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Old 03-13-2014, 09:57 PM   #15
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I like the idea of traveling with an AED (defibrillator) on board. Does anyone know of a model that is suitable? It would have to withstand storage at high temperature (in a closed car on a sunny summer day). And it would have to be affordable.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:01 PM   #16
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For those of you still working, many companies have an emergency response team (they go by lots of names); these teams may offer various kinds of training in CPR, first aid and search and rescue and provide first aid/CPR/fire clearance, etc while waiting for professional help to arrive. It is definitely worth volunteering for such teams; you get training and get to practice emergency response and get paid for it at the same time .

One of the things I learned is that if you have access to a land line rather than a cell, the accuracy of 911 dispatch is often much improved since it doesn't automatically get routed via the state patrol (at least, that's how it works here in CA).

Second, recommended CPR and other emergency procedures change over time as more is understood about how best to save lives. If you can, refresh that training periodically.

- Bart
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:05 PM   #17
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Maggie's experience has been a big eye opener for me, and is truly frightening. Maggie appears to be handling this admirably. I fear that if something were to happen to me, my wife would not handle it as well. She typically does not handle stressful situations well. She's never towed a trailer, or ever hitched one up. She won't even spot for me while backing (apparently she's scared of giving me bad advice). I can't even get her to learn how to change a tire. She is totally dependent on me for these sorts of things, and I do all of the driving. I discussed Doug and Maggie's situation with her, and she made comments about not wanting to travel because of this type of possibility. I expressed to her that we can't stop living because of remote fears. So this spring I'm going to make a concerted effort to teach her to handle some to these issues. I hope she's responsive.

One thing I've learned over the last few days by observing the outpouring of support for Maggie from this community, is that my wife could find help here if the worst were to happen. We always let friends and family know where we are, but one of the aspects of Airstreaming is being in areas where we may not have a normal support system.
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:45 PM   #18
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Carrying an AED probably isn't practical for many people. Your talking over $1,000 plus upkeep, battery replacement and maintenance.

I suppose if you have a high probability of need, it could be a good idea. At a minimum, I'd love to see a campaign to get these installed in campgrounds. Sure we be nice to see them in all the Airstream parks.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Maggie's recent posts about Doug's tragic passing have no doubt touched us all...

Through all the emotions their story evokes, perhaps some of us wondered (as I did) - what if that were me/us? Would we know what to do? We talk about checklists for setting up and tearing down camp, but what about checklists for situations we hope we are never in - but would need in that moment desperately when there isn't time to think or make it up on the fly?

So I thought we could gather the collective wisdom of this wonderfully thoughtful group to help compile a comprehensive list of tools, apps, providers, tips, actions, etc. to be prepared for something we all hope never happens...

As this thread evolves, perhaps we'll get to a place where we can have a fairly definitive approach/toolkit that can become a "sticky" and be a helpful aid to campers for years to come.
Thanks for starting this thread.

Being prepared for medical emergencies also includes our pets.

It starts by bringing along documentation including the license, vaccination records, medications, pet first aid kit, veterinarian records, and information about the nearest emergency 24 hour pet clinics/hospitals.

See the AirForums' thread, "Pet First Aid".

It continues by transporting pets in a safe manner.

See "Traveling and Pet Safety".

And it continues by being vigilant while camping.

See the AirForums' threads, "Dog ate my meds", and "No pets left unattended".

When medical emergencies do arise, time is of the essence:

Last November, our Corgi, Tasha, had a ruptured spinal disc. Getting her quickly to the Veterinary Specialty Hospital for emergency surgery enabled her to walk again.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalweg View Post
Maggie's experience has been a big eye opener for me, and is truly frightening. Maggie appears to be handling this admirably. I fear that if something were to happen to me, my wife would not handle it as well. She typically does not handle stressful situations well. She's never towed a trailer, or ever hitched one up. She won't even spot for me while backing (apparently she's scared of giving me bad advice). I can't even get her to learn how to change a tire. She is totally dependent on me for these sorts of things, and I do all of the driving. I discussed Doug and Maggie's situation with her, and she made comments about not wanting to travel because of this type of possibility. I expressed to her that we can't stop living because of remote fears. So this spring I'm going to make a concerted effort to teach her to handle some to these issues. I hope she's responsive.

