Resources

This resource archive is in development and will grow over time.  The guidelines and papers listed below reflect to some extent the ones that are freely / easily available on the internet.

Avalanche medicine

    • Managing avalanche victims.  Finding them is the first job (often limited by geography, resources and skills available, not dwelled on here).  Chances of survival depend on how long a person has been buried, whether they were injured in the process and whether their airway is open and not obstructed.  This is a developing area in which modern resuscitation techniques are making significant impacts on. Remember, you aren't dead until you are re-warmed and dead.  Below are some of the most current papers.  Interestingly, "vital signs" include moving, responding and breathing in the ICAR protocol, but the WMS one also includes a pulse check (not always easy to obtain buried in snow).

Exertional / Heat related conditions

First Aid kits.  

    • Personal First Aid kit.  Often related to the activity and how isolated you might be.  Discussion on personal kits can be found here.

Frostbite management

Hypothermia management

    • Baby Its Cold Outside.  In spite of the dangers of hypothermia and the extensive evidenced based research on its management, there are still lots of myths that persist in mountain culture about what to do when someone gets cold.  This paper from the Canadians (it gets pretty cold there) is excellent and includes a simplified “Cold Card” aide memoir to help you remember what to do. “Cold Card” to Guide Responders in the Assessment and Care of Cold-Exposed Patients  “Cold Card” hi-res images of cards can be found here, and here.  Though there is significant debate regarding the merits of making a mildly hypothermic patient sit / lie down for 30mins …. discussion found here.
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Management of Medical Problems in the mountains

Other useful stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else

    • ECGs.  Some multi-sport events now require athletes to undergo a medical assessment prior to competing.  This might also include an electrical assessment of the hearts function, more commonly known as an ElectroCardioGram, or ECG.  In very fit and well trained people the trace of the heart can produce rhythms that are different from the rest of the population, but normal for that person.  Below is an excellent interpretation guide from the British Journal of Sports Medicine (intended for healthcare professionals). International criteria for electrocardiographic interpretation in athletes: consensus statement

Pain management 

    • Managing acute pain after a traumatic accident is one of the most important  things that can be done for the victim of an accident. Pain reduction improves both physiological and psychological outcomes.  Its also one of the areas that is consistently over looked or under treated. A standing order or carefully made guideline by a doctor can allow named and trained providers to administer strong pain relief in the prescribers absence.  The management of pain in those with significant injuries, like to the head and chest requires advanced skills though. WMS has and excellent introduction to this area. Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Pain in Remote Environments: 2014 Update

Psychological First Aid

    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  No only can accident victims suffer from psychological problems, so can the witnesses of these events.  A few people are left with ‘scars’ that last for years and change their lives. There follows a simple guide to understand how these problems occur and ways to mitigate them here.  The paper that evidences ways to mitigate against ‘stress injuries’, follows …. Five Essential Elements of Immediate and Mid-Term Mass Trauma Intervention: Empirical Evidence

Trauma