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Wilderness First Aid


CPR has limited use in a wilderness setting. ... Punctate burns. Feathering or ferning burns. Linear burns. Care for a Lightning Injury ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Wilderness First Aid

Chapter 24
  • Wilderness First Aid

Wilderness First Aid
  • Wilderness describes situations including
  • Recreation
  • Occupations in remote areas
  • Urban areas with overwhelmed EMS
  • Remote communities
  • Developing countries

Cardiac Arrest (1 of 2)
  • CPR has limited use in a wilderness setting.
  • CPR is difficult to continue during a wilderness
  • It is recommended that CPR be stopped after 30
    minutes if the victim does not respond.

Cardiac Arrest (2 of 2)
  • CPR for hypothermia victims
  • Continue for more than 30 minutes
  • CPR for avalanche victims
  • Continue for more than 30 minutes if necessary
  • CPR for lightning-strike victims
  • Start CPR immediately
  • CPR submersed victims
  • If victim has been submersed for more than 60
    minutes, do not start CPR

  • In a wilderness situation, reducing some
    dislocated joints is recommended.
  • Reducing is a technical term that means aligning.

Shoulder Dislocation
  • Recognizing shoulder dislocation
  • Victim is in extreme pain.
  • Upper arm is held away from the body.
  • Victim is unable to touch the uninjured shoulder
    with the hand of the injured extremity.
  • Compare the injured shoulder with the uninjured

Care for Shoulder Dislocation (1 of 2)
  • Traction and External Rotation Method
  • Gently pull the arm out to the side while another
    provides countertraction against the chest wall.
  • Tell the victim to relax.
  • Pull and gently rotate the arm into a
    baseball-throwing position.
  • Stabilize the arm.

Care for Shoulder Dislocation (2 of 2)
  • Simple Hanging Traction
  • Hang injured arm off the side of a high,
    cushioned surface.
  • Attach a weight to the victims lower arm.
  • Muscles will stretch and tire, allowing joint to
    pop back in.
  • Stabilize the arm.

Finger Dislocation
  • Recognizing a finger dislocation
  • Deformity and inability to use or bend the finger
  • Pain and swelling
  • Abnormal position of two bones

Care for a Finger Dislocation
  • Hold the end of the finger with one hand and the
    rest of the finger in the other.
  • Gently hyperextend the dislocated joint.
  • Pull gentle traction.
  • Push the dislocated bone into place.
  • Unbend the finger.
  • Buddy-tape it.
  • Splint.

Kneecap Dislocation
  • Recognizing kneecap dislocation
  • Patella has moved to the outside of the knee
  • Victim is in pain.
  • Compare to other leg.

Care for Kneecap Dislocation
  • Slowly straighten the knee while gently pushing
    the kneecap back into position.
  • Stabilize the leg straight.
  • With the knee extended and stabilized, victim may
    be able to walk with an aid.

Spinal Injury
  • Recognizing a possible spinal injury
  • Is the victim alert and oriented?
  • Does the victim have any major painful injury?
  • Victim complaining of neck pain?
  • Victim have tingling, numbness, or weakness in
    the extremities?
  • Check for neck tenderness.
  • Determine if victim have sensation in hands or

Clearing a Spinal Injury
  • The victim does not need to be stabilized in one
    position if
  • Completely alert
  • Not intoxicated
  • Has no distracting injuries
  • Does not complain of neck pain
  • Can feel normal touch
  • Can move the fingers and toes

Care for a Spinal Injury
  • Use your hands or knees to hold the victims head
    in place.
  • While kneeling at the victims head, use your
    hands or knees to stabilize the neck in relation
    to the long axis of the spine.
  • Avoid moving the victim if possible.

Splinting Femur Fractures
  • Victims with femur fracture can easily lose 2
    quarts of blood and develop massive swelling.
  • If needed, splint the fracture.

Avalanche Burial
  • Falling masses of snow that may also contain
    rocks, soil, or ice.
  • Number of deaths has increased rapidly since the
  • Most avalanche victims die of suffocation.
  • Speed of extrication and existence of an air
    pocket are the main factors that determine

Recognizing an Avalanche Victim
  • Avalanches kills and injure in two ways.
  • The serious injury victim acquires while tumbling
    down the avalanche path.
  • Snow burial and suffocation.

Care for an Avalanche Victim
  • Quickly free victims head, chest, and stomach.
  • Send for help.
  • Clear airway and check breathing.
  • If not breathing, begin CPR.
  • Check for severe bleeding.
  • Examine for and stabilize spinal injury.
  • Treat for hypothermia.

Altitude Illness
  • Hypoxia
  • Occurs when the bodys tissues do not have enough
  • Acute mountain sickness (AMS)
  • High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)
  • High-altitude cerebral edema (HACE)

Recognizing Altitude Illness
  • Typically strikes during the first 12 hours
  • Symptoms include
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath with exertion

Care for Altitude Illness (1 of 2)
  • Seek medical help if any of the following
    symptoms appear
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath while resting
  • Noisy breathing
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting

Care for Altitude Illness (2 of 2)
  • Most people get better with rest as the body
  • If condition doesnt improve
  • Descend 2,000 to 3,000 feet
  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluid

  • Lightning injures in five ways.
  • Direct strike
  • Splash
  • Ground current
  • Contact injury
  • Shock wave

Recognizing a Lightning Injury
  • Absent breathing
  • Seizures, paralysis, loss of responsiveness
  • Minor burns
  • Punctate burns
  • Feathering or ferning burns
  • Linear burns

Care for a Lightning Injury
  • If more than one victim has been struck, go to
    the quiet and motionless victim first.
  • Start CPR if victim is not breathing.
  • If victim is unresponsive, but breathing, place
    on side.
  • Stabilize the spine.
  • Check for injuries.
  • Evacuate to medical care even if responsive.

Wild Animal Attacks
  • Incidence is not known
  • Perhaps one or two deaths occur each year in the
    United States
  • Most often occur in rural or wilderness settings
  • If you encounter a wild animal, try to remove
    yourself from the scene quietly and slowly.

Recognizing Wild Animal Attacks
  • Severe injuries result from victims being thrown
    in the air, gored, butted, or trampled on the
  • Injuries include puncture wounds, bites,
    lacerations, bruises, fractures, rupture of
    internal organs, and evisceration.

Care for Wild Animal Attacks
  • Depending on the severity of the injury, either
    evacuate the victim to medical care or contact
    local authorities for evacuation.

Wilderness Evacuation
  • Determining the best way to evacuate a victim
    must be based on several factors.
  • Victim can be evacuated by
  • Helicopter
  • Walking out
  • Being carried on a litter

When to Evacuate
  • Immediate evacuations
  • Rapidly evacuate when medical care is needed in
    30 to 60 minutes or less.
  • Delayed evacuations
  • Medical care should be obtained within 6 to 24
    hours of injury.

Guidelines for Ground Evacuation
  • At least two people should accompany victim if
    victim is walking out.
  • One or two people should be sent to notify
    authorities that assistance is needed if a victim
    needs to be carried out.

Guidelines for Helicopter Evacuation
  • Evacuate only if the following conditions apply
  • Victims life will be saved
  • Pilot believes conditions are safe
  • Ground evacuation would be dangerous or prolonged

Signaling for Help
  • Signaling aircraft
  • Construct a large V or X on the ground
  • A series of three of anything indicates Help.
  • Three shouts, three shots, three light flashes
  • Mirror flashes
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