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Wilderness Environ Med. 1999 Autumn;10(3):152-6.

Medical mountain rescue in the Mont-Blanc massif.

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Emergency Unit, Chamonix Hospital, France.


Because of its peculiar geographic location beneath Mont-Blanc, the Chamonix Hospital plays an important role in the management of mountaineering- and skiing-related traumatic injuries. The authors, thanks to the study of 5200 mountain rescue medical reports, set out to explain the different aspects of this activity: epidemiology, specific equipment, care in the field, reception and primary survey, dispatching, common therapeutic attitudes, progress, and results. In the dangerous environment of the high mountains, emphasis is put on the physicians' experience, allowing an early evacuation in the best conditions to the hospital. Diagnosis at the scene of the accident is very basic, and the initial treatment is based on immobilization, analgesia, and sedating. In the case of resuscitation, only the vital maneuvers are performed; these actions are carried on during the short flight and improved in the crash rooms. Finally, different specific pathologies are mentioned, including cold- or heat-related injuries, exhaustion, lightning strikes, and mountain sickness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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