SAR Day 11: Classroom first aid
The first full day of the SAR Wilderness First Aid course was spent in the classroom. Among many other things we spent a lot of time on taking accurate vitals. This is essential in order to establish weather the subject is improving or getting worse. For SAR, vitals include pulse and breathing rates, skin appearance, level of consciousness, and, as I have written about before, blood pressure.
Learning how to take my blood pressure has probably extended my life. One of the questions a SAR member will ask you if we`re taking your blood pressure is if the reading they have is normal for you, or if you have hypertension. How many of you know what your blood pressure is?
Amusingly, I use the supermarket BP machine quite often as a form of entertainment, so I do know my usual range.
Are you cardio-centric enough to have the hilarious "malady" of low resting heart rate?
At my best, mine was low fifties, but well-trained cyclists routinely go lower, and rhr's in the 30s are not unknown. Somewhere in there, it starts becoming advisable to wear a medic-alert bracelet that says something like "cardio athlete; don't wig out over my low hr."
There's a guy on the SAR team who has this low RHR problem, and it seems to run in his family (although fitness also runs in the family).
When he was in the hospital he would regularly trigger the alarms on the monitoring equipment, causing doctors and nurses to run to his room to resuscitate him.
I'll let him know about the medic alert bracelet.