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.
Jul 12 2012
Treating Severe Heatstroke with an External Cooling System
Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency. Therapeutic cooling measures need to be undertaken rapidly in order to prevent the catastrophic organ failure associated with markedly elevated body temperature. The general dictum is to cool the vic...
Mar 22 2012
The Hazards of Indoor Tanning
Ever since I was a medical student, wise dermatologists have reminded me, “There is no such thing as a safe tan.” True tanning requires skin exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), and therein lies the problem. UVR causes skin cancers, notably...
Feb 27 2012
Risk-taking Behavior and Helmet Use in Skiers
The general consensus in the medical community regarding helmet use and skiing (also snowboarding) is that helmets should be worn to prevent or lessen head injuries related to falls and collisions. While a helmet may not significantly lessen de...
Jan 17 2012
Snowboarding and Wrist Injuries
This post relates information learned in the most recent issue (Volume 22, Number 3, 2011) of the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, published by the Wilderness Medical Society. In an article entitled “Snowboarding Injuries in ...
Nov 21 2011
Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for Frostbite
Led by Scott McIntosh, MD and his colleagues, the Wilderness Medical Society has published "Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Frostbite" (Wild Environ Med 2011:22;156-166). These guidelines are intended to provide clinicia...
Nov 18 2011
Ski Helmets and Reaction Time
Ski season is upon us. Many experts (including myself) are of the opinion that helmets should be worn by all downhill skiers and snowboarders to help prevent head injuries. One of the “con” arguments proposed by some persons who object to weari...
Oct 24 2011
Emergency Veterinary Medicine
There is a lot written about how to take care of people in the outdoors, but what about our “furry friends?” In the textbook Wilderness Medicine, there is a chapter on Emergency Veterinary Medicine. Given that we are apt to hike or camp with pe...
Oct 03 2011
Mass Casualty Incident Response in Antarctica
Isolated environments combined with austere circumstances sometimes call for extraordinary measures, and in particular call for planning in advance for situations of multi-casualty incidents. Many, if not most, austere settings are in outdoor o...
Jul 25 2011
How to Prevent Drowning
As summer continues in North America, and for anyone who goes near the water during any time of year, prevention of drowning is very important. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) takes its responsibilities on this issue seriously, and in ...
Jun 23 2011
FDA Announces Changes to Sunscreen Rules
Preventing skin cancer and skin aging are the most important goals of using sunscreens, which should be applied to all exposed skin from an early age. From the FDA website, here is an important announcement and additional information: On June...