18 June 2010

First aid course and drills

First aid course with the Gamow bag
Carina checks "the patient" in the Gamow bag and later "the patient", our camp physician Simon, reemerges from his cocoon.

Our camp physician, Simon, held a first aid course today and many camp members participated in the course and subsequent drills. The drill today was how to secure and transport a person with suspected head or spine injury from the snow or from our trenches.

Some days ago Simon also worked with the Gamow bag. A Gamow bag is an air tight cocoon, which is inflated and kept pressurized with a foot pump, just like a camping air mattress. It is used for people who suffer from High Altitude Sickness due to the thin air. In serious cases, High Altitude Sickness can lead to High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (or HAPE), which is water in the lungs that can cause suffocation and death.
The Gamow bag is a simple and safe way of treating High Altitude Sickness. The patient is pressurized inside the bag. The increased pressure imitates that the person is brought down to lower altitude and symptoms disappear. Knock on wood - so far we have not had any situation in NEEM camp that has required any of the above measures.

What we have done today:
1. Drilling and logging.
2. Processed ice cores: 46 bags, from 3801 to 3847.
3. Measuring CFA. Measured 20.9 m. CFA depth: 1715.45 m.
4. Grooming Taxiway and apron with tiller.
5. Zig-zag grooming skiway.
6. First aid course on spinal and head injuries.

Ad.1: Drillers report:
Not a routine day today, as we passed 400 meters for the season. Most of the excitement could be traced to the communications with the drill (or lack thereof) which was solved for now with new serial-usb cables.
Creative drilling with two active operators during three of these episodes made for nice runs through many alarms, some of which we didn't know even existed. Then, due to required maintenance to the long hallow shaft, we deployed the second pump and hallow shaft (the one with two three meter sections joined at the middle) that had been made ready again last week.
It worked fine, but at first analysis it appears to be less efficient at collecting all of the chips than the six meter shaft and pump. Still, we managed good production today in six runs. Also all six drillers ate lunch together for the first time in a while as we decided to take a collective deep breath together before tackling the day's issues.

Driller's depth: 2142.24 meters. Logging depth: 2155.85 m.

Ad.2: Today's fix point from the DEP system: Layer found at NEEM at 2142.5 m is equivalent to NGRIP layer depth of 2768.5 m with approx. age of 93,000 years.

Weather: Overcast with snow and blowing snow, after 18.00 scattered clouds.
Temp. -8 °C to -2.3 °C, 12-18 knots from SSE. Visibility: During day poor contrast and 1 km, in the evening unrestricted.
At midnight it was overcast again with snow and visibility of 500 m. Temperature at midnight: -2.6 °C!!

FL, J.P. Steffensen


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