Friday, April 10, 2015

Great Smoky Mountain Rangers Rescue Seriously Injured Hiker

On the afternoon of March 29th, rangers rescued a hiker who had taken a fall onto a pile of rocks a little over two-and-a-half miles from the Ramsey Cascades Trailhead.

The hiker had sustained chest trauma and required evacuation by litter carryout from the backcountry over very rough terrain. The challenge of patient care increased when his airway became compromised subsequent to the chest injury.

In addition to the deterioration of his condition, the extrication from the backcountry required the park’s technical SAR team to construct a Tyrolean traverse to get the patient safely across a river. The SAR operation took a total of seven hours from the time of injury to the waiting ambulance at the trailhead.

The injured hiker was flown by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center and immediately admitted to the OR. Prior to departing the landing zone, ambulance personnel and flight medics had to perform a surgical cricothyrotomy to secure the airway. The patient is expected to make a full recovery.

Grand Teton Trails

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