Critical Care in Avalanches
Join WEM host, Eoin Walker, as he discusses ‘Critical Care in Avalanches’ with Specialist Paramedic Wayne Auton and IFMGA Mountain Guide James Thacker
In this session, we explore the practical experiences, challenges and clinical management of avalanches. We start by examining the profile and creation of avalanches and then onto some of the pitfalls, injury patterns and management of an avalanche victim.
Wayne Auton is a former Royal Marine and currently a Specialist Paramedic in retrieval and transfer medicine as well as pre-hospital critical care. He has a passion for adventure and has worked everywhere from the heat of Africa to Arctic plateaus of the Norwegian winter. With a passion for anything to do with mountains, mountaineering and cold climates he is a keen skier and climber as well as a member of a Scottish mountain rescue team.
His love for the mountains and enthusiasm for pre-hospital care has led him to focus on the potential provision of critical care for avalanche victims. Wayne also regularly teaches on expedition medicine courses and assist with the medical training of mountain rescue personnel.
James Thacker is an IFMGA Mountain Guide, member of the British Association of Mountain Guides (BMG) and Mountaineering Instructor (WMCI) splitting time between Chamonix, France and Kingussie, Scotland. James’ enthusiasm for working in the mountains have taken him to Arctic Greenland, the Himalayas, the “classic north faces” of the European Alps and rock climbing around the world. Closer to home James enjoys exploring the limitless opportunities that Scotland’s mountains offer from skiing lines on Ben Nevis, to climbing on the sea cliffs of the Outer Hebrides.
For sixteen years James was actively involved with Mountain Rescue in the Peak District as a member of Derby MRT and Edale MRT. With this casualty care experience, James has also developed an interest in the management of patients in the mountains, and is enrolled on the ORMS Hazardous Environment Medical Technician (HEMT) scheme. In recent years James has also contributed to the wider agenda of mountain safety via the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), and is a Trustee of the Chris Walker Memorial Trust (CWMT). CWMT strives to fund and deliver, in conjunction with the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS), continuing professional development training in avalanche awareness in Scotland.
James is also an Observer/Forecaster for the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) and member of the Applied Psychology and Human Factors (APHF) group, collaborating with Aberdeen University and various sectors of industry.