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.
May 17 2012
Support for Ankle Sprains
Sprained ankles are the bane of existence for hikers, trekker, and joggers—indeed for most athletes or anyone who has the opportunity to twist a foot on an uneven service, stepping over a rock, or falling into a hole. The classic first aid trea...
May 07 2012
Hand Injuries Not to Miss
Hand injuries are common in outdoor enthusiasts. Some of these injuries are easy to diagnose, and others are more difficult, usually because the signs and symptoms are subtle or because the examiner is inexperienced. Emergency physicians, such ...
May 03 2012
Probiotics and Acute Infectious Diarrhea
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are purposefully ingested by humans to improve their health—the thought is that probiotics improve “digestive health.” The specific microorganisms are commonly of the genera Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium...
May 01 2012
Recognizing Heart Attacks in Women
We have long been taught that the typical symptoms for a heart attack are substernal (beneath the breastbone) chest pain that is pressure-like or “squeezing” in nature, radiation of the chest pain to the left arm or jaw, sweating, nausea, and w...
Apr 09 2012
Texting Can Be Hazardous for Your Health
Texting is dangerous when driving an automobile, as dramatically portrayed in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine (2010;362:23) entitled “The Most Primary of Care – Talking about Driving and Distraction” by Amy Ship, MD. In the St...
Apr 05 2012
Amebic Meningoencephalitis and Neti Pots
Neti pots are devices used to irrigate the sinuses with saline solution or other liquid for cleansing purposes. They rely upon gravity and head positioning to facilitate flow of the liquid into one nostril, which is sometimes allowed to drain o...
Apr 02 2012
Clostridium difficile-associated Diarrhea is On the Rise
Micrograph of Clostridium difficileWhen one considers causes of infectious diarrhea with onset from outdoor activities, the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) leads the list, followed by germs like Campylobacter and protozoa like Giardia. Bu...
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...
Mar 14 2012
Hoofbeats Chasing the Glasgow Coma Scale
I posted recently about using a higher (minimally abnormal) Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score to determine triage of an elder patient to a facility that specializes in trauma care when an injured brain is suspected. In fact, the GCS is coming und...
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...