Steve Marzolf [editorial/content/strategy/copywriting]

work I've done, who I've done it with and what's happening now…

Wilderness E.R.




It’s tough to dig fall foliage with a tree limb gouging your pal’s torso. Here are some backwoods medic tips so you can play hero. See you on Dateline

Sliced: When your buddy’s need to knife-juggle turns your hike into a slasher flick, apply firm pressure for 10 minutes directly to the gash, says Dr. Paul S. Auerbach, author of Wilderness Medicine. If anything’s poking out – bones, robot innards – don’t put it back; you’ll introduce more bacteria. If your pal suddenly has clammy skin, a racing pulse, and shallow breathing, elevate his legs 30 degrees to pour blood back toward his heart to stave off shock. Camping is fun!

Smashed: When a limb is crushed by a falling Redwood, don’t try to amputate, regardless of how hopeless it seems or how bloodthirsty you are. “Once you cut a limb off … it’s off,” Auerbach says. But if the victim is trapped and your distance from doctors far outweighs his fear of shopping for single shoes, apply a tourniquet above the wound and just saw through it. Yum! If your pal doesn’t lose too much blood, he could have a full life of pirate impressions ahead of him.

Bitten: Assuming your trail bud wasn’t mauled to death by that kill-crazed liger, the key after an animal attack is to fully clean out the wounds. A bear, a wildcat, or an angry unicorn has more germs in its mouth than Amy Winehouse. According to Dr. Luanne Freer, a medical director at both Yellowstone and the Mount Everest Base Camp ER, “Simple dish soap will kill the rabies virus and get out the bacteria that can cause complications in the weeks to come.” So don’t forget to pack the Palmolive.

Gouged: Arrows, ski poles, javelins – no matter how ghastly it looks, don’t pull it out. Besides possibly shredding up more tissue, you’ll eliminate the one thing you’ve got going for you: a plug – the perfect stabilized state. “If it’s occluding a big blood vessel and you take it out, the person could bleed to death,” Auerbach says. If it’s not bleeding too badly, you have a little time (up to a day) before an infection kills him. “So, dude, you feel like finishing the hike and then heading to the ER?”

Burned: First, apply bandages. Then wrap them in plastic – keeping air off the scorched nerves diminishes the pain. And don’t underestimate simple meds. “Any anti-inflammatory will help,” says Freer. “I give Ibuprofen to some burn victims, even if I have narcotics.” Drinking lots of fluids is key. The body can lose liters of water in a few hours when there’s no skin left to retain it. In the meantime, give your ailing chum a stern talking to about how enflamed humans start forest fires, too. 

Written by Steve

December 9, 2008 at 3:45 am

Posted in Maxim

Tagged with , , ,

%d bloggers like this: