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Wilderness First Aid


Wilderness First Aid Snake Bites Snake bites If snake is identified as venomous, keep victim calm. Keep bitten arm or leg below heart level. Clean bite site with soap ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Wilderness First Aid

Wilderness First Aid
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  • Head - to - toe examination for injury should
    include Head, neck, shoulders, chest, arms,
    abdomen, back, pelvis, legs feet
  • Vital signs you can check Level of
    consciousness, pupils, pulse, skin color, body
  • respiration response to stimulus
  • But First! The Primary Survey Establish
    Responsiveness Shake Shout "Are you all
  • If there is no response, begin the ABC's of CPR

Patient Assessment
  • Scene
  • Stop / fix
  • Head -gt Toe Exam

  • S Symptoms
  • A Allergies
  • M Medications
  • P Pertinent medical History
  • L Last oral intake, last bowel movement
  • E Events

  • O Onset
  • P Provokes
  • Q Quality
  • R Radiation
  • S Severity (0-10)
  • T Time

Sample Recordings
CPR Basics
  • Hypovolemic Shock is from fluid or blood loss
  • What to look for
  • Restlessness, anxiety, weakness
  • Pale or blueish skin and lips
  • Moist, clammy skin
  • Thirst
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Weak pulse
  • What to do
  • Straighten victim's legs elevate above heart 8"
    to 12"
  • Seek medical attention ASAP - as soon as
  • Give fluids as tolerated

  • What to look for
  • Unable to speak, breathe or cough
  • Clutching neck with one or both hands
  • Wheezing, gurgling noise in throat
  • Skin turning blue or ashen color
  • Heimlich Maneuver
  • Stand behind victim with arms around victim's
  • Clench one hand over the other thumb side of
    fist pressing between the waist and bottom of
  • Apply pressure and jerk quickly upwards 4 times.
  • If alone, use your own fists and arms - or push
    down against any blunt projection.

Breathing Problems
  • Asthma
  • Pnuemonia
  • Pnuemothorax

Breathing Problems
Chest Pain
  • What to look for
  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or pain in
    center of chest that lasts more than a few
    minutes or comes and goes
  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms
  • Light-headedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or
    shortness of breath
  • What to do
  • Help victim get comfortable-usually sittng up,
    with back support, padding under the knees
  • Loosen any tight clothing and be calm and
  • Give nitroglycerin if the victim has any
  • CALL LOCAL Emergency Medical Service OR TRANSPORT

Chest Pain
  • Angina Vs. Heart Attack

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External Bleeding
External Bleeding
  • Direct pressure stops most bleeding. Place
    sterile gauze or clean cloth over wound and apply
    pressure. If bleeding doesn't stop in 5 minutes,
    replace cloth and continue to apply direct
    pressure to wound while adding pressure to
    pressure points (below).
  • Use a tourniquet only as last resort never
    apply below the elbow or knee
  • DO NOT use direct pressure on eye, embedded
    objects or open fractures
  • DO NOT rinse wound with full strenghth medicines
  • DO NOT close wounds with tape
  • DO NOT breathe or blow on a wound

External Bleeding
X marks the spot to apply pressure to help slow
Bandaging Techniques
How to Remove a Fish Hook
Head Injuries
  • What to look for
  • Unconsciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Seizures
  • Unequal pupils
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Combativeness - with victim striking out randomly
    at nearest person
  • Headache, vision impairment, loss of balance
  • Blood or clear fluid leaking from ears or nose
  • Note! The signs and symptoms of brain injury may
    be observed immediately (as listed above) or may
    slowly develop over several hours.
  • Check out the victim by asking personal
    questions name, birthday, home address, where
    they are, etc. If the victim can't answer these
    questions, it could indicate a concussion or
    closed head injury.

Spinal Injuries
  • If victim is sitting up, support their head
    between your arms and gently lean them backward -
    making sure you keep their head and neck
    immobilized - if you must go for help, stabilize
    the head on both sides with objects Tell victim
    not to move!
  • Note Spinal injuries can be difficult to
    evaluate. Some indications are pain over neck or
    spine, inability to move arms or legs, tingling
    or numbness in arms or legs, inability to wiggle
    toes or to feel your touch on soles of feet. If
    you suspect a spinal injury-- whether you are
    certain or not -- be cautious!
  • Do not move victim unless victim is in a
    dangerous place.
  • In most cases, you should just stabilize the
    victim and wait for proffessional help to arrive.

