Wilderness emergency medical services: the experiences at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
J JohnsonR A Lowe

Abstract

This article describes the National Park Service wilderness emergency medical services (EMS) system, as implemented at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. EMS records on all 434 patients in the period from August 1, 1986, to July 31, 1987, were reviewed. Most patients had minor problems. Overall, 77% of patients contacting the EMS system were released at the scene, and base hospital contact was made in only 28% of cases. However, there were three deaths, 44 (10%) patients who received advanced life support, and 292 (67%) patients who received basic life support. Seven patients who received advanced life support were released without transport. Decisions regarding scope of practice in a low-volume, wilderness EMS system are complicated by long transport times and problems with skills maintenance. Differences between the times and problems with skills maintenance. Differences between the patients treated by a wilderness system and those seen in most urban systems may make it appropriate to release a greater portion of patients without ambulance transport. In a system with long response and transport times, use of personnel with different training than in the urban setting becomes necessary.

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Citations

Feb 13, 2007·Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease·Timothy E Burdick
Oct 31, 2003·The Journal of Emergency Medicine·Christopher HoMark Stinson
Aug 22, 2008·Wilderness & Environmental Medicine·Travis W Heggie, Tracey M Heggie
Dec 19, 2012·Wilderness & Environmental Medicine·Stacy M Boore, Dov Bock
Aug 26, 1998·Prehospital Emergency Care : Official Journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the National Association of State EMS Directors·M J PollockK A Dunn
Mar 1, 1994·Academic Emergency Medicine : Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine·B A ZlotnickP S Auerbach
Oct 20, 2001·Prehospital Emergency Care : Official Journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the National Association of State EMS Directors·M KamperJ Peterson
Sep 13, 2014·World Journal of Emergency Medicine·Douglas G Sward, Brad L Bennett

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