One thing I've learned over the last few days by observing the outpouring of support for Maggie from this community, is that my wife could find help here if the worst were to happen. We always let friends and family know where we are, but one of the aspects of Airstreaming is being in areas where we may not have a normal support system.
Serious Suggestion - your wife may be afraid of messing up in front of you. Naturally timid people CAN master their fears if the problems are chopped up into very small increments. And no matter how supportive you think you're being, she might find you intimidating. Find a woman who tows independently, or organize a "you can tow it rally" and get the towing women to help the rest learn, while you go AWAY and have a beer. Were I teaching your wife, I'd start her off by having her tow a U-haul around some light poles in a vacant parking lot. Two or three figure eights then stop for a break, then repeat. Lesson 2 - pull out of the parking lot, go to the next entrance and pull back in. Baby steps. If your wife panics under stress? Well staying home isn't automatically safe. A fire in the kitchen could happen. Everyone needs to know how to handle a fire, especially a grease fire.

Traditionally, and still today, "really feminine" women ARE dependent, deferential and helpless. Your wife acts the ways she does for three compelling reasons:
  • she feels that it's appropriate or ladylike or attractive
  • it works for her - life has rewarded her or at least allowed her to avoid unpleasant and unfamiliar situations
  • she never learned how to do anything ELSE - be brave is actually meaningless to her, she hasn't a clue how to even attempt that.
Is it a possibility that she was traumatized as a child or adolescent and PTSD is involved? If you can't cajole her into trying to learn this skill set (or something else equally important) then I'd seriously consider therapy - and go with her and support her! And even learn to behave differently if you need to. You might think you're urging her on, when she sees you as intimidating her. That could be all HER perception, but if you can't encourage her in a way that she feels encouraged.. then you COULD learn better ways to help her cope. A lot of women simply don't believe in themselves... even though they've gone through labor and delivery. They don't recognize their own courage.

My dad was totally disabled and hospitalized when I was just entering my teens. I was never super girly-girl (I patched my own bicycle tires and played with my brother's erector set... never could build an erection with it) but after dad got sick someone had to sharpen the mower blades, clean the hairballs out of the sink drains and replace broken pickets on the fence. What feels natural to me NOW comes from doing all of those "boy chores" as a 12 year old. It's practice practice practice.

See you down the road, Paula
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:37 AM   #21
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Carrying an AED probably isn't practical for many people. Your talking over $1,000 plus upkeep, battery replacement and maintenance.

I suppose if you have a high probability of need, it could be a good idea. At a minimum, I'd love to see a campaign to get these installed in campgrounds. Sure we be nice to see them in all the Airstream parks.
From the FAQ page or a group in Washington state that trains people in first aid, CPR, and AED…
Quote:
Only people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest need an AED. You should discuss your risk with your physician and together decide if your risk is high enough to justify the cost of an AED. One manufacturer is authorized to sell an AED without a prescription but the other manufacturers require a prescription.
That bit about the prescription is a good thing; that means that your insurance provider MAY pick up part of the tab. Your physician will probably talk to your insurance provider to see if they will cover part of the cost before giving you the prescription. But ask him to do so, just to be sure.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:49 AM   #22
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At a rally a couple years ago, one of our members suffered a heart attack.

Things that happened:
1. Some people went to help him.
2. Others went to the front gate of the campground we were in to let them know to open the gate and where to direct the ambulance. (It had been called by some people who helped him when he first collapsed.)
3. Others went to the campground office to let them know, since they were due to roll out the next day and obviously wouldn't be doing that. The campground was able to switch an upcoming reservation to a different site and block off that site in their computer.
4. We also checked the camper itself to make sure it was okay - i.e., the tanks weren't in need of being dumped or something like that.
5. We offered to move the camper closer to the hospital where our friend had been taken, since that hospital was two hours away. They elected to stay at the campground since it was an excellent place to relax and recover.

