Wilderness first aid


Wilderness first aid is one of those things that, if you have all the gear, information and training, you probably won't need to use. Maybe this is because groups that sufficiently prepare themselves are also relatively safety-conscious and don't get into trouble in the first place. The fact that you are isolated and far from help should inform everything you do whether that is handling hot pots over a fire or running a rapid. Prevention is much less painful and expensive choice than a wilderness. Proper preparation is vital for wilderness first aid. Take a first aid course before your trip. It is useless to have a well stocked medical kit if you don't know how to use it. There are a lot of excellent first aid courses available through organizations. The problem is that most first aid courses assume that the ambulance is 10 minutes away and that the victim can swiftly be transported to a hospital. Attempt to find a wilderness or backcountry-oriented course if you can.

What to do?

A CPR course is recommended if you are going to do a lot of canoeing; artificial resuscitation is a hands-on skill and cannot be learned from a book. The Airway, Breathing, and Circulation concept may save the life of someone in your group. Remember that all near-drowning victims must be seen by a doctor as fast as possible. Even if the casualty seems fine and is eager to go, complications associated with water inhalation is almost certain to arise. On a short trip you might carry a basic first aid kit. Kit should include a checklist which you go over before every trip to ensure that everything is there. On a longer trip or with a larger group one will carry first aid book as well as a medical kit, which should be carried separately from the first aid kit. The best advice is to visit your family doctor, wilderness medicine book in hand, and tell him or her about your journey. Hopefully you will be able to get the prescriptions needed for a long or remote trip. Good news is that you may enjoy a life span of canoeing without a serious mishap.

Conclusion:

Serious injury or illness in remote areas will involve evacuation to medical facilities. In researching trip you should find out any inhabited areas along your route. Most people living in the bush have some form of radio communication and may be able help. If you are trying to flag a plane down in an emergency, light three fires to attract attention: three of anything is a universal signal for help.

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