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.
Aug 23 2012
Drowning is a tragedy that disproportionately affects the young. There was a poignant article in the Wall Street Journal on August 16, 2012, by Douglas Belkin that pointed out that drowning events appear to be more frequent than usual this summ...
Dec 22 2011
Submersion Injury: Prevention is Key
This is another post derived from a presentation given at the 2011 Annual Summer Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society. Tracy Cushing, MD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine gave an excellent presentation on submersion injury—...
Aug 08 2011
Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River
The following is a book review I wrote that was just published in the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine: Running Dry by Jonathan Waterman (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic; 2010,$26 U.S., 305 pages, hardcover) is in many wa...
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 06 2011
Artificial Breathing in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
The compression stage of CPR.Recent guidelines recommend that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) be done with compressions only, eliminating the requirement for the untrained rescuer to attempt to breathe for (ventilate) the victim. This effe...
May 31 2011
Diving with a Disability
Charles James Shaffer (U.S. Navy) learning to SCUBAOutdoor recreation is intended for everyone, and can be enormously beneficial for persons with disabilities. I am in awe of disabled skiers, climbers, divers, and others who have learned to coo...
May 26 2011
Mouth-to-Mouth Breathing Versus Mask-Assisted Breathing
When a person performs cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) resuscitation (CPR), it is sometimes recommended to provide rescue breathing. This is certainly the case when the primary cause of the victim’s difficulty relates to failure to breathe ad...
May 12 2011
Hand Protection for Scuba Divers
I was contacted for advice recently by a scuba diver who had sustained a sting on her fingers after being required to hold onto a rope underwater. She and her fellow divers were caught in rough waters, and needed to hang on to a rope suspended ...
Apr 11 2011
Rescue Essentials: The Outdoor Gear You Need
Wilderness medicine folks are often considered to be “gearheads.” That is, we love to try out new outdoor equipment, whether it is for our activities, search and rescue, or personal safety. Improvisation is important, but it’s better to have wh...
Dec 27 2010
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - Using Oxygen as an Emergency Treatment
photo by Mckeeman at en.wikipediaThese comments are based upon a presentation given at the Wilderness Medical Society Annual Meeting held in Snowmass, Colorado from July 24-29, 2009. The presentation was entitled “Introduction to Hyperbaric Oxy...