It feels like Dr. Seth Hawkins is all over my twitter and Facebook feeds lately. I’m not complaining; he’s doing some absolutely fascinating things. If you don’t know who Dr. Hawkins is, he’s an emergency physician at Catawba Valley Medical Center in North Carolina, and is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest University. He’s the medical director for Landmark Learning, and a medical advisor for NC Outward Bound and REI. He serves as the chief of the Appalachian Mountain Rescue Team; incidentally, AMRT just obtained full Mountain Rescue Association certification. His book, Wilderness EMS was just released, and he and David Fifer (you may remember him from the profile I did on him a few weeks ago) recently started The RAW Medicine Podcast (on Facebook too!), focusing on “remote, austere, and wilderness” medicine. I listened to the first episode lately, and I whole-heartedly recommend the experience. This is a basic, abridged list; if you want to learn more about Seth, his wikipedia page is a gold mine of information!
Seth is an expert on drowning and drowning prevention, and one of the recurring things that I see him involved in is attempting to educate the (by and large) non-medical public about drowning. Specifically, that “dry-drowning” and “delayed drowning” are not actually things. If you search “dry drowning” on twitter, you will find hundreds of posts, all of which have comments from Dr. Hawkins attached. He’s a crusader.
So, in honor of this commitment to public education and to drowning injury, this week’s “What Would You Do?” Wednesday falls right in his magisterium (magisterium is an old latin term for “an area of teaching”).
This was not an easy video for me to watch; the searcher’s building desperation and the agony of the watchers hit me right between the eyes. The guards make a rescue around 2:41, and begin CPR when the patient’s back hits the sand.
So, you arrive on scene at this moment. What are you going to do? What sorts of things are you looking for, and what are you worried about? What does this patient need?
Share your thoughts either here in the comments, or on Twitter using #wwydwednesday. I’ll share my thoughts in a couple days. If we’re lucky, we may get Seth to chime in as well!