Breckenridge Ski Patrol commended by a doctor on its medical response
I am writing this letter as a result of my recent experience on the mountain at Breckenridge. I had been a practicing anesthesiologist in Southern Indiana for the past 30 years. My wife and I moved to Breckenridge almost three years ago.We have volunteered for Guest Services at the Breckenridge Ski Resort once a week for the past three years. I had the recent unfortunate experience to arrive upon the scene of a guest who had become unconscious in the middle of a Peak 10 slope. Upon arrival, the guest was not responding to verbal communication. I maintained a patent airway and was in the process of calling ski patrol when some patrollers came upon the scene. The patient’s status continued to decline and we initiated CPR. The patrol immediately handed me an oral airway and within a very short time, several patrollers were on the scene with emergency equipment (ambu bags with oxygen, endotracheal tube and defibrillator). One of the patrol members intubated the patient (as expediently as I could have done, under difficult conditions) and we immediately transported the patient (doing CPR) to the medical center at the base of the mountain where the waiting staff was prepared and acted very efficiently and professionally.Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in resuscitating the patient.During the resuscitation attempt, the ski patrol was very professional with outstanding arrival time, and the team work on the mountain made me think we were in a medical facility.The transport was very expedient. Under the presenting circumstances, I believe this patient was given his best opportunity to survive this catastrophic event. I congratulate the patrol for their professional behavior and skills. All our Breckenridge skiers should know that this level of professionalism is present on the mountain.I will long remember this day and feel comfort in knowing that the ski patrol is well prepared to act on any emergency situation. The patrol did all that was humanly possible, under very difficult conditions.
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