Daily Archives: April 4, 2013

tracheotomies

The wilderness medicine club did a trach lab for us a yesterday evening.

Lessons Learned:

  • Never travel alone. A group of at least 5 would be ideal.
    That way, if shit happens, you’ll have one person to be the runner (to get help if necessary), one person to stabilize the victim’s head/neck, one person to do compressions, and the leader to make the decisions/delegate the work/in this case, do the tracheotomy. If you have one more person, they can help switch off with the compressions/breaths.
  • Always carry a sharp knife, a BIC pen (could be any pen, but those are easiest for me to disassemble), and safety pins with you.
    The knife is to make the incision (and honestly, it’s really just nice to have for manymany reasons; in the case of a tracheotomy, try to angle the knife down if you can, because you’ll run a lower risk of ruining the person’s vocal cords), the pen can be pretty easily disassembled so you can use the hollow tube as something rigid to put into the trachea, and…the safety pins are so that if you’ve secured the airway but are worried that the tongue will slip back, you can, in essence, pin the tongue to the lip.
  • Start drinking water from one of those water bottles with a thick-walled plastic straw, especially if you go whitewater rafting (since we tend to always gotta bring water bottles with us).
    The plastic straw can function like the BIC pen.