Campbell River Search and Rescue says it’s raising the bar for backcountry medical care.

It’s now equipped to deliver a new, safe and effective analgesic in the field. 

 

Analgesics are drugs designed to relieve pain.

 

Penthrox, a brand name for methoxyflurane, comes in a compact inhaler device and will in most cases replace the need to carry around bulky cylinders of nitrous oxide.

It’s an inhaler used to reduce pain following trauma. 

Campbell River Search and Rescue says it’s raising the bar for backcountry medical care.

SAR is now equipped to deliver a new analgesic (ANNEL-GEE-ZIK) in the field. 

Analgesics (ANNEL-GEE-ZIKS) are drugs designed to relieve pain.

Penthrox is an inhaler used to reduce pain following trauma. 

SAR manager, Grant Cromer, says many patients have fractures to their lower limbs.

He says this new medication will help patients deal with intense pain as they’re being carried along rough terrain and long distances.

“We deal with a lot of fractures, lower leg/limb fractures, we can provide basic first aid, splint it, but a lot of times we’re transporting people over rough terrain, or long distances and they’ve just got to suffer with those injuries, despite best efforts,” Cromer said.

“This is going to allow us the ability to provide them with a pre-hospital analgesic which will reduce their pain level. Basically it benefits the patient outcome. They’re going to be more comfortable and more relaxed and sedated while we’re doing our job and hopefully help with the journey to (the)hospital.”

Cromer said coming to the aid of someone in agony compounds the stress level of members.

He adds that administering Penthrox will help both the patient and the rescuers. 

“This gives our members the ability to administer something that we know is proven, has great effects, and will provide not only the subject with some relief but also just decompress the whole stress of the entire environment for everyone involved.” 

“Most first aid courses specifically prohibit the administering of any sort of medication to the ill or injured,” Campbell River SAR said.

“But through a Vancouver area based company that provides a medical directorate, CRSAR’s members with 70 hours or better of first aid training can administer the pain relief in the field, along with other potentially life-saving medications.” 

These trained members either have Occupational First Aid level 3, 90 hour Wilderness First Aid, or are licenced practical or registered nurses.