- As winter backcountry activity increases, so does exposure to avalanche danger. A complicated situation arises when multiple victims are caught in an avalanche and where medical and other rescue demands overwhelm resources in the field. These mass casualty incidents carry a high risk of morbidity and mortality, and there is no recommended approach to patient care specific to this setting other than basic first aid principles. The literature is limited with regard to triaging systems applicable to avalanche incidents.
- Injured patients in crevasses who are suspected of having sustained spinal injuries should ideally be extricated after being immobilized in a horizontal position on a stretcher and having a cervical collar applied. Sometimes, however, horizontal stabilization is not possible, because the crevasse is too narrow, and the patient needs to be stabilized in a vertical position. In such cases an extrication device can be a useful adjunct. The Kendrick Extrication Device™ stabilizes the position of the body and maintains firm support of the head, neck, and torso.