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New Mountain Medicine Project Launched at Sallanches Hospital

Mountain doctors form specialist unit to respond to alpine emergencies

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Alison Shayler | Chamonix Reporter | Published: 10 Nov 2015


New Mountain Medicine Project Launched at Sallanches Hospital

Driven by the experiences of its accident and emergency service, the hospital at Sallanches has created a new department specialising in emergency mountain medicine.

As part of the implementation of the “groupements hospitaliers de territoire”, all regional health institutions have been required to question and assess their strengths to offer a coherent healthcare provision in a given sector. Considering the amount of alpine accidents that Sallanches hospital has to deal with each year, it was a no brainer that their speciality would be mountain emergency medicine.

The project will be lead by Dr Frederic Champly who sees it as a compliment to the existing accident and emergency service, which will offer a high level of competence thanks to the experiences of dealing with many mountain situations over the years.

Having a centre of excellence naturally attracts the most dynamic candidates and Dr Champly’s mailbox is apparently heaving with intern applications from around the world.

Sallanches hopes that their new facility will lead the world in the development of mountain emergency treatment by carrying out research into altitude, hypoxia, frostbite, ortho-trauma and sports medicine. They hope to work in partnership with organisations such as the National School of Mountain Sports for research and training purposes.

The mountain emergency team will consist of 30 doctors, including 23 emergency staff, as well as 50 carers and an administrative team. Hopefully none of us will be requiring their services this winter.