aid.
In contrast to areas with well-developed infrastructures, site-specific factors make it difficult to rescue people in alpine terrain. Inaccessibility of the scene of the accident, long access to the rescue services, no reception or weather-specific factors can delay a rapid rescue. That's why first aid should be part of the basic knowledge of every mountaineer.
Hence one of Ortovox's most important offers is the SAFETY ACADEMY LAB ROCK, a digital learning platform for alpine climbing and alpine first aid comprising more than 40 video-tutorials, interactive quizzes and expert know-how.
Chapter four – first aid – is the latest SAFETY ACADEMY release. It contains in-depth information on first aid in the mountains and prepares mountaineers for emergencies in the outdoors. The chapter starts with the introduction of the so called first aid algorithm. It clarifies the most important steps to be taken in an emergency every first responder should know by heart.
Checking vital functions using the ABC techniques
The ABC is a model that can be used to quickly treat heart and circulatory issues.
Turn the person on their back
An intensive mouth check is no longer included as part of first aid. However: If it is apparent that the airways are blocked by foreign bodies, these should be removed.
You should regularly check the person is breathing.
See: Is the ribcage moving?
Hear: Can the first responder hear the person breathing?
Feel: Can the first responder feel a warm airflow coming from the accident victim's mouth or nose?
If they are not breathing, are breathing infrequently or are gasping for air, you must begin resuscitating.
If the accident victim is breathing normally, there is proper circulation. If they are not breathing normally, there is no circulation.
The SAFETY ACADEMY LAB ROCK covers more than 27 alpine emergency situations: From physical injuries like breaks and cuts to the symptoms of various ailments such as anaphylactic shock, heart attacks and snakebites. Rescue methods for unresponsive (unconscious) persons, in which the first responder plays a crucial life-saving role, are dealt with in the SAFETY ACADEMY chapter particularly intensively.
Sprains, ligament and joint injuries caused by twisting, stumbling or tripping are among the most common injuries when mountaineering, or during approach and descent on a climbing tour.
Most frequently affected are the knee or ankle, where either the joint capsules or ligaments get overstretched or torn.
What to do?
A tumble from a great height or a fall on to a root or trekking pole lead to significant injuries and internal bleeding in the abdominal area. This clinical picture is called a blunt abdominal trauma. First aid can save lives here.
What to do?
One should be able to avoid accidents in alpine terrain by preparing well and judging one's own ability realistically. Exposure, large gaps between pitons or difficult rescue conditions can quickly lead to life-threatening situations.
An express pulley or the prusik technique are rescue methods that can aid the follower in ascending the rope.
But knowing how to bivouac in the mountains can also be important in an emergency.
Cut, broken arm, spinal injury ... How to act correctly? In emergency situations you must act quickly, effectively and correctly. That's why in-depth first aid knowledge is of paramount importance for every mountaineer – and can save lives in an emergency. Test your knowledge of four ailments using the interactive first aid quiz and discover essential information about key life-saving emergency measures in alpine surroundings.