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Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:02 pm

With OR having his recent issue with his heart got me thinking about, how many folks
here really have any training in wilderness first aid, something like this: http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/wildfirstaid.shtml or similar?
Do you know how to diagnose, and treat a burn, hypothermia, heart attack, animal
bite, or a break/sprain? If not, are you expecting someones help (SAR), or are you
just winging it, and you'll just deal with it when it happens (hope not)?
Do you know what to do if your out with your fishing buddies, and one of them gets hit
by lightening, every second counts? What about if you son falls into a river in the
backcountry, and you have to resuscitate him, SPOT ain't gonna be fast enough in
either cause, and if no one is near by with the knowledge, then what?
Being able to diagnose and treat at least some of the basic issues that may arise sometime
in our backbacking careers, or to a loved one, or friend who may be with us, is something
all of us should know!
Personally it would be even worse if a family member or good friend was with me and
got injured or died because I did not take the time to educate myself or take a course
(which I have), it really could be the difference between life or death for you or them!
Should we not all take on the personal responsibility to learn the basic's of wilderness
first aid before embarking on our wild adventures?

Test you knowledge by clicking on the link, than on the green start button, and answer the
16 questions.
http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/sto ... Aid-Test-1
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Wilderness First Aid

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:23 pm

There was this little thread with some pointers on the topic as well:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=518&hilit=wilderness+mountaineering+medicine
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Re: Wilderness First Aid

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:28 pm

Yeah saw that Russ, that was back at the end of 2005, lots of new members since then.
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Re: Wilderness First Aid

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:30 pm

Just didn't want to lose the knowledge there as this thread moves forward.
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Re: Wilderness First Aid

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:41 pm

Yeap, understood. Only 7 member including the OP chimed in, thought that this is an
important enough subject to rehash, and hopefully get more member feedback/involvement
this time around, especially with the backpacking season just around the corner.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: Wilderness First Aid

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:05 pm

I've had first aid certification and a wilderness first aid course. It underlined for me the reality of how little you can do for someone having a cardiac event. Do I really want to start CPR when I know that it will take someone 24 hours to hike out, get in a car, get to cell reception, and call for help that may take another unknown amount of time to get there? You are not going to be able to treat serious injuries, just stabilize them until help arrives. Provide food and water. You should never expect any first aid class to allow you to TREAT medical issues.

What wilderness first aid WILL do is educate you more thoroughly on risk - what risks you take on yourself when that far from EMS and some of the things you need to do to mitigate it.

I've also learned that if you come upon someone who's been crushed and stuck under a large object that cut off circulation to an extremity for more than an hour, you do not move the object no matter what. That's a death sentence. Medical personnel with adequate supplies to deal with the situation and a helicopter need to be on site and ready to whisk the person away immediately, and even then, it's a pretty slim chance - no matter what the person will lose the limb.

Hypothermia - you do NOT move a person who is severely hypothermic. Someone who is mumbling and fumbling, you stop and re-warm him. Someone who is beyond movement and speech, you absolutely do not carry him anywhere, anyhow, not on horseback or a stretcher or anything, you bundle him up and slowly, carefully rewarm him, and send for help ASAP. If in doubt, stop and rewarm. Huge risk of cardiac arrest if you jar someone who is that far gone.

You do want to slowly walk a snakebite victim out of the wilderness, if there is any doubt about the snake's identity. Current rattlesnake protocol is to not use suction devices or to attempt to extract the poison.
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Re: Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:15 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
You are not going to be able to treat serious injuries, just stabilize them until help
arrives. Provide food and water. You should never expect any first aid class to allow
you to TREAT medical issues.


If you mean by stabilizing, bringing them back from death or the brink like in the
case of a drowned victim, lightening victim, or someone who is injured, going into
shock, and would die, than sure stabilize. Otherwise in these cases, if the initial
treatment is not administered, there will not be a victim to stabilize.
Certainly you cannot carry a triage unit worth of stuff with you, but being knowledgeable
in these cases and others sure beats guessing, and most likely making the situation worse.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Postby Ikan Mas » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:32 pm

I picked up my wilderness first aid class a few years ago via the Boy Scout Council when I was an assistant Scoutmaster. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the course, which was taught by Steve Donelan, instead of by scouters. I would highly recommend the course for anyone that is out there.

Last summer on the last few miles out from Ansel Adams, going down the Rush Creek trail toward the trailhead, I ran into several families with small children, dayhiking. It was hot, midday, and all were short of water. There was no shade and if you don't know the slope, its all rock. The common factor seemed to be a Type A father that was determined to make it to Agnew Lake. I fully expected to find a group by the trail with a member or two in full heat stroke. I guess that is where the training comes in.
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Re: Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:16 pm

I took the test.. then it wanted to make me sign in for the results. (i sign in to this place and work stuff only). The test did want me to buy a VW though :D This was not the intended target for this thread. The test, although a nice touch, was not the first thought.

As for the test, I missed 2. None of which would have helped a cardiac patient. So..

Just saying, be careful, be aware, and know how you feel, and have someone or something near you that can help.

I took my tests with the boy scouts in the 70's, and then again for fun with the wife in the mid 90's.. If it's obvious, you'll be fine.. If it's not, you'll be dead, maybe.. It really depends on where you are and what is really wrong.

Russ
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Re: Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Postby Jimr » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:32 am

I took the test too. Missed two, but I disagree with the first answer. Although the current teaching may be 2 breaths for 30 compressions (I don't know). When I was a CPR instructor in the '80's, it was 2/15 for single rescuer CPR and just because some teachings have changed, doesn't mean 15 or even 10 compressions between breaths suddenly becomes ineffective. Nowadays, they're pushing no inflation. Does that mean I am negligent if I give breaths? No. Anyway, I digress from my personal rant. I like the subject. It's been years since I've had any first aid courses. My focus back then was around water as a Divemaster. I should probably find something focused on wilderness.
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Re: Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:24 pm

Jimr, statistically speaking, CPR is generally ineffective. The percentage of people who have CPR and live is pretty low. The current "no breathing" protocol may be due in part to people doing it wrong - not tipping the head far enough to open the airway means you're inflating the stomach, not the lungs. Maybe they figure the victim is better off just having compressions? I'll ask the instructor at my next recertification.

Rescue breathing still has a place tho - if someone hits their head on a rock, the heart is going strong, but respiration stops - do rescue breathing but know that you will be doing it for a long, long time in a wilderness setting. It's possible that the person has brain damage to the area of the brain that controls respiration, so until medical help gets there...
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Re: Wilderness First Aid: Take the Test

Postby Jimr » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:52 pm

Right!
But, done correctly, it's better than nothing, even if the best that comes out of it is that you, as a rescuer, did everything you could rather than just watching somebody die and feeling helpless.

A beating heart is a much better situation than full arrest, for sure.

I think full blown CPR is generally ineffective because of exactly what you said; people are doing it wrong. There is no way one can take a 4 hour course every couple of years and hope to be effective. The only reason I became and instructor many years ago was because I knew it much better than any of the instructors I'd ever taken it from, so I was talked into it. During divemaster training, we did many mock scenarios, both through long surf zones and from boats out at sea. They used to teach checking the carotid artery for a pulse, bull crap!! It was immediately evident that in cold water, there is no way you could feel even a strong carotid and if you could, with certainty, know that the heart had stopped, what was one to do about it floating at sea? Nothing but waste time. We offed that procedure for these scenarios.

If done correctly, it could buy enough time until emt arrives. This ain't happening when help is much more than a hand full of minutes away. Very few, if any, actually revive through CPR. In these instances, the best one can do is perform it to the best of their ability until they can go no longer.
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