Recently the Year 3 and 4 students at Rain Tree Clinic were faced with the challenge of multiple trauma patients within a very short period of time. One was a patient who fell out of a tree while cutting branches. He fell about 20 feet and struck his head on the rocky ground. The patient was then hand-carried directly to the clinic by family. He had a very large laceration on the back of his head that was bleeding quite a lot and he was semi-conscious and unable to communicate or follow commands. The students provided excellent care to the patient, working quickly to secure his airway, stabilize his neck and do a full head to toe assessment. They determined that this patient needed to be transferred to a higher care facility. While the PA students were doing this, the engineering students built a hand-stretcher/gurney out of bamboo planking. The patient was then secured to the stretcher, placed on the back of the pickup truck with multiple oxygen tanks. With 3 headlamp-wearing PA students maintaining his airway and providing care on the back of the open truck, the patient made the many-hour dusty and bumpy nighttime journey to a neuro hospital.
This is a case of a patient who would certainly have died if our PA students would not have been at the right place at the right time. They possessed the critical knowledge needed to provide world-class care to a young father whose absence would have created yet another hardship in a world of many hardships. This is our EMA students making a vital difference in the healthcare of those who need it the most in remote Karen areas.