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Author Topic: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?  (Read 5791 times)

earth-walker

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Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« on: Aug 31 2006, 20:41 »

Given that Kili is a very popular mountain that attracts first time climbers, and given that 10 (probably more) people die every year on the mountain, why doesn't the park just have a paramedic stationed at some campsites (perhaps, Shira, Baranco and Barafu)?

They could treat anything from a twisted ankle to HAPE/HACE.  Each hut would be supplied with O2 and a Gamow bag.

It'd be a responsible thing to do.   It would increase revenues. It wouldn't cost much.  It would prevent deaths.
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GMatthews

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Re: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 31 2006, 20:46 »

I agree!
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Roger

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Re: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 1 2006, 04:39 »

Africa is an impoverished country and they do not have Nurses in most villages let alone on trying to place one on Kili.

I spent quite some time in villages establishing a relationship with local hospitals and  Australia and they lack all of the basic goods one needs to begin to run a hospital effectively.
No drugs, no supplies, no linen, no flyscreens, old rusty equipment, no privacy, no nurses, few drs

Most reputable outfitters carry comprehensive first aid kits and also have a very comprehensive knowledge of managing altitude sickness issues.

Roger
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earth-walker

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Re: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 1 2006, 18:50 »

Villages cannot pay for the services of a nurse.  That's why they aren't there.  The park service brings in plenty of money to staff the mountain with a few paramedics. I'm talking about 3-4 paramedics. Kili isn't located next to villages with no services, where there is no supply of nurses. (I actually visited both hospitals in Moshi while I was there - one for the rich and one for the poor.)

There are incompetent guides, inexperienced guides, and overwhelmed guides.  There are horror stories out there of guides doing nothing as their clients died. What's wrong with having another layer of safety?
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Helle

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Re: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 1 2006, 19:06 »

Kilimanjaro has a rescueservice in the high camps - when they are there. The problem with Kilimanjaro is that the surrounding people are poor and lacking medical service, like Roger says.
To be honest I think, that people climbing Kili must take their own responsibility and pay for experienced, competent guides. Many people prefer the cheaper solutions, and get what they pay for.
When you go, bring your own first aid equipment, and leave what you don't use for the guides or the company. Be aware, that sick and injured people have to be carried by stretcher all the way down.
This is Africa and the ressources are few. We come as rich people to do something, that could seem "matter out of order" to the people who suffer from severe draft around the mountain.

I experienced another horrorstory earlier this year - when all the guides took action - and all the "white people" took off and left no first aid equipment - in connection to an accident at the summit..

Helle
« Last Edit: Sep 1 2006, 19:27 by Helle »
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earth-walker

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Re: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« Reply #5 on: Sep 1 2006, 21:16 »

But just because you pay $3500 to climb Kili doesn't mean you get an experienced, competent guide. Plus, you don't choose your guide, you choose the company and hope that they assign you a competent guide.  You can't make a personal assessment of the guide until you are on the mountain (and even then, you probably can't tell whether they are good or bad anyhow because incompetence doesn't show until a need arises).

In the example you gave, all the (competent) guides took action, so having incompetent guides wasn't the problem was it? It was that supplies weren't available. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a paramedic with supplies closeby?

I guess I think too much like a business person.  If I ran the mountain, I'd staff it with paramedics and supplies.  I'd publicize these safety precautions.  It would ease people's concerns.  Just a slight, insignificant increase in the number of climbers would pay for these salaries/supplies. And maybe a few less people would die every year.
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Helle

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Re: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« Reply #6 on: Sep 1 2006, 21:45 »

Quote
In the example you gave, all the (competent) guides took action, so having incompetent guides wasn't the problem was it? It was that supplies weren't available. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a paramedic with supplies closeby?
No - I was there, and I had the equipment. I was just shocked to watch everybody ignoring the accident. The biggest problem is to get people down.

We have to face it. This is Africa. No one "runs" the mountain. It is a developing country, and The Kilimanjaro National Park is dealing with the heavy turism as good as they can. Facing severe draft and hunger around them. The income from the mountain is financing maintaining the camps and other things on the mountain, but foremost it is improving the environment for the people living on the mountain. Which is right, I think. Everybody climbing the mountain have the money to bring their own equipment. It is SO difficult to get proper and enough medical supplies in Africa.

And we have to realize that climbing mountains is serious business. Lots of things can happen. What is happening on Kilimanjaro is, that everybody seems to forget that fact. I know that at least 25 people die there every year, due to altitude sickness mostly.

Regarding the guides - yes, you can ask to meet your guide before leaving for the mountain. The good companies allways arrange that, so you will know about each other beforehand.

Helle
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GMatthews

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Re: Should Kili have paramedics at camp?
« Reply #7 on: Sep 2 2006, 11:19 »

RMI does charge a lot but they tell you who your guides are.

Also a lot of people climb Kili because hey it is not much more than a walk up so a paramedicís camp will be great for everyone!
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