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Injury transport

Heavy and difficult

Transporting an injured person can be very difficult. It is possible to improvise a stretcher out of poles, wind sacks, ground pads, etc., but pulling one of these is unbelievably heavy and often implies major risks for the injured person. Despite these disadvantages, it still is one possibility for bringing an injured person to more protected terrain in order to go find some help.

The best option, of course, is to have access to a large sledge. It should be at least two metres long in order to be easily used to transport an injured adult. A shorter sledge of 1.50-1.60 cm in length can work if the injured person is placed in the foetal position or some kind of foot rest can be improvised from the harness. This type of sledge requires close attention, though, since the risk of it tipping over is quite large.

Protect against consequential risks

The status of the injured person naturally determines if he/she can be transported in general. In some cases it can be better to create some protection and leave the person where he/she is in order to avoid exposing him/her to additional threats, such as hypothermia. Place the injured person on a ground pad, help him/her put on warm clothes and get into his/her sleeping bag, and if he/she is conscious give him/her a warm drink. It is also a good idea to put up a tent or set up some kind of wind protection, and perhaps even lighting a fire.

Difficult decisions

In the best case scenario, you can call for help and then all you need to do is stay protected and make sure you are as visible as possible. However, sometimes extremely difficult decisions must be made – like staying with the injured person or leaving to find help. In such a situation you need to try to be rational and think about what the consequences are of each decision. How can you help the injured person if you stay? What are your changes of finding help? If setting off to find help will expose you to considerable risks – and thereby also expose your injured friend to risks – it might be better if you stay. This is a difficult decision, and there is no right or wrong answer. In such a situation you should also know what you told other people about your trek and evaluate how this can affect your chances of getting help.