Avalanche survival after rescue with the RECCO rescue system: a case report
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We report a case of survival of a completely buried avalanche victim after being located with the radar-based RECCO Rescue System. In the winter of 2015, 2 off-piste skiers were completely buried in an avalanche near the secured ski area in Baqueira Beret, Spain. The first victim was located with the RECCO Rescue System in less than 35 minutes and was alive and conscious at extrication. This system emits radio waves and requires a specific reflector. It is a portable device that is used by more than 600 rescue organizations worldwide, especially in secured ski areas. The device should be brought to the avalanche site together with electronic avalanche transceivers, a probing team, and avalanche dogs. In the hands of experienced professionals, the device may allow rapid location of victims not carrying an electronic avalanche transceiver. Although it is not the first successful extrication of a victim with the RECCO Rescue System, it is the first case published in the medical literature and is intended to encourage data collection and to increase our understanding of the effectiveness of this device in avalanche rescue.
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