Woman airlifted off Bishop Peak

May 15, 2017

A 59-year-old who became light-headed while hiking ended up being airlifted off Bishop Peak Sunday afternoon. [KSBY]

Around 4 p.m., the San Luis Obispo Fire Department received a call about a light-headed hiker. When fire crews arrived at Bishop Peak, they learned the woman had dislocated her shoulder while being helped up some rocks.

Medics reached the woman after about 30 minutes, and a helicopter then flew her down the mountain. The woman was taken to a local hospital.

Heavy wind made the rescue more difficult, officials say. San Luis Obispo firefighters, Cal Fire and the CHP collaborated on the rescue.

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The woman is Robin Riley Page. She is my daughter in law, married to my oldest son. She suffered a major shoulder dislocation and may require surgery. She fell hard while being assisted and is very grateful to the Fireman and two hikers – one who was nurse — who rescued her. They gave her pain medicine to relieve her excruciating pain. Her trip by helicopter was amazing as indicated below. This incident reflects on the excellence, timeliness and competence of those they assisted her.


What distinguishes a “major” shoulder dislocation from a regular shoulder dislocation?

Tendon damage for one. Most dislocation’s either fix themselves, or with a little help from a brave friend, but if the tendon’s torn it is not going back in and staying there. It will stay dislocated.

If you can’t pop it back in it is hard to march on.

I be willing to bet that the rescue team preferred to airlift, than to have to drag gear up to her and slowly take her off the mountain.

Probably less risk of lawsuit as well. …

….it is not a major dislocation, only a minor one, so let’s hump her down the hill on a cart by hand….because a triage field diagnosis can never be wrong..

Err on the side of caution is their motto. The cost of an airlift versus being sued for causing additional pain and suffering is a cheaper route for them to take. I am willing to bet that this was part of the EMR calculus.

I’m being both rhetorical and factitious. There is no such thing as a “major” shoulder dislocation.

Shoulder dislocations don’t “fix themselves, or with a little help from a friend.” Reductions, especially with a first time dislocation, often require sedation to facilitate reduction. Sometimes they can be reduced using a scapular rotation method, which not a technique that a friend with no formal medical training would be able to accomplish.

All shoulder dislocations will injure the rotator cuff.

“I’m being both rhetorical and factitious”…

I guess one would then need to ask; why? You don’t like Otis and need to take exception of his use of language?

The use of term “major” is an attempt to illustrate the degree of injury.

And yes, there are gradients of the degree of injury when evaluating this.

I was being factitious as well in my response, could you not tell since you’re very well informed about the subject?

I was factitious making light of how easy it is for a friend to help. It is not fun to do–they scream quit loudly and the bones feel gross when sliding against one another outside the socket–so I went with a “a little help from a friend”.

No one who ever had a dislocated shoulders would think they’re fixed (100%) when helped by a friend get it back in.

But I can tell you the relief they feel when I have “fixed” it by pulling it outward until the bone slipped past the cuff and slips back in.

To them I fixed their problem–excruciating pain. Yes they should see a doctor.

Not all dislocations require surgery–even though damage occurs to the rotator cuff. Some of us just deal with the pain and scar tissue

But hey why nit-pick.

Is it true they get hazard pay for rescues? Everyone shows up when someone falls off a cliff in Shell Beach or Montana d’ Oro. Could it be someone’s relative on a make-work project?

Why the heliocopter? That’s not a harsh trail. It would seem like 4 well-trained men and a lightweight litter could have brought her down the hill.

Bishop’s Peak is seriously a walk in the park. Dislocated shoulder? Just walk down.

She better have deep pockets because that helicopter bill is going to be expensive

Dislocated shoulder? Yeah, that hurts but suck it up and hoof-it down the mountain and seek assistance at the ER. Hard to pass judgement on her initial medical condition, though. Could be stroke or heart attack, or heat exhaustion. Given she was NOT airlifted to the hospital, I’d wager a guess that turned out to be nothing serious since they just airlifted down to their regular landing zone where she would get conventional transport.

As for cost, given it was CHP’s Air 70, that lift was likely freebie. Different story had it been CalStar offering ALS and a trip to the hospital via helo.

About 6 weeks ago, I was in an almost identical situation on a trail south of SLO. The dislocated shoulder (upper arm out of shoulder socket) is moderately painful but, if put in a sling, it doesn’t get noticeably worse walking out carefully.

I did have assistance from another mountain biker with the first aid and from a couple of trail runners in monitoring me and pushing my bike as I walked out. It is a bonus of living in an area like this that so many people are willing to go out of their way to help a stranger. Thanks, trail angels!

I dislocated my elbow this January snowboarding on a powder day in big bear. I had my friend pull my hand and it popped back into place. I then rode all the way down the mountain in a white out. I iced it and put it in a sling for 2 weeks. Never went to the doc, healed on its own in about 6 weeks. No ski patrol, helicopters, hospital bills, insurance, etc. Just dont be a pussy.

But being a dick is OK?