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  1. #21

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    Hey Blissful!! (Kathleen here) Thanks for posting the link! I hadn't found it anywhere else. I agree with you on sacrificing a bit of weight now. I know I am going to be adding baby aspirin. I already always carry benedryl but I'm still wavering on that syringe.. I did take one though.. its just so bulky! The pack I had with me in class is exactly what I would have so you can see I am already on the heavy side. This summers section for me will bring me right back to Charlottesville, I wish I could time in to get down there for the WFR course. Either way, I would love to look you up when I get down there!

  2. #22
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    I took a WFA course lst spring; the thing that struck me most was the time spent on assessment v. actual treatment. My head was spinning from all the acronyms, procedures, etc. I needed to remember. It has since occurred to me that a great tool in the wilderness would be a First Aid app for a smartphone, which many thru- and section hikers carry. Mine is a Blackberry, but I haven't been able to find a suitable app for it.

    I asked NOLS, but they said they didn't "publish" one and didn't know of one available. Since you're already carrying the weight of the phone, an app seems to make so much more sense than the little WFA book. You wouldn't need a signal to access it - just enough battery power to activate the checklists, advice, etc.

    Anyone got any leads on a FA app?

    Thanks,

    Mango

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Unfortunately the water to irrigate a wound is dirty from your saliva in the tube and not sanitary enough. Better off getting a fresh bag and using aqua mira or filtered water. Needs to be as clean as possible. The syringe again weighs little and effectively cleans. And hikers have gotten off because of wound infections.
    I don't think irrigating wounds is something you will need to do on the trail. I worked for years as a Paramedic and I never irrigated wounds in the field. On the AT you are rarely more than a few hours from medical treatment. Major wound care should consist of controlling bleeding and bandaging. Irrigating major wounds (I'm talking about something like a 6" gash in the head from a fall that's bleeding like a stuck pig!) just results in more bleeding and introducing more bacteria into the wound no matter how sterile you think your procedure is.

    Minor wounds should be allowed to bleed a bit, treated with a topical antibiotic and covered. This is where I saw several people get into trouble. Small wounds that got infected and became major problems. It's just something you need to keep on top of buy keeping an eye out for infection, changing bandages and keeping the area as clean as possible. Not something that is easy in our hiking environment.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  4. #24
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    I think everyone should take a WFA class at some point, as I did during the spring of 2011 at the Green Mt. Club. A little pricey, but for a two day, 16 hour class, it was a great learning experience and I also got to meet a lot of interesting people during the class as well. But again, I think everyone should take a WFA, you will learn alot, even if you already know alot.
    "I told my Ma's and Pa's I was coming to them mountains and they acted as if they was gutshot. Ma, I sez's, them mountains is the marrow of the world and by God, I was right". Del Gue

  5. #25
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    Congrats Blissful. I finally put together a decent kit on my last hike but it still needs work. I need to take a course again as its been awhile. Something I always mean to do but haven't is put together my own aide-memoire of how to respond to different scenarios. There are alot of great resources out there but if you go through the process of writing your own notes in a little notebook and carry it in your first aid, along with your own checklist of materials, I think you would be that much more prepared and less likely to panic, even if you never had to read the notes you wrote. I hike alone, but as others have more or less said, if you come across someone else that needs help it would feel like crap if you weren't even prepared with the basics. Kudos all.

  6. #26
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    I think everyone should at least take a first aid course, maybe not necessarily a wilderness first aid course.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  7. #27
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S'mores View Post
    Hey Blissful!! (Kathleen here) Thanks for posting the link! I hadn't found it anywhere else. I agree with you on sacrificing a bit of weight now. I know I am going to be adding baby aspirin. I already always carry benedryl but I'm still wavering on that syringe.. I did take one though.. its just so bulky! The pack I had with me in class is exactly what I would have so you can see I am already on the heavy side. This summers section for me will bring me right back to Charlottesville, I wish I could time in to get down there for the WFR course. Either way, I would love to look you up when I get down there!
    Love to see you!!! I'm on facebook too. I plan to take WFR when my WFA expires in 2 years.



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  8. #28
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    occurred to me that a great tool in the wilderness would be a First Aid app for a smartphone, which many thru- and section hikers carry. Mine is a Blackberry, but I haven't been able to find a suitable app for it.


    Mango
    This is a great idea. I saw that SOLO has an app for the SOAP note but one like this would be great.