Dislocations, Sprains, and Breaks
  • What to do A dislocation is displacement of a
    bone end from its normal position at the joint
  • Example Displacement of humerus (upper arm bone)
    from shoulder socket Can cause a deformed looking
  • Arm and shoulder joints can be additionally
    stabilized by fashioning a sling and swathe as
    shown here
  • Prepare a splint with a thin board or foam board
    and wrap with bandages or clean cloth (t-shirt,
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible!
  • Splint with boot on Rest Ice Compression Eleva
  • If you suspect an ankle sprain, use the RICE
    procedures listed at left. Do not apply heat
    until at least 48 hours after the injury - If
    swelling and pain don't decrease with in 48
    hours, seek medical attention.  
  • If you are hiking and sprain your ankle -
    Construct a splint over your boot until you
    return to camp or vehicle - Once boot is removed,
    hiking is finished - Don't push an injured ankle!

Dislocations, Sprains, and Breaks
  • Check
  • Circulation Sensation Movement
  • If body part is bent or deformed, apply gentle
    traction apply a splint
  • You can fold a triangular bandage into a sling
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible with
    ANY broken bone.
  • Closed fracture - skin muscle intact
  • Open Fracture - skin broken, bone open to
  • Do not apply traction, cover wound splint as

Broken Bones
Splinting Techniques
Hypothermia and Frostbite
  • Signs Symptoms
  • Early
  • Shivering begins
  • Apathy
  • Clumsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Stiff fingers
  • Stumbling
  • Strange behavior
  • Late
  • Obvious mental deterioration
  • Incoherence
  • Unconsciousness
  • Treatment in Field Raise victim's body
    temperature with dry clothing, shelter,
    insulation (sleeping bag, blankets etc.)
    applied heat (hot water bottles, your own warm
  • Caution! Be careful not to burn skin with hot
    water. Give warm liquids to drink only if you are
    sure victim is conscious and can swallow.

Hypothermia and Frostbite
  • Frostbite
  • Frostbite is the freezing of a part of the body,
    most often the nose, ears, cheeks, fingers or
  • Causes of frostbite
  • Cold stress
  • Low temperatures
  • Wind chill
  • Poor insulation
  • Tight-fitting clothing or boots
  • dehydration
  • Clear blisters discolored skin on extremities
  • Remove victim from cold exposure, remove clothing
    from affected body parts. If warm water is
    available, put parts in warm water until thawed
    numbness decreases - Wrap parts in dry, clean
    gauze seek medical attention as soon as
    possible. Do not rub affected areas!
  • Caution! Once you warm a body part you must keep
    it warm. If you cannot protect it from freezing
    again, it is better to leave it frozen until you

Hypothermia Chart in Water
Hypothermia Chart on Land
Surviving the Cold!!
Shelter, Fire, Water, and Food
  • Finding a shelter
  • Building a shelter

Finding Shelter
  • Rock overhangs
  • Crevice or cave
  • Tree well in snow
  • Deadfalls
  • Hollow log
  • Deadfalls or woodpile
  • Brush or debris pile
  • Depression or piles in the snow or earth

Finding Shelter Cont.
Building Shelter
  • Preparing to start a fire
  • Types of Fire
  • Techniques to start a fire
  • Tricks to keep warm during the night

Preparing for a fire
  • 1. Waterproof, strike-anywhere matches are your
    best bet. Matches may be water-proofed by dipping
    them in nail polish. Store your matches in a
    waterproof container.
  • 2. A cigarette lighter is also a good way to
    produce a spark, with or without fuel.
  • 3. The flint and steel method is one of the
    oldest and most reliable methods in fire
    starting. Aim the sparks at a pile of dry tinder
    to produce a fire.
  • 4. The electric spark produced from a battery
    will ignite a gasoline dampened rag.
  • 5. Remove half of the powder from a bullet and
    pour it into the tinder. Next place a rag in the
    cartridge case of the gun and fire. The rag
    should ignite and then may be placed into the
  • 6. Allow the suns rays to pass through a
    magnifying glass onto the tinder.
  • Dry grass, paper or cloth lint, gasoline-soaked
    rags and dry bark are all forms of tinder. Place
    your tinder in a small pile resembling a tepee
    with the driest pieces at the bottom. Use a fire
    starter or strip of pitch if it is available.
  • It is important to keep in mind that smaller
    pieces of kindling such as, twigs, bark, shavings
    and gasoline, are necessary when trying to ignite
    larger pieces of fuel. Gather fuel before
    attempting to start your fire. Obviously dry wood
    burns better and wet or pitchy wood will create
    more smoke. Dense, dry wood will burn slow and
    hot. A well ventilated fire will burn best.

