1. #1
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    Default Corn Picker Extrication

    Does anyone have any experience with extrication of a person from a corn picker?

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    Smile corn picker extrication

    Are you referring to a combine ? If so feel free to contact me at cgage0729@cfl.rr.com

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    Actually i was referring mainly to the husker bed area of a corn picker (rollers)

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    husking beds frequently have rubber teeth that can be cut with a large tin snips. if someone is stuck between the axles of the husking teeth, cut the sheet metal around the axle bearing and rmeove additional material above the axle bearing mount to allow the axle to be spread upward. if you need pics or a video, I may be able to find one. If you are referring to the snapping rolls. Use a high pressure bag and spread them. However, you must place a wedge above and below to prevent the roll from rotating while you spread. The wedgs also capture progress as you spread.

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    We have never had to do an actual extrication from a corn picker but have practiced several different scenarios. Locally we have had several farmers injured in corn picker accidents but the last incident was over 15 years ago. I personally know 4 individuals that lost or mutilated at least 1 hand by reaching into the snap rollers to pull something out.

    As for the husking bed -there is so little space between the mechanisms that if you were pulled into it you would not survice. You would have a recovery not a rescue. I have asked several older farmers and no one knows of any one ever getting caught in the picker past the rollers.

    In the removal of an individual from the rollers the easiest and quickest is to disassemble the rollers from their mounts. There is very little room to get hydraulic tools, cutters or spreaders, into and saws or torches take about the same length of time as disassembly. You have to have EMS ready when you remove the rollers because the pressure will be released quickly and as with any compression injury there are nasty side effects when the pressure is released.

    I hope this helps.

    Brad

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    We had an incident like this several years ago and I was just wondering if any others had similar incidents or used an alternate method to remove the individual. Our patient was caught mid forearm in the rollers ( to my recollection I think there were alternating textured metal and rubber coated rollers) and was apparently able to keep himself from being pulled further into the machine but the rollers devastated his arm ( very little space between them maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of and inch). The method we chose was to use a hydraulic spreader and a wedge. (not enough room to place an air bag on this particular machine) It became evident that as we spread the rollers and relieved the compression that he would start bleeding, we counteracted this by cutting his sleeve off and placing a BP cuff on his bicep. as he began to bleed we just pumped it up a bit. Being that we had never tried this before we confirmed use of the tactic with medic and flight nurse upon their arrival (who suggested we keep it inflated to about 100) which worked nicely. The extrication took about an hour and the pt lost his arm at the elbow. Again I could find very little written on this subject and was just looking for other options.

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    It would certainly be a good idea to think about the pt's physiological response to the removal of whatever is trapping him, whether it's a vehicle, a paper roll, or a piece of machinery. When you release someone, crush injuries have a tendency to dump all sorts of nastiness back into the blood stream, in addition to the loss of all sorts of fluid, not just blood.

    To prevent this, a very good solution would be to apply a tourniquet to the extremity, as close to the injury as possible without being on a joint. Proper tourniquet placement is key, as you want to stop deep arterial flow completely. If you only use a BP cuff at 100 mm/mg, you're simply stopping venous flow, what little there might be after a crush injury. That might help prevent septic waste products from flowing back into the body, but it won't stop blood and interstitial fluids from leaving. It MIGHT slow down the loss of fluids, MAYBE.

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    I had thought of a tourniquet at the time but being that I'm only an EMT I decided to consult those on scene with a higher level of training than I had (The Paramedic and Flight Nurse) (they agreed with the bp cuff)Dumping "nasty's" back into the blood stream wasn't something I had contemplated or even considered as a factor. Based on the fact that the patients hand was mutilated and the rollers had worn a "U" shape into his flesh on both the top and bottom of his forearm. My main concern was blood loss and him going into shock as well as hypothermia (it was 5 def F that evening) These factors being compounded by loss of daylight and dropping temperatures and the fact that we were dealing with farm equipment that we were not familiar with caused me to focus on the things i had control over and could control at the moment (moving metal and controlling bleeding). The medics had a line started and were monitoring the patient, I along with my crew focused our efforts on extrication. Although I agree that systemic poisoning from the body's own nastiness is certainly a possibility given some of the examples you listed.. In this case blood "return" into the body wasn't an issue it was mostly running out.

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    Through our local FF training college they offer a "Farm Extrication course". I would check with the closest college and talk to a few implemnet dealers in the area to see if they can assisit you in providing some equipment to study.

    Might be something worth investigating. We are in a fairly rural area with farm calls being common. The big thing to remember, as with all situations, is your personal safety.

    Equipement that suddenly becomes "unplugged" or "unjammed" could have an incredible amount of stored energy and rescuers run the risk of entrapment themselves. Disconnect all PTO shafts and cut belts if required.

    Be safe!

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    The "Farm Extrication Course" is a great one and highly suggested for anyone working in a rural community. In my area, 10 minutes from the large metro areas you can encounter combines and other heavy farm equipment. The class also goes over entry/extrication for silos and other farm tanks/buildings.

    In addition to FEC, contact your implement dealers. As mentioned before, they will most likely let you look at some equipment to see how it works and how to take it apart. Ask your implement dealer and his best mechanic to be "on-call" to assist in extrications - whether that means as just a technical resource, or whether they are going to bring specialized tools to the game. They are often available 24x7 to help their customers, and will likely support you (and their customer and neighbor) during an emergency.

    If you need more information on the FEC, PM me. I have a great resource person available right down the street.

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