Medicine for the Outdoors | Expert Column
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.

  • Dec 03 2012

    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 ...

    Read more »

  • Nov 30 2012

    Performance Enhancing Drugs and High Altitude

    In the current issue of the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, there is an interesting dialogue about the use (and abuse) of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to achieve greater heights or to ascend in the mountains at a more rap...

    Read more »

  • Nov 21 2012

    Caving Injuries in the United States

    Caving is a sport that is practiced worldwide with increasing enthusiasm. Like every other outdoor adventure, it has its unique epidemiology of accidents and injuries. In an article entitled “The Epidemiology of Caving Injuries in the Unite...

    Read more »

  • Nov 14 2012

    Rhodiola Crenulata Extract Doesn't Prevent Acute Mountain Sickness

    It’s amazing how many remedies are being suggested and tested as prophylaxis against acute mountain sickness. I think one of the reasons is that to do the tests, the investigators usually take a trek to someplace interesting or even fun, like t...

    Read more »

  • Nov 12 2012

    Blood Clotting Profiles in the Management of Copperhead Snake Bites

    This post is mostly for the doctors, but may be of interest to herpetologists and others interested in snake venom poisoning. Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) snake bites are traditionally not difficult for physicians to manage, because the...

    Read more »

  • Nov 06 2012

    Atrial Fibrillation, Abnormal Heart Rhythms, and Stroke

    When the atria (“upper,” smaller chambers of the heart) are fibrillating (quivering) instead of fully contracting in a rhythmic fashion, then these chambers of the heart are not emptying with each heartbeat, and residual swirling blood has a c...

    Read more »

  • Nov 01 2012

    Honey for Nocturnal Cough

    Honey is a useful substance in a pinch for putting into an open wound to prevent or limit bacterial growth, and is touted by some to have anti-seasonal allergy properties. Now there is a study that appears to confirm its usefulness as a remedy...

    Read more »

  • Oct 29 2012

    Overdiagnosis and Mistreatment of Malaria

    At a medical meeting where I was recently lecturing about the intersection between wilderness medicine and disaster medicine, a wise person from the audience reminded the listeners that if they really wanted to be prepared to participate in gl...

    Read more »

  • Oct 25 2012

    Injury Patterns and Safety Practices of Deer Hunters

    Hunting and fishing injuries are common. Injury prevention programs and safety interventions are optimally determined by understanding the nature of accidents and injuries. The American College of Emergency Physicians held a Research Forum in a...

    Read more »

  • Oct 22 2012

    Ski Patrols and Emergency Medical Services

    In the most recent issue of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine appears an article by Drs. Ben Constance and David Johe, and me, entitled “Prehospital Medical Care and the National Ski Patrol: How Does Outdoor Emergency Care Compare to Trad...

    Read more »


About the Author

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