Types of Fire
Techniques to starting a fire
  • Modern Methods
  • Modem igniters use modem devices--items we
    normally think of to start a fire.
  • Matches Make sure these matches are waterproof.
    Also, store them in a waterproof container along
    with a dependable striker pad.
  • Convex Lens Use this method (Figure 7-6) only on
    bright, sunny days. The lens can come from
    binoculars, camera, telescopic sights, or
    magnifying glasses. Angle the lens to concentrate
    the sun's rays on the tinder. Hold the lens over
    the same spot until the tinder begins to smolder.
    Gently blow or fan the tinder into flame, and
    apply it to the fire lay.
  • Metal Match Place a flat, dry leaf under your
    tinder with a portion exposed. Place the tip of
    the metal match on the dry leaf, holding the
    metal match in one hand and a knife in the other.
    Scrape your knife against the metal match to
    produce sparks. The sparks will hit the tinder.
    When the tinder starts to smolder, proceed as
  • Battery Use a battery to generate a spark. Use of
    this method depends on the type of battery
    available. Attach a wire to each terminal. Touch
    the ends of the bare wires together next to the
    tinder so the sparks will ignite it.
  • Gunpowder Often, you will have ammunition with
    your equipment. If so, carefully extract the
    bullet from the shell casing, and use the
    gunpowder as tinder. A spark will ignite the
    powder. Be extremely careful when extracting the
    bullet from the case.
  • Primitive Methods
  • Primitive igniters are those attributed to our
    early ancestors.
  • Flint and Steel The direct spark method is the
    easiest of the primitive methods to use. The
    flint and steel method is the most reliable of
    the direct spark methods. Strike a flint or other
    hard, sharp-edged rock edge with a piece of
    carbon steel (stainless steel will not produce a
    good spark). This method requires a loose-jointed
    wrist and practice. When a spark has caught in
    the tinder, blow on it. The spark will spread and
    burst into flames.
  • Fire-Plow The fire-plow (Figure 7-7) is a
    friction method of ignition. You rub a hardwood
    shaft against a softer wood base. To use this
    method, cut a straight groove in the base and
    plow the blunt tip of the shaft up and down the
    groove. The plowing action of the shaft pushes
    out small particles of wood fibers. Then, as you
    apply more pressure on each stroke, the friction
    ignites the wood particles.
  • Bow and Drill The technique of starting a fire
    with a bow and drill (Figure 7-8) is simple, but
    you must exert much effort and be persistent to
    produce a fire. You need the following items to
    use this method
  •   Socket. The socket is an easily grasped stone
    or piece of hardwood or bone with a slight
    depression in one side. Use it to hold the drill
    in place and to apply downward pressure. Drill.
    The drill should be a straight, seasoned hardwood
    stick about 2 centimeters in diameter and 25
    centimeters long. The top end is round and the
    low end blunt (to produce more friction). Fire
    board. Its size is up to you. A seasoned softwood
    board about 2.5 centimeters thick and 10
    centimeters wide is preferable. Cut a depression
    about 2 centimeters from the edge on one side of
    the board. On the underside, make a V-shaped cut
    from the edge of the board to the depression.
    Bow. The bow is a resilient, green stick about
    2.5 centimeters in diameter and a string. The
    type of wood is not important. The bowstring can
    be any type of cordage. You tie the bowstring
    from one end of the bow to the other, without any
  • To use the bow and drill, first prepare the fire
    lay. Then place a bundle of tinder under the
    V-shaped cut in the fire board. Place one foot on
    the fire board. Loop the bowstring over the drill
    and place the drill in the precut depression on
    the fire board. Place the socket, held in one
    hand, on the top of the drill to hold it in
    position. Press down on the drill and saw the bow
    back and forth to twirl the drill (Figure 7-8).
    Once you have established a smooth motion, apply
    more downward pressure and work the bow faster.
    This action will grind hot black powder into the
    tinder, causing a spark to catch. Blow on the
    tinder until it ignites.

