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Some interesting observations from a coastie at the bottom of the world

mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,908 ✭✭✭

Got a lengthy email from Mackenzie after spending some time in transit from the Falklands to McMurdo station...

McMurdo Station, located at 77 degrees 51 minutes S, 166 degrees 40 minutes E, is the largest Antarctic station. McMurdo is built on the bare volcanic rock...

She is going to send pics of a c130 taking off from a carrier - one with skis - one that fly's into hurricanes to monitor storms...

On her final long flight they had a medical emergency were one of the science polar Tech guys got bit by a spider in the Maldives and did not tell anyone - thinking it was not a big deal...

His leg swelled 2.5" in diameter from ankle to groin with the skin splitting and veins showing like lines on an etch a sketch...

They happened to have a combat medic retired from tenth mountain who saved his life - drawing circles around the bite mark and cutting it open to drain - big cottage cheese chunks from the abscess that smelled like rotting meat - enough to fill a vomit basin...

Fever over 103 and the chills and full body sweats - tremors in the hands and feet...

He also apparently failed to tell the medics that he had been having trouble urinating and was having pain - they say the seizures caused by the allergic reaction to the spider bite dislodged a sizable kidney stone - which has passed while in flight - peeing blood...

She says the medic poured bleach and urine into the open abscess while debriding necrotic tissue - crushed up aspirin and powdered the wound with it along with gold bond mentholated foot powder...

Made him sit up reclined to keep his head and heart higher than the legs - covered his crotch and upper thighs with ice...

Gave his a double dose of entry level antibiotics with a syringe - administered morphine but attempted to balance things to keep him awake - ran an iv of saline and glucose...

This happened mid flight - you cannot just turn around and there is nowhere else to land - one of the pilots suggested dropping him next to a submarine with diver deployed with him in a survival suit - cause the nuke boats have good medical facilities and better supplies and more aggressive meds...

What the medic did appeared to stabilize him and begin to help him fight back of hold on...

Apparently you get repeated lectures about health checks and dietary restriction suggestions before these flights or before an ice breaker or support vessel departs - as this stuff is known to happen but there is only so much med equipment you can carry aboard in transit...

She had mentioned that she had lived with me through chemo and radiation - and got drafted as a nurse or assistant to sit with the guy and monitor him / talk to him - because the medic said she knew what death and suffering looked like from a unique perspective...

The commander / pilot of the flight is going to submit 3 recommendations for the award of the equiv of the soldiers medal or

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Comments

  • RidefarRidefar Member Posts: 92 ✭✭
    Wow, that is just incredible.
    Thanks for sharing.
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,908 ✭✭✭

    The commander / pilot of the flight is going to submit 3 recommendations for the award of the equiv of the soldiers medal or the life saving medal equiv for the medic the crew chief and Mackenzie...

    After they landed and got sorted and checked in before they started orientation tours and safety / survival lessons the medical staff and several senior nco types gave a mandatory attendance 1/2 hour lecture regarding alerting medical professionals or your nco about possible medical concerns - as you are likely to die in transit on some flights over great distances with no alternate landing zones or on fleet cruise deployments to the middle of nowhere / back of the beyond...

    They had a high level physician and medical researcher develop symptoms and discovered she had advanced cancer 4 weeks after winter over conditions halted incoming or outgoing air or water transport of any kind...

    The c130 guys offered to try to fly in and take her out in a bespoke one off horrible weather proofed plane that can operate in remote arctic conditions and land on the ice pack on skis - but the chances of them making the round trip were pretty small...

    I need to look the story up online and see the details and the resolution.

    In addition to sled dog teams there are several dozen other dogs of many breeds on station as well as house cats - to keep people sane...

    Many other fascinating bullet point tidbits and factoids - more to follow I am certain...

    Thought you might be interested.

    Mike

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  • Toolman286Toolman286 Member Posts: 857 ✭✭✭
    WOW ! Never knew anything like that existed.
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,908 ✭✭✭

    Which parts???

    😷🤔😉😃🐰🐇🌋🌋❄❄⛄⛄🗻🗻🌊🌊🌨🌩🌪🌬🕷🕷🦂🦂🎽🎽🔱🔱🎗🎗🚑🚑🚨🚨🚁✈🚀🚢🚤⛵⚓⚓📡📡🛥🛥🛫🛬🛩🛰🛳📬📬📸

    Mike

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  • Toolman286Toolman286 Member Posts: 857 ✭✭✭
    Hi Mike, I looked up the station & didn't know there was small city down there. The images of the place were interesting.  AL
  • SW0320SW0320 Member Posts: 1,085 ✭✭✭
    Good for her to be able to go to McMurdo one of those experiences that few will have done.  When I was in the Navy I applied to do a winter over in Antarctica.  Usually you had to apply several times before getting accepted and decided to get out of the service instead.
  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 6,044 ✭✭✭

    I agree with SWO320. The Cream of the Crop go to/get selected to go to McMurdo. It is an honor to be selected, and will reflect that in their ongoing Service Records. Well done McKenzie.

    Quite the introduction to Polar living on the flight over. Sounds like McKenzie stepped up to the plate again.

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

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