Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Vigu First Aid Course

A week before the Mammoth March I participated in the four day Vigu Outdoor First Aid course, which gives the Red Cross First Aid 2 equivalent certification needed by Finnish law for providers of outdoor program services, e.g guiding.

The course started in Kimito at noon, giving me enough time to ride the 60 km distance from home and eat and take a shower before the start. With a temperature around freezing, this was the first ride of the fall that was cold enough to make my poor toes uncomfortably cold.




Starting with theory. The course was mostly based on the excellent Outward Bound Wilderness First Aid Handbook. Henri, who held the course assisted by Danni, is a first aid professional and a great guy that also does long trips in different parts of the world on his Salsa Fargo bike.

Benjamin, who earlier worked with the course, dropped in just in time to explain an error in the slides he had made.

The theory was mixed with exercises, like stabilizing the neck in this case.

The free time evenings were spent measuring blood pressure...

... and glucose level in the blood.

More theory...

... and more exercises.

Anna used the opportunity to train with the 2300 page Wilderness Medicine bible.

A poor hypothermic patient...

... is being evacuated.

Cleaning wounds. The patient is probably lost, though.

On the third evening it was time to learn how to use an hypodermic needle. This was not mandatory, but everyone wanted to do it. This procedure is only allowed by medical professionals in Finland, but it was an important exercise anyway. One of the most dangerous insects in Finland is actually the honey bee, which some people are extremely allergic too. An anafylactic reaction might occur, which is an acute life threatening situation. An injection of adrenaline (epinephrine) is the primary treatment, and this can easily be administered using an auto injector like an EpiPen. Trying a manual injection was a good way to overcome the treshold for doing this.

Anna injects a little NaCl solution into my shoulder.

Simo is a brave man.

On Sunday it was time for the grande finale. I fell victim to an ordinary chainsaw accident and lost lots of blood and soon after the rescuers arrived fell into a volume chock.

There were a bunch of other patients too, with smoke and lots of screaming to make the situation as chaotic as possible.

An additional twist was that the rescue team leader also collapsed,

Getting ready to be rescued. Note how pale I am from the loss of blood.

Going through the exercise afterwards.

The course ended on Sunday afternoon and I rode back home.

This was again an excellent course and it went a lot beyond the Red Cross Level 2 course I've taken before.




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