SAR Day 9: Advanced first aid techniques

All SAR members have basic first aid skills, but in addition to the basic stuff we’re often called to assist members of the team who are paramedics, nurses or doctors. We currently have 4 paramedics, 1 firefighter, 1 coast guard member, 1 nurse and 1 doctor on the team. Chances are if they respond they are going to need help.

At the most basic level we need to know the name of the equipment we’re handling.

This evening we studied the following four advanced techniques:

  • Pulse Oximetry: the pulse oximiter is a pretty awesome device. With it we can tell  heart rate, and how well your body is getting oxygen into the blood. This determines weather we give you oxygen therapy.
  • Intubation: setting up and assisting with intubation, and placment of oropharyngeal airways. Anyone gravely injured may need assistance breathing and these are life-saving techniques.
  • Intravenous therapy: there are many situations where a subject may require IV therapy. Of all of these techniques, this is the one I have seen applied in the field most often. Usually used for pain management and sedation.
  • Cardiac Monitoring: the team has a few AED units, one of which can perform advanced monitoring and even provide a digital download to be provided to doctors at a hospital. Last year we were called to attend a heart attack on the Diez Vistas trail, and this device was used in that context to determine that the subject was deceased.
For myself, I am faced with a different, technical but non health-related task: we have an old laptop that we use to program some of our radios. The software only works in DOS mode, so we made this into a single purpose machine to do this task. The problem is that we would like to move the radio programming files off this computer now and retire it. The problem: the laptop’s network card is flaky and we can’t move the files off that way. The floppy drive is also on the blink, so we can’t get the files off that way. There’s no USB, no CD Burner, only an IR port.
It’s looking like we may need to re-author our radio programming unless someone has access to a floppy drive that works on a Toshiba 430CDT.

2 Comments on “SAR Day 9: Advanced first aid techniques

  1. Is the laptop running DOS or Windows?

    If the specs are as described here, you can buy a $20 PC Card slot-to-compactflash adapter that will let you write to a CF card. And I have a CF card and USB reader.

    You could also use the serial port and a null modem cable. In DOS mode, the command is something like "copy [filename] com1:" and you just need to listen for the bits at the other end, possibly by running putty on your receiving PC.

    Let me know if this is easier than rewriting your radio programming files; I will help out if you need.

  2. Thanks for the offer.

    I had another idea just after I wrote this I'm going to try: we're going to use the radios to move the files. The software "reads" the radio into memory, and we just save that. Should work.

    If not I'll try the null modem technique next.

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