Outfitter Joe Dilschneider practices tying a sling on Mike Lum during the backcountry medicine course at the Madison Valley Ranch Dec. 7.  Photo provided by Jillian Acosta

Backcountry medicine on the Madison

When healthcare starts on the river

In a town that thrives on its recreation, healthcare’s first line of defense could be in the field. 

Madison Valley Medical Center hosted a medicine seminar for outfitters and guilds Dec. 7. As a trauma receiving facility, MVMC continues education outreach in the community. 

“We wanted to give back, especially to this community,” MVMC Trauma Coordinator Jillian Acosta said.

The eight-hour seminar started with the required first aid course lead by Dead Drift Adventures’ Outfitter Phil Sgamma. Dr. Billy Oley from Hellroaring Medical Consultants, a wilderness medicine consultant agency in Red Lodge, taught wilderness improvisation. Oley showed outfitters and guides how to use boat supplies to treat healthcare emergencies on the river.

Acosta had the 30 participants practice trauma care. Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of trauma related deaths. Participants learned to notice risk factors and the healthcare that follows. 

Dr. Maura Davenport from MVMC focused the education to the Madison River, identifying certain areas and specific encounters that might occur on the river. Hook removal, moose safety and lightening safety were covered. 

Trauma education outreach to the community is an important aspect for a trauma receiving facility like MVMC because immediate trauma care increases survival rates. 

The community involvement for the seminar was widespread, to the Madison Valley Ranch donating the space to seven Trout Stalkers’ guides attending. Each participant left with a dry bag first aid kit with medical items that they learned to use.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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