1995 Expedition: Boca del Joon
Picos de Europa, Spain
Medical preparations for Boca del Joon '95 involved assembling expedition medical kits, personal first aid kits and a rescue practice which employed the newly acquired stretcher and was successfully carried out in Lionel's Hole. Several members of the expedition also attended an expedition first aid course. Personal kits included a triangular bandage, candle, pencil, and paper, sterile dressing, aspirin. Unfortunately it was not possible to obtain any temgesic this year apart from some remaining from last year which hadn't past its use by date. Medical kits for general use were as follows:
- frequent use kits ( one set each for Base Camp and Top Camp) containing medicines for treating heat-stroke, minor cuts and bruises, diarrhoea and dehydration and various analgesics.
- infrequent use kits (one set for each camp) including antibiotics and other drugs for viral infections and allergies, wound dressing, bandages and hypodermic needles.
- trauma kits (two sets for Top Camp) for use in the event of a serious injury or rescue.
- first aid dumps (one set placed halfway down each of C9 and F64) contents similar to trauma kits.
From the medical aspect this year's expedition was very successful. One caver was particularly unfortunate in connection with carbide but there were no serious consequences. Apart from a few other minor accidents involving carbide, there were no infections, serious injuries nor diseases that have occurred in previous years. Regular use of disinfectant hand wash has yet again proved very efficient in the prevention of infections. The only common occurrences were cuts sustained on the sharp limestone and those were promptly treated with tincture of iodine and bandages.
All the medical kits were sufficiently equipped and there was no need for any additional medicines though water sterilizing tablets ran dangerously low towards the end of expedition. However, organising a vertical (SRT) rescue practise and encouraging attendance of the first aid course would be of great importance for a healthy and safe expedition.