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Medical aspects of the work of a moorland rescue team.
  1. H R Guly
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, United Kingdom.


    OBJECTIVE: To describe the work of a moorland rescue team and, in particular, the medical aspects of this work. METHODS: A retrospective study of 25 years of callouts of the Dartmoor Rescue Group (DRG)-the mountain rescue team (MRT) for Dartmoor. These were analysed by cause, year, month, day of the week, and time of day. Injuries and other medical problems in casualties are described. RESULTS: 276 callouts are described. The most common cause was searching for missing persons, but 62 callouts were to known casualties. The most common medical problem was cold exhaustion. The most common injuries were to the lower leg. However, a wide variety of other medical problems including heat exhaustion was also seen. CONCLUSIONS: The Mountain Rescue Council represents MRTs in mountainous regions and those covering lower hills and moorland. It produces an annual report containing details of the incidents attended by its affiliated teams. The work of the DRG is very different from that of the Mountain Rescue Council as a whole. Medical problems other than cold exhaustion and lower leg injuries are uncommon and moorland rescue teams do not need to equip themselves to treat other medical problems but in view of the wide variety of medical problems encountered a long way from a road, good first aid training of team members is essential.

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