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Wilderness Medicine

Lyme Disease Even Scarier? Maybe

August 24, 2013 by Clifton Castleman

Lyme Disease (Photo: National Pest Management Association)

Doctors for too long have resorted to a “knee-jerk diagnosis” of Lyme, often to their patients’ detriment, but the new studies show that we need a much broader view of “all the illnesses tiny ticks can carry, the big problems they can create, and what doctors and patients can do to stem the tide.”[read more]

Are You Tasty to a Mosquito?

July 15, 2013 by Clifton Castleman

Henrik Larsson, Getty Images

Whether you’re one of those people who gets eaten alive by mosquitoes depends on some pretty tangible factors, and Smithsonian Magazine runs down the reasons that make an estimated 20% of us especially delectable to those buzzing little bloodsuckers.[read more]

Tick Season Has Begun: Are You Prepared?

June 6, 2013 by Clifton Castleman

Warmer weather is here and with it comes more time spent outdoors hiking, gardening, biking and enjoying other fun activities. Unfortunately, the warm weather also encourages the emergence of ticks and increases your risk of contracting Lyme disease.[read more]

Hyponatremia – Overhydrating on the Trail

February 28, 2013 by Clifton Castleman

Water is an amazing thing – it keeps you going. Literally. However, your body is made of up SALT WATER, not fresh water. By drinking TOO much water, you actually change out the composition of your blood from 70% saline to 50%-70% fresh water (called hyponatremia).[read more]

Blister Prevention, Management & Treatment

February 11, 2013 by Clifton Castleman

Blisters are the number one foot ailment encountered by hikers – and they can turn the greatest hike into the most painful one. Blisters can be avoided by proper foot training; having the correct footwear and socks, and by early detection of possible problems. To help protect your feet, know the causes of blisters, how to prevent and treat them.[read more]

Trench Foot – A Common Ailment of Hikers

January 31, 2013 by Clifton Castleman

An acquaintance of mine once lost all the feeling in his toes for three months from “trench foot.” He was lucky, in the end, that he suffered no permanent damage. How did this happen? Well, you might guess that he froze his toes off in pursuit of an extreme adventure — high-altitude mountaineering or dog sledding across the North Pole — but no. He was backpacking, in June, near his home in Wyoming.[read more]

The Coldest Journey: Q&A with Dr. Rob Lambert, Expedition Team Doctor

January 17, 2013 by Jane Grimsley

Dr Rob Lambert

Before he left the UK to fly to Cape Town and join the rest of the Coldest Journey team we managed to catch up with Dr. Rob Lambert, expedition team doctor, and get a little more background on the journey he faces and why the DRX Transportable is going with them.[read more]

50+ Uses of a Triangular Bandage

January 10, 2013 by Clifton Castleman

We are always harping on MacGyvering (or using something for a reason other than its intended purpose). Here are just a few neat ways to do that with a simple triangular bandage (or neckerchief for that matter)! We’re not saying that these are all great uses… just that they’d probably work. Enjoy![read more]

Taking Ibuprofen to Avoid Altitude Sickness?

June 24, 2012 by Clifton Castleman

If you’re the type who likes to hike, ski, or mountain climb, you may want to double check to make sure you’ve got ibuprofen in your first aid kit – and not just for muscle and headaches, but also to aid in preventing altitude illnesses such as Acute Mountain Sickness, HACE, & HAPE.[read more]

Diabetic Emergencies 101

February 8, 2012 by Clifton Castleman

One of the leading causes of amputation and disability in the United States, diabetes is an endocrine problem where the pancreas fails to produce adequate amounts of insulin, or perhaps doesn’t produce any insulin at all.[read more]

10 Myths About Outdoor Medicine – Debunked

January 13, 2012 by Clifton Castleman

There are many myths related to outdoor medicine. These need to be “debunked,” so that people do not fall prey to outdated and useless techniques. Here are some of the most common myths (in italix):[read more]

Copperhead Snakebites

January 12, 2012 by Clifton Castleman

The general perception that copperhead bites are less severe than those of other pit vipers, namely rattlesnakes, is no doubt true. It is also likely true that coagulopathy (propensity to bleed) is not as much of a problem with copperhead bites. However, the wise clinician will remain vigilant.[read more]