These are all potentially things you'd need to take care of in an emergency like this.

Fortunately, our friend was and is okay.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:41 AM   #23
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This cell phone app was demonstrated on the television news. It alerts any nearby cpr persons and defib locations enroute to emergency.

Enabling Citizen Superheroes

We always check where the defibrillators are, as Ami is an ER Nurse. Hoping that they become as common as fire extinguishers.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:51 AM   #24
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This ID bracelet has multiple capabilities for not a lot of money: medications, allergies, surgeries, prior hospitalizations, etc all stored privately online and accessible by EMT personnel.

Road ID® USA's #1 Source for Runners ID, Cycling ID & Medical ID Tags

Even as a retired physician I re-certify every two years for CPR / AED! I have conducted CPR's in hospital and non-hostipal settings many times over the years. Re-certification is necessary to maintain current competency.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:09 AM   #25
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Aside from knowing CPR and having first-aid supplies for dealing with trauma, I don't think there's much more to do, medically, from a life-safety standpoint. Even in remote areas the best strategy is to stabilize and evacuate.

I think the hazards inherent in transporting bottled oxygen, for example, augur against carrying it routinely absent a specific medical condition that might require it.

While I do carry first aid supplies and some medications for dealing with common situations, I do so more to avoid discomfort and inconvenience if someone, say, develops a bad rash from poison ivy at 11:00 on Saturday night.

I don't believe I have or could reasonably develop the medical expertise to act as a field doc. Even if I did many of the critical items are prescription only.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:27 AM   #26
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While I do carry first aid supplies and some medications for dealing with common situations, I do so more to avoid discomfort and inconvenience if someone, say, develops a bad rash from poison ivy at 11:00 on Saturday night.
Hydrocortisone spray - best thing I've found for stopping an itch fast.
Calamine lotion - some people prefer this to the hydrocortisone spray.
Neosporin - infection is no fun.
Orajel - nothing hurts like a toothache!
Visine - but if you somehow rubbed your eyes after scratching that poison ivy rash, or if you got a cinder from the bonfire in/near your eye, a portable eywash cup with sterile saline solution might be better.
Benadril - If you have a known allergy that could send you into anaphylactic shock, an epi pen is better, but if you just want an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce swelling from an insect bite, Benadril works about as well as you can get.
Aspirin - real old-fashioned aspirin still has its uses even if you prefer Tylenol or Advil for relieving pain.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:57 AM   #27
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Hi,
I am a professional Firefighter/EMT. Responding to these types of incidents is what I do. I am very sorry for your loss Maggie.

There are a lot of good ideas listed so far of items to have/training. I thought I'd say something of what I think is basics.
#1 Get CPR/First Aid Certified
#2 Carry necessary medications (Nitro, epinephrine shot, aspirin, insulin) for your condition
#3 Have a list of Medications, Allergies to Medications and Medical History somewhere close. Consider wearing a medical ID bracelet.
#4 KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. When you call 911, give them as much information about where you are. Any detail helps, and make sure it is accurate. Otherwise, it will prolong response times.
#5 In the case of CPR- do your compressions faster, and harder than you think you will need to.

Obviously there are lists of medication you may want to carry just in case (Benadryl..) I think carrying an AED would be nice, but it would be expensive...I have never seen someone with a personal AED that actually used it.

Just as important here is if you wish to be a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), have paperwork showing that. We run into a lot of patients 75-80+ who don't want CPR done on them, but unless the paperwork is handy, they are getting CPR and transported potentially.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:03 AM   #28
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Just as important here is if you wish to be a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), have paperwork showing that.
Is that something that could (should?) be shown on the medic ID bracelet?

I'm still young enough that I want to be saved if someone sees me about to croak, but my mom is in the DNR group, and since you posted that, I've started thinking of getting a medic alert bracelet for her with "Do Not Resuscitate" on it.
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