A casualties health or survival may depend on moving them to more advanced medical aid. Choosing the best method (i.e. Helicopter over Horseback) is based on several factors:
- Severity of illness or injury
- Rescue and Medical skills of the team
- Physical and Psychological condition of the entire team – not just the casualty
- Available equipment
- Time available, determined by distance, terrain, weather conditions, now, and expected.
It is often best to delay onward / non emergency travel and initiate an evacuation from you location for any casualty who has the following:
- Symptoms that are worsening, such as;
Altered mental status
Unrelieved diarrhea and vomiting
Non retention of fluids drunk
Unresponsiveness after a head injury
- Debilitating pain
- Inability to move effectively
- Sustained abdominal pain
- Passage of blood by mouth or rectum (not from an obviously minor source)
- Serious altitude sickness
- Infections that worsen despite treatment
- Chest pain that isn’t musculoskeletal in origin
- Development of a dysfunctional psychological status that jeopardises safety of that person or the group
- Large or severe wounds. i.e. fractures, suspected spinal, dislocations impairing circulation.
As the team decides on appropriate action, all factors must be considered, but, the most critical of these is the welfare of the casualty. Their well being and projection far outweighs any other consideration (save that of the safety and well being of others)
Making the right decision shouldn’t be delayed, and decision makers should be given the free agency to make their decision without having to consider financial burden, or task objectives.