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  9. #29
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    I don't think irrigating wounds is something you will need to do on the trail. I worked for years as a Paramedic and I never irrigated wounds in the field. On the AT you are rarely more than a few hours from medical treatment. Major wound care should consist of controlling bleeding and bandaging. Irrigating major wounds (I'm talking about something like a 6" gash in the head from a fall that's bleeding like a stuck pig!) just results in more bleeding and introducing more bacteria into the wound no matter how sterile you think your procedure is.

    Minor wounds should be allowed to bleed a bit, treated with a topical antibiotic and covered. This is where I saw several people get into trouble. Small wounds that got infected and became major problems. It's just something you need to keep on top of buy keeping an eye out for infection, changing bandages and keeping the area as clean as possible. Not something that is easy in our hiking environment.

    I wouldn't think so as a paramedic in the "front country" as they call urban areas. Help is nearby. I guess the syringe idea comes into play of trying to keep a major wound as clean as possible in the back country, hence irrigation for dirty wounds. I mean I won't debate how much bacteria is added by a syringe vs leaving a dirty wound with its bacteria present alone. But with the scenarios presented, even three miles up a trail from the road (in the case presented by the instructor it was the rocks of Old Rag) and with a major injury and blood loss where the patient cannot hike, it could still take upwards of 10 hours to get a person down with rescue personnel from time of discovery. And that is if you can get a phone signal. 10 hours with a dirty wound is plenty of time for bacteria to multiply in a big wound and raise havoc in the system.
    Of course the more treacherous parts of teh AT are well away from medical help. There are many, many places on the AT that roads are a good distance away, not to mention medical help farther away than that. So this time factor could be multiplied.
    I think your last two sentences sums it up well.
    Last edited by Blissful; 02-15-2012 at 15:15.



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  10. #30
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    I think everyone should at least take a first aid course, maybe not necessarily a wilderness first aid course.
    Yes totally agree.

    CPR isn't a bad idea either. Not saying it would have helped - but at least three hikers died this year on the AT last season from cardiovascular accidents.



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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    I wouldn't think so as a paramedic in the "front country" as they call urban areas. Help is nearby. I guess the syringe idea comes into play of trying to keep a major wound as clean as possible in the back country, hence irrigation for dirty wounds. I mean I won't debate how much bacteria is added by a syringe vs leaving a dirty wound with its bacteria present alone. But with the scenarios presented, even three miles up a trail from the road (in the case presented by the instructor it was the rocks of Old Rag) and with a major injury and blood loss where the patient cannot hike, it could still take upwards of 10 hours to get a person down with rescue personnel from time of discovery. And that is if you can get a phone signal. 10 hours with a dirty wound is plenty of time for bacteria to multiply in a big wound and raise havoc in the system.
    Of course the more treacherous parts of teh AT are well away from medical help. There are many, many places on the AT that roads are a good distance away, not to mention medical help farther away than that. So this time factor could be multiplied.
    I think your last two sentences sums it up well.
    "Front country" paramedics also deal with extended delays in extricating patients to a medical facility. An example would be someone trapped in a collapse, cave in, etc. In my state of Maryland we have (as most states have) a Wilderness Protocol for EMT and EMT-Paramedic levels. At this level of training irrigation of wounds is allowed.

    If you want a recent first hand account of a major injury on the trail and how long it took to evacuate someone ask Rusty Bumper who posts here occasionally. He was medivaced off Chairback after breaking his leg. If I recall it was 4 or 5 hours and that was in the 100 Mile Wilderness. Now if they would have had to carry him down, who knows how long that would have taken.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  12. #32

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    "Since you're already carrying the weight of the phone, an app seems to make so much more sense than the little WFA book. You wouldn't need a signal to access it - just enough battery power to activate the checklists, advice, etc.
    Anyone got any leads on a FA app?
    "
    Rather than an app, perhaps think in terms of an eBook, first aid. There are free ones out there, for example, I think I have one by the U.S. Army. Very possibly whatever eBook software you have loaded has a store that sells such a book --- I carry a couple that way.

    Then I augment that with a somewhat reduced font sized version of a "Thru-hikers medical guide", which you can find various places including here: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php?58
    That way I have a one-sheet-of-paper backup for cases where for whatever reason a smartphone eBook isn't cutting it.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO

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