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A stroll down Orderville Canyon

Discussion in 'Utah' started by Steven Cottle, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. Steven Cottle

    Steven Cottle

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    On Saturday, August 31, 2019 my group of 5 descended Englestead down Orderville. As we came out of Englestead a group of four was passing by. 1/2 hour later we caught them at a break and rest. At that moment a 59 year old male went unconscious and laid back on the large rock he had been sitting on. We passed by not realizing he’d gone unconscious. When his group called out that they’d better be on their way, he didn’t respond. After we heard them calling to him we went to help check on him. Pulse erratic, not breathing, then no pulse and occasional guttural sounds but no steady breaths. CPR was begun with 4 individuals trading off as each tired. In time the decision was made to stop. His extremities were turning ashen gray and blue. Despite being right there from the moment he made a comment as the first in our group passed by and losing consciousness by the time the last in our group passed by, our efforts to assist in providing timely aid had no noticeable effect. We all agreed to stop and began making a plan moving forward. Two of our group raced ahead to Sinawava. 3, assisted a male in his 70’s and a female in her 50’s down canyon. One male from their group stayed with the deceased.
    We learned later that several rescue personnel went in prepared to spend Saturday night with the lone fellow.
    Sunday morning the deceased was taken out of the canyon.
    The group of four had started Orderville at 7:00 a. m. We caught them at 1:45 p.m. about a mile below Englestead / Orderville junction.
    Although Orderville seems easier than many non technical canyons, it goes without saying that any who navigate the canyon would be wise to prepare appropriately.


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  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Thanks for the report.

    "Although Orderville seems easier than many non technical canyons, it goes without saying that any who navigate the canyon would be wise to prepare appropriately."

    Could you be more explicit in your analysis?

    Tom
  3. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green

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    You deserve props for stepping up in a situation many shy away from. I hope none in your group feel any remorse or second thoughts about stopping CPR. I've worked in the Emergency Dept for over 10 years and (without getting too deep into medical literature) I would anecdotally say at least 80% of patients we get with ongoing CPR pass away. And those are patients brought in by EMS who have access to IVs, meds, and intubation supplies. In your situation, immediate CPR (and maybe a strategic bolt of lightning) may have been his only hope. Unfortunately, canyoneering can be the equivalent of a cardiac stress test for some.
    Rapterman, Bootboy, Ram and 3 others like this.
  4. Steven Cottle

    Steven Cottle

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    Not intending to be critical towards the group we assisted, it seemed they were unprepared for the journey they undertook down Orderville. Shortly after we left the lone friend with the deceased individual, the other two whom we assisted down canyon asked how close to the shuttle stop we were. They seemed to think “we had to be close.” The female stated she had only eaten 3 granola bars up to that point. They’d started at 7:00 a.m. She told us of her food intake around 3:00 p. m. When asked if she’d been drinking (hydrated) she stated that she had water but couldn’t get her hydration bladder to work properly, hence we shared and escorted.
    The organizer of the group, in his 70’s, stated he’d done the canyon many years ago. ( He hikes frequently.) He’d eaten little as well.
    It appeared that although some in their group do hike often, (they stated several times a week) they may have misjudged this particular canyon and felt they were taking a long stroll down canyon.
    It appeared to our group that the others may not have made it out before dark had we not been able to provide assistance.
    Again, not being critical of others and not saying we were any better. Just some observations and a reminding comment to prepare appropriately for any activity. Since many who follow Canyon Collective navigate canyons, my suggestion of being prepared was to those of us that do.


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  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Thanks for being frank and providing more information. Hard to say whether this contributed to the (presumed) heart attack, but maybe it did. Stress. Heat. Dehydration.

    Tom
  6. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    People die. Older people die more often. They die in the grocery store. They die in their bed. They die in the canyon. They die wherever they might be. CPR sometimes works to bring them back from the dead, but not often and in a cardiac arrest, rarely without electricity. Chest compressions just give you a little more time to shock their heart out of ventricular fibrillation, they generally aren't curative on their own. You did the right thing. It didn't work. Like usual. It might not have even worked if it had occurred in an ED with a highly skilled team with everything they could desire.

    My point is that neither the other group's lack of preparation nor anything wrong with the CPR likely contributed much to this poor outcome. He just died. The rest of us will too someday. As Gandalf wisely said, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given"
  7. Ram

    Ram

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    For those that don't know, Canyonero IS an emergency room doctor. He canyons often with another ER doctor.....and an orthopedic surgeon.....and a cardio therapist.....and a pharmacist. All come on the trip "packing" to some degree. The suitcase of medical fare that comes out some evenings, is quite impressive. I DO feel better when I get to adventure with them....which will be shortly.

    That said, I inquired a few years back......."What would you do if one of the blood clots I occasionally get, traveled to the lungs or heart? Canyonero said, and I quote..."Any last messages for your friends and family?"
    :help:
  8. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    WOW - impressive credentials!

    Add a RN and a PT would be the modern equivalent of the Magnificent Seven.
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