Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wilderness First Aid Introduction/Action Checklist

Dijukno time is critical when determining if you can just administer first aid, or have to evacuate a patient out of the wilderness?

Things to consider:

Is the trail rough?
How far along the river are you from the trailhead?
How long do you have to travel on the long paved road to get to a medical facility?
Is it hot or cold outside?
Is it going to rain or how much?
Is there lightening or an approaching storm?
How strong is the wind?
How much daylight do you have?

Something to remember about Wilderness First Aid is that you have to think on your feet, and improvise.  Figure out what resources you have for treatment, or initiating the Emergency Medical System (EMS) to someone in the outside world.  Depending on your location and environment, you may have to get creative with your treatment.

Those of us who live, work, or play in isolated areas should be responsible, and be able to act appropriately in an emergency situation.  First aid, Wilderness First Aid, and other extended care skills can be learned with minimal expense.  These educational opportunities are regularly available in many communities from around the world.

Here is an example checklist to help you focus on caring for a person you may find during your outdoor experience.

_ Take a deep breath.  Stay calm.  Take charge.  Be quick, but not hasty.  Act fast-but go slow.

_ Size up the situation, and make sure the scene is safe before stepping in to help.

_ Perform an initial assessment, and treat the patient for any immediate threats to their life or limbs.

_ Perform a focused exam and history.  Examine the patient for problems, and gather information.

_ Sit down, take a deep breath, look around, and plan what you are going to do.  A treatment needs to be                                           
   considered, and carried out, an evacuation may need to be prepared, or help may need to be requested.

_ Decide to stay or go-fast or slow?  If you have to evacuate the patient, decide if you need to move    
   quickly, or at a more leisurely pace.

_ Keep a written record of the emergency.  Be ready to give a verbal report for the EMS system.

_ Act in the best interest of the majority if with a group.

Here's a couple of Wilderness First Aid education links:
National Outdoor Leadership School
REI Outdoor School

Making Your Own Survival Bracelet

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