OPEN IN READ APP
JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Resuscitation of avalanche victims: Evidence-based guidelines of the international commission for mountain emergency medicine (ICAR MEDCOM): intended for physicians and other advanced life support personnel

Hermann Brugger, Bruno Durrer, Fidel Elsensohn, Peter Paal, Giacomo Strapazzon, Eveline Winterberger, Ken Zafren, Jeff Boyd
Resuscitation 2013, 84 (5): 539-46
23123559

BACKGROUND: In North America and Europe ∼150 persons are killed by avalanches every year.

METHODS: The International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM) systematically developed evidence-based guidelines and an algorithm for the management of avalanche victims using a worksheet of 27 Population Intervention Comparator Outcome questions. Classification of recommendations and level of evidence are ranked using the American Heart Association system.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: If lethal injuries are excluded and the body is not frozen, the rescue strategy is governed by the duration of snow burial and, if not available, by the victim's core-temperature. If burial time ≤35 min (or core-temperature ≥32 °C) rapid extrication and standard ALS is important. If burial time >35 min and core-temperature <32 °C, treatment of hypothermia including gentle extrication, full body insulation, ECG and core-temperature monitoring is recommended, and advanced airway management if appropriate. Unresponsive patients presenting with vital signs should be transported to a hospital capable of active external and minimally invasive rewarming such as forced air rewarming. Patients with cardiac instability or in cardiac arrest (with a patent airway) should be transported to a hospital for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or cardiopulmonary bypass rewarming. Patients in cardiac arrest should receive uninterrupted CPR; with asystole, CPR may be terminated (or withheld) if a patient is lethally injured or completely frozen, the airway is blocked and duration of burial >35 min, serum potassium >12 mmol L(-1), risk to the rescuers is unacceptably high or a valid do-not-resuscitate order exists. Management should include spinal precautions and other trauma care as indicated.

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
23123559
×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"