Risk Management & First Aid

The Risk Management and First Aid Group focuses on managing safety in outdoor programming.

Wilderness Medicine

Observations, questions and dialogue on wilderness medicine topics.
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Wilderness Emergency Medical Services

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog I am frequently asked to write articles for magazines, chapters for textbooks, and commentaries for journals. Almost always, these are published, but sometimes a publishing...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Handling Patient Handoffs

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog One of the most dangerous times for a patient is during the transition, or "handoff," between providers. This is due to a number of reasons. First, the original...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Hot Water for Jellyfish Stings

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog There are multiple therapies recommended for field therapy (first aid) for jellyfish stings. These include topical decontaminants, such as vinegar (acetic acid), rubbing...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    High Altitude Pulmonary Edema

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    We don’t see many cases of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) in the Wind Rivers, so last night’s case was a surprise. It was in many ways a classic scenario. The patient, a middle aged woman, started her backpack into the Winds two days...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Mechanical Supports for Ankle Sprains

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog Much of how we know to practice medicine for the outdoors, including medicine in remote wilderness environments, comes from what we learn in the urban setting. For...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    The NOLS Incident Database is 25 years old!

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    I vividly remember back to 1984 when the late Jim Ratz, then NOLS’ Executive Director, gave his endorsement to the concept of identifying and recording NOLS's risk management incidents. Jim’s support helped us work through our aversion...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Planning Food for Wilderness Expeditions

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog The Wilderness Medical Society held its Annual Meeting in Snowmass, Colorado from July 24-29, 2009. The meeting was very well attended and once again demonstrated...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    iPhone Medical Apps: TickDoctor

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog Dr. Jeremy Joslin is a wilderness medicine aficionado and has without question posted the greatest number of intelligent and useful comments to posts at this blog...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Nutrition Needs for Rescuers and the Rescued

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog This is the next post based upon a presentation given at the Wilderness Medical Society Annual Meeting held in Snowmass, Colorado from July 24-29, 2009. The presentation...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Charles Houston MD

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    Charles S. Houston MD passed away on September 27 th at the age of 96. We have lost a great presence in wilderness medicine and mountaineering. You may recognize Dr. Houston as the author of Going Higher: Oxygen, Man, and Mountains, the wonderful layperson...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Heat-related Illnesses

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog This is the next post based upon a presentation given at the Wilderness Medical Society Annual Meeting held in Snowmass, Colorado from July 24-29, 2009. The presentation...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Avalanche Injuries

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog It was recently reported that a man buried by an avalanche for nearly 8 hours survived after being found with an avalanche probe. According to the victim, he was buried...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Picaridin-Based Insect Repellent

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog There is a plethora of insect repellents on the market. Many of the newer repellents are intended to replace DEET (N,N diethyl-m-toluamide), which is an excellent...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Wilderness Medical Society 25th Annual Conference

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    The 25th Anniversary and Annual Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society will be held in Snowmass, Colorado, July 26-30, 2008. You can learn more about the meeting and register at www.wms.org/. The meeting has 49.5 continuing medical education (CME)...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Tick Attachment Sites

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog The first issue of Volume 19 of the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine has just been published. It contains some very interesting information, some of...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Canadian C-Spine Rule

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog Christian Vaillancourt, MD and his colleagues recently published an article in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine (2009;54:663-671) entitled "The Out-of...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog We're in ski season and so a few unfortunate individuals will suffer few knee injuries. A while back, a reader asked me to describe an uncommon injury, which is...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Frozen Autoinjectors and Armpits

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    I recently exchanged emails with a fellow who asked if it was acceptable to freeze the auto-injector in his first aid kit. I told him of course not, you may not have time to thaw the medication. Now curious, I intentionally froze four expired EpiPens®...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Spring is coming and so are the Ticks

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    Spring is on the way in the Northern Hemisphere so it will soon be time to put away winter gear and get ready for other activities. Warmer weather also brings out ticks. Understanding the life cycle of ticks and tickborne illnesses is a critically important...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Packweight and Injury Study

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    I sit here with a brace on my left knee reading Injuries Relating to Hiking with a Pack during National Outdoor Leadership School Courses: A Risk Factor Analysis, published in the current edition of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. It’s not...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    New Tick-borne Virus with high mortality rate identified in China

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    A newly discovered tick-borne disease in China is caused by a never-before identified virus. The new virus, SFTSV, stands for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome bunyavirus and can cause those infected to experience fever and multiple organ failure...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Hand Washing and Harness Suspension Injury

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    We believe most of the diarrhea and flu-like illness on wilderness trips is caused by poor hand hygiene. In hospitals 5 to 10% of hospitalized patients acquire health-care associated infections during a hospital stay. There is an excellent and thorough...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Brief Introduction to Search and Rescue

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    by Paul Auerbach, M.D. reposted with permission from the Medicine for the Outdoors Blog Finding lost persons in the wilderness is, unfortunately, increasingly necessary as greater numbers of persons explore in the outdoors. Beyond the need to find explorers...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Consensus Altitude Guidelines

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    Folks The Wilderness Medical Society convened an expert panel to develop evidence-based guidelines for prevention and treatment of acute mountain sickness, high altitude cerebral edema and high altitude pulmonary edema. These recommendations are published...
  • Wilderness Medicine

    Wilderness Medical Society Meeting WFA Discussion

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    On Sunday evening July 25 th Tony Islas MD, president of the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) hosted a meeting of wilderness medicine providers at the summer meeting of the WMS. All of the major providers were represented, including the Red Cross and...
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