Water Purification
  • Finding Food
  • Trapping Food
  • Fishing
  • Cooking Food

Heat-Related Emergencies
  • if it is hot, you may be the victim of heat
    cramps, heat exhaustion or, in extreme cases,
    heat stroke.
  • (Note An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
    cure. Drink plenty of liquids to avoid
    heat-related emergencies.)
  • Heat Cramps These are the least serious and
    usually occur in the leg muscles due to loss of
    body salts from heavy perspiration. Move to a
    cool place, rest, affected muscle and drink water
    (cold water if available).
  • Heat Exhaustion This can become serious and is
    indicated by cold, clammy skin, slightly elevated
    temperature and possibly loss of consciousness.
    Move immediately to cool place and elevate legs,
    give cool water, and seek medical attention ASAP
    - as soon as possilbe.
  • Heat Stroke This is the most serious
    heat-related problem, and the typical symptoms
    are hot, dry or wet skin, 105 temperature or
    higher, usually loss of consciousness - Move
    immediately to cool place and elevate head and
    shoulders. After victim is cooled, transport
    immediately to nearest medical facility - Heat
    Stroke is life-threatening!
  • Caution! Be careful not to give liquids orally if
    victim is unconscious or cannot swallow.

Treatment of Heat Emergencies
  • Most burns in the field are thermal (heat) burns,
    caused by fire, over-exposure to sunlight,
    certain chemicals and hot surfaces or substances.
  • Note If clothes catch on fire, STOP - DROP -
  • You can assist by smothering with blankets,
    sleeping bags, etc.
  • For measuring body surface, the palm of your hand
    is about 1
  • 1st degree - Red/pink, hot skin 2nd degree -
    Red/skin blisters 3rd degree - Deep
    layers/charred skin
  • What to do
  • Determine the severity of burn (first, second and
    third degree burns increase in amount of skin
    layers destroyed)
  • Remove clothing from burned area (if burns aren't
  • Douse with cool water until pain stops
  • Cover with dry, nonstick, sterile dressing, keep
    area clean
  • Watch for signs of infection and dehydration
  • If burn is over more than 15 of body, or appears
    to be deep (second or third degree) - seek
    medical attention immediately
  • Do not
  • Apply ice
  • Break blisters if it can be avoided
  • Apply any type of salve, ointment, sprays or
  • Pull or cut away clothing around deep burns

Burn Severity
Burn Severity
Burn Severity
Burn Severity
Animal Bites
  • Animal Bites
  • Very rare in the field. But if you are bitten and
    skin is broken, wash wound with soap and water.
    Apply pressure to control bleeding.
  • If the attack was unprovoked, consider the
    possibility of rabies. Notify authorities as soon
    as possible. Seek medical attention if needed.

You dont have to be faster than the bear, just
faster than the person you are with!!
What to do in case of a bear!
Insect Bites
  • What to do
  • If stung by bee or wasp, all you usually have to
    do is wash area with soap and water, apply cold
    pack for 15-20 minutes, relieve pain with aspirin
    or other pain reliever and relieve itching with a
    cortisone cream
  • Note If victim is known to have allergic
    reactions to insect stings - seek medical
    attention immediately! Antihistamines, such as
    benadryl can relieve allergic reactions
  • If bitten by a venomous spider, such as the Black
    Widow or Brown Recluse, or even stung by a
    scorpion, clean bite or sting with soap and water
    and apply cold pack. Seek medical attention as
    soon as possible with any bite or sting!
  • Black Widow
  • Shiny black with red hourglass shape on lower
  • Brown Recluse
  • Thin, brownish spider with a violin-shaped mark
    on top of head
  • Ticks
  • Remove tick with tweezers, wash the area with
    soap and water, keep tick!
  • Beware of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme

Black Widow
Black Widow Bite
Brown Recluse
Brown Recluse Bite
Brown Recluse Bite
Snake Bites
  • Snake bites
  • If snake is identified as venomous, keep victim
    calm. Keep bitten arm or leg below heart level.
    Clean bite site with soap and water. Keep victim
    from walking, if possible. Immediately transport
    to nearest medical facility!

Corel, Copperhead and Cottenmouth
Poisonous Plants
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Moving a Victim Safely and Effectively
  • Moving a victim can be done in a variety of ways,
    some of which are shown here
  • Remember
  • Do not make injury worse by moving victim
  • Do not move a victim with spinal injury
  • Do not leave unconscious victim alone
  • Do not move victim without stabilizing the
    injured part
  • One-Person Move
  • Two-Person Move
  • The safest way to carry a victim is on an
    improvised stretcher or litter (using poles and
  • Fashion a Stretcher

One Person Move
Two Person Move
Making a Stretcher
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