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First Aid

This page is a chapter in 'BASE Wiki Injuries'

First Aid: Obviously you try to do everything to avoid injury in BASE. You do obstacle avoidance drills to deal with Off Headings, you practice your malfunctions, you wear proper protection and you only jump in great conditions. Right?

Well, unfortunately even the most cautious jumpers eventually get hurt. Most BASE jumpers will tell you; you can do everything right, and still die. Or at the least, get hurt. Knowing how to deal with first aid situations while you are waiting for proper help from an ambulance team or helicopter rescue can mean the difference between life and death.

First Aid Courses
TODO, explain what to look for in a BASE oriented first aid course.

First Aid Kits
TODO, explain what a BASE first aid kit should contain.

Painkillers
The use of painkillers in BASE is a difficult and touchy subject. There is one clear advantage:
  • When you get hurt seriously, but proper rescue (like a helicopter or an ambulance) will take time, they can temporarily lessen the pain.
Unfortunately, there are strong disadvantages too:
  • It’s hard to get good ones.
  • It’s difficult to know how to use them responsible, especially when your judgment might be skewed because of physical trauma.
  • They can be addictive.
  • Certain types are illegal, meaning that if you get caught for trespassing, you now have other problems to deal with too.

Some people argue: “If you cant take the pain, don´t play the game.” While not an absolute truth, it is something to ponder over. Perhaps if you are that worried about avoiding pain at all cost, BASE is not the sport to be in?



Obviously, if you just bring some aspirin on your jumps, you won’t be at risk. Unfortunately an aspirin is not going to do much when you find yourself with a broken femur.



On the other end of the spectrum is morphine. BASE WIKI does not recommend using it unless you really know what you are doing (which is rarely true when you are badly hurt). When you do decide to take morphine, it is recommended to write a large “M” on your forehead, and also the time and dosage in case you pass out. Anybody that will be arriving and giving you morphine will know what a big “M” means. In some countries this might not work as well, but even in most non-English speaking countries, the word for morphine still starts with an “M”.

Sometimes, a friend or yourself will have had surgery and they might have some painkillers left. These can range from aspirin-like to morphine, and anything in between.



It is highly recommended to talk to your family doctor and explain the situation to him. He will most likely not approve of your hobby, but worst case scenario he’ll give you some advice on what not to do. Best case scenario, he can prescribe you some painkillers that are stronger than aspirin, but won’t necessarily do damage when used in situations with poor judgment.



Whatever medication you choose to carry with you, learn the following:
  • Dosage and administration
  • Indications (when to use the drug and what for)
  • Contraindications (when to not use the drug and why)
  • Overdose information (the “if one is good, then two is better” argument does not fly with any painkiller worth carrying for this purpose.)
  • Actions. Know what is going to happen to you after you take the medication. For example, if you need to crawl out of a canyon after a solo load because help is not coming, it would be a very bad idea to take morphine. Morphine will limit your ability and desire to help yourself.
  • Allergies. Know if you or anyone on your load is allergic to the medication. Giving a medication to someone with a hypersensitivity will certainly do far more harm than good. Pain sucks, dying from a painkiller you’re allergic to sucks far more.
Pain medications are useful and cool, but misused, they can make everything worse.
Other articles


Richard H? — 27 December 2006, 14:02


during any type of traumatic injury, there will be some type of bleeding. medications should not be given at all, aspirin can cause someone to bleed out! pain never killed anyone, but medication errors do all of the time and that's by trained person.

One tip, always have an info card on you. Name Past medical history (diabetes,htn,chf) Current Medications (RX,OTC,herbal) even garlic pill matter. Allergies: pcn, codeine, list ‘em all Past surgeries and hospitalizations emergency contacts

all of this info helps understand what treatments you can receive and what treatments would be harmful.

a load master or GC should have this info ready for medical/rescue person, trust me, they’ll thank you.




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