Monday, 18 June 2007

Sober Thoughts

I picked up on this story via Two-Heel Drive. Cari 'Sandals' Tucker was medivaced from the Pacific Central Trail because of a blister:

I thought that I just needed fluids and would be fine, but after 5 liters plus high doses of a drug to raise blood pressure, I just kept deteriorating and about 7 pm, I was emergency airlifted to a larger hospital in Bakersfield. At Bakersfield, I spent 5 hours being stabilized in the ER, and then was transferred to the intensive care unit, where I spent a total of 4 days.

The source of the infection was probably a quarter sized blister on my right heel that didn't look any worse than anyone else's blisters--in fact, it looked better than most except for a slight red. I HAD lanced it and dressed it, and in the desert, it looked OK, but over the first 5 days of being in the hospital, it blossomed into a 2 x 3 inch lesion with red swollen areas up into my ankle. The cultures came back as a Staph infection and I had to have some areas of dead and dying skin removed. As far as it getting into the bloodstream--I guess I'm just one of those unlucky statistics.

Sandals writes about her rescue in full in her trail journal.

Top of her ten reasons not to get septic shock in the desert is:

1) In the best of circumstances, you have a 1 in 3 chance of dying (note: the desert does NOT qualify as the best of circumstances)

What an eye-opener. Glad to hear you're alive. Fun photos on the journal - the "Overindulgence" one just reminded me so much of Bill Bryson's dreams of food while on the AT.