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 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 23 2012
Prevention of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a constellation of symptoms that occurs in persons after they have suffered a traumatic event (or multiple events). Some of these symptoms include (among many likely others): depressionanxiety,lack of...
Apr 19 2012
Stopping Seizures in the Field
Seizures, particularly of the grand mal variety, are serious business in any setting and particularly when they occur away from access to urban medical support. The vigorous, sometimes violent, muscle contractions, alteration of consciousness, ...
Apr 16 2012
A New Method for Recognizing Dangerous Snakes in the United States and Canada
In addition to recognition of definitive clinical signs and symptoms of venomous snakebite, the way to determine whether or not a biting snake is venomous is to identify it properly. In the United States and Canada, that is usually determined f...
Apr 12 2012
"Improvised Medicine" by Dr. Kenneth IsersonImprovised Medicine, subtitled Providing Care in Extreme Environments, a new book (McGraw Hill Medical; $54 U.S.) by Dr. Kenneth V. Iserson, is intended for health care practitioners who wil...
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 26 2012
Ibuprofen for Prevention of Altitude Illness
Many persons who travel to high altitude are familiar with acute mountain sickness (AMS), which is estimated to occur in more than 25 percent of the tens of millions of people who travel to sufficient altitude to become vulnerable. The usual (a...
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...