Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Lightning Injuries

The Wilderness Medical Society ( is publishing a series of guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of a number of outdoor medicine-related issues, such as high-altitude illnesses and frostbite. The most recent is an article about prevention and treatment of lightning injuries (Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 2012;23:260-269). Aspects covered include:

  • Epidemiology (Regional Considerations: Weather and Geography)
  • Trends in the United States, Physics and Physiology 
  • Prevention (Behavioral Strategies, Shelter, Lighting Position, Group Safety)
  • Lightning Detection Technology
  • Lightning in a Mountain Environment 
  • Lightning in a Water Environment 
  • Injuries and Treatment (Triage and Resuscitation [Reverse Triage, Resuscitation], Cardiovascular, Neurologic, Dermatologic, Eye, Ear, Psychiatric and Neurocognitive, Pregnancy) 
  • Disposition and Evacuation. 

This article is an excellent place to begin for the practitioner interested in learning more about lightning injuries and being led to an extensive reference list on the topic.


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Tags: General Interest

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.