Posts Categorized: Ask the Expert

Wilderness Medical Associates Experts answer your questions about wilderness medicine. Learn everything from when to use a tourniquet, what to do in the event of an avalanche, advice on giving CPR, and even how to locate a medical director.

Have a question for one of our experts that is not answered here? Fill out our Ask the Expert form, and one of our Wilderness Medical Associates experts will be in touch. Your question may even be featured in the Ask the Expert section of our site.

What is the best way to cool off a heat stroke victim? The simple answer? Using the resources at hand, aggressively lower the person’s body temperature to 39°C (102.2°F) as quickly as possible.  Anything longer than 30 minutes has the potential to have more profound and long lasting pathophysiologic effects. The debate about treatment revolves…

Q: What do you think of burn gels, specifically those containing tea tree oil? A practitioner from a burn center recently made a comment during a web presentation that we in the field should stop using cool, wet towels in favor of a burn gel for partial thickness burns. I have not found FDA approval…

Frequently, following a blow to the head, even without ever experiencing a concussion, people can develop a post concussive syndrome (PCS). The symptoms of PCS include headache, insomnia, feeling more tired than usual, blurry vision, light sensitivity, difficulty concentrating, feeling off balance, and emotional lability.

If there was nothing else available, would ingestion of a steroid cream be a suitable and effective alternative for prednisone?

Q:  I have noticed that some outdoor organizations are moving away from carrying injectable epinephrine into the field.  Would an antihistamine (e.g., Benadryl) work just as effectively to treat allergic reactions?  What do you think about the Benadryl strips? Even though some people are reluctant to carry epinephrine (delivered via autoinjectors like Epipens or a…

Q: Does Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training provide authorization to administer medications in the field? I have my WFR training for my camp job.  My boss told me that because of state law I cannot administer any medications to our clients, not even over-the-counter items like antibacterial cream or ibuprofen. There is no one set of laws that uniformly governs this kind…

If the stuff works, it seems it may reduce possible contact with blood borne pathogens to staff.

Water is essential for all body functions. It aids in digestion in both direct and indirect ways.

It is difficult to know how to respond to H1N1.  Last spring schools were closing with the first whiff of a possible infection.  Now, kids who are sick are segregated until they can be sent home.  Schools are unlikely to be closed unless the numbers of absentees are large enough to prevent normal function or…

Is there a standard in wilderness medicine training? Authors of an editorial and article that appeared in the Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Journal earlier this year (Vol 20, 106 and 113-117) argued that there is no standard in wilderness medicine training for outdoor educators. In addition, they suggested that organizations offering this training have curricula…