Burke County crews rescue hiker after 45-foot fall, on-site blood transfusion
Crews said the hiker fell near the top of Hawksbill Mountain, which is located in the Linville Gorge.
BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Rescue crews in Burke County saved a hiker on Saturday night after they fell approximately 45 feet at the top of Hawksbill Mountain.
According to Burke County Search and Rescue, EMS crews were dispatched to the area around 7 p.m. Once making contact with the patient, they immediately began assessment and advance life support (ALS) care.
Personnel determined that due to the nature of the patient’s injuries, they would need whole blood before they could be taken out of the woods.
While the patient was being stabilized by EMS, Burke Rescue and Burke Special Ops used ropes to set up a horizontal raise to bring the patient back to the top of the mountain.
Officials said high winds on the top of the mountain made helicopter extraction too dangerous to perform. As a result, the patient needed to be carried off the mountain.
Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) landed at the Brown Mountain Overlook while medical and rescue crews removed the patient from the woods.
Flight nurses hiked from a parking area to the patient’s location on a trail, bringing fresh whole blood with them. Once to the patient, a successful blood transfusion was performed.
All crews and the patient made it safely out of the woods around 1 a.m., officials said.
Once out of the woods, the patient was transported to a local trauma center.
According to Burke County Search and Rescue, Saturday’s incident marked the first whole blood delivery in the Linville Gorge.
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