Canoe accident, submersion and profound accidental hypothermia for three adolescent boys in an accident in Sweden.
Submersion and accidental hypothermia with cardiac arrest represents a challenge for mountain rescue as well as for medical pre-hospital personnel, especially when it happens in remote areas under harsh weather and water conditions.
Three adolescent boys were canoeing on a mountain lake in June when their canoe capsized, and they all fell into the cold water. The immersion time spanned from 60-75 minutes. Two of the victims showed no vital signs after being pulled out of the water by the mountain rescuers. They both had their faces under the water surface and their lungs were dry when CPR and mouth to mouth was performed. The third victim had vital signs although he was unconscious and with tremor when brought out of the water. Two of the victims had extremely low body temperature and were brought to Trondheim University Hospital in Norway, where they were successfully resuscitated with extracorporeal re-warming. After one day they were transported by the ECMO – team in Stockholm, Sweden to Karolinska University Hospital from where they were discharge to their homes with good outcomes although with some sequelae. The third victim with moderate to severe hypothermia was brought to a local hospital in Östersund, Sweden from where he was discharge after a short while without physical sequel.
The challenge for the mountain rescuers was the harsh weather and rough water conditions, to rescue from water, decide and start CPR during transportation on the water in to the shore. For the medical personnel from the helicopter the challenge was to maintain a qualitative intermittent CPR in tuff terrain to the helicopter, then to focus on getting the patient to the right destination without any delay.
Marie Nordgren arbetar till vardags som anestesisjuksköterska på centraloperation i Östersund och har tidigare arbetat inom ambulanssjukvården. Marie har över 20 års erfarenhet som skidpatrullör (skidområdenas räddningstjänst) och varit aktiv i fjällräddningen i Norrbotten i många år. I över 30 år har hon ansvarat för sjukvård och räddningsutbildningar för Svenska skidanläggningars organisation (SLAO) i samverkan med fjällräddningen. Marie är idag SVEFRO`s (Svenska Fjällräddarnas RiksOrgansiation) delegat i IKARs (International kommission of alpine resuce) medicinska kommission.