AWLS Blog

Zika Virus and Avoiding Mosquitoes

Zika Virus and Avoiding Mosquitoes

Cooper John Feild shares a timely update on Zika and preventing mosquito bites. Zika virus is the latest of mosquito-borne illnesses to hold a commanding presence in the news. This is with good reason; as of only days ago, suspicions that Zika can cause microcephaly...

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April Showers: Hygiene in the Wilderness

April Showers: Hygiene in the Wilderness

Poor wilderness hygiene can lead to urinary tract infections, nasty rashes, GI illnesses, dental infections, and more. Learn how to avoid these problems and deal with #1 and #2 while protecting the environment.

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Assessing and Treating Hemorrhage in the Wilderness

Assessing and Treating Hemorrhage in the Wilderness

Initial Wilderness Assessment You are hiking in the backcountry with a friend when you come across someone being mauled by a bear. The two of you are able to scare the bear away and go to check on the moaning victim. You immediately note trauma to his face and brisk...

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Wilderness Medicine: Tsunamis

Wilderness Medicine: Tsunamis

“In the immediate setting, the smashing tsunami waves put victims at risk for both submersion and traumatic injuries. If you find yourself caught in the water, protect your airway by grabbing onto something buoyant and swim to safety.” Learn more…

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Medical Aspects of Avalanche Rescue

Medical Aspects of Avalanche Rescue

Imagine this: you are backcountry skiing on your vacation in Switzerland and your partner is about to take the first run down a beautiful line of fresh powder.  As you watch him turn gracefully through the snow, the ground beneath him begins to crack.  He has...

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Can We Prevent Blisters?

Can We Prevent Blisters?

Blisters - a common problem with potentially devastating consequences.  A blister is a pocket of fluid in the intradermal layers as a result of friction.  Without intervention, these pockets of fluid can grow and rupture, exposing the sensitive and unprotected lower...

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Frostbite Prevention and Management

Frostbite Prevention and Management

In our last post, we explored the classification and pathophysiology of frostnip and frostbite.  Now we will look into frostbite prevention and management. Frostbite management is a continuously evolving science.  However, the absolute best way to manage frostbite is...

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Hypothermia Assessment & Treatment in the Wilderness

Hypothermia Assessment & Treatment in the Wilderness

A person with moderate hypothermia will have an altered mental status and will eventually stop shivering as they use up their energy reserves. If they lose vasomotor tone, the hypothermic patient may feel overheated and want to take off their clothing/layers as warm blood from the core suddenly floods the extremities.

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Cold Weather Injuries: Frostnip and Frostbite

Cold Weather Injuries: Frostnip and Frostbite

Winter has arrived, bringing with it cold injuries including chilblains (pernio), frostnip, and of course, the dreaded frostbite. FROSTNIP Frostnip is a superficial nonfreezing cold injury due to vasoconstriction. The skin will be pale and may have paresthesias or...

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