Thursday, July 05, 2012

First aid -- the cowboy way

A month and a half ago, Tad Dent was doctoring colts for this very reason. But one of the mares wasn't happy about the cowboy working on her baby. She let him know with a powerful kick to the 63-year-old's shin. This happened some 15 miles down a dirt road on the CO Bar Ranch in northern Arizona's backcountry. His leg "didn't feel right," but this wasn't the first time Dent had been kicked by a horse. He finished his work, fed the animals and rode his horse home. Gail Dent, Tad's wife, was there when he limped in. "The boot came off and blood came pouring out," she said. "There was a bad tissue tear and arterial bleeding." Gail, a retired nurse, applied a tourniquet, cleaned the wound, stabilized the bone and rushed Tad to Flagstaff Medical Center. But not every cowboy finds a nurse nearby. Some of Arizona's ranch families live more than an hour away from a paved road and even farther from a hospital. Striving to equip rural residents with the confidence and skills to deal with emergency situations, Dr. Allison Clough, a Kayenta emergency physician, has developed a course called Cowboy First Aid. She hopes it will go viral, reaching remote areas where doctors are in short supply and medical services are a distance away. Cowboy First Aid is essentially Emergency Medical Technician training. "These folks don't want to sit in a classroom, so we developed a very hands-on program," Clough said...more

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