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.
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 19 2012
The Spread of Plague in Prairie Dog Towns
A news report in the summer of 2010 announced that a group of anthropologists had solved the “long-standing mystery” of how it might be that the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis, persisted in the prairie dog population after a wipeout of the pr...
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...
Mar 08 2012
New DERMABOND ADVANCED™ Topical Skin Adhesive
DERMABOND ADVANCED™ Topical Skin AdhesiveDERMABOND has been around now for quite a while. I use it frequently in the emergency department, and sometimes in the field. For smaller cuts and those on children (who might dread needles and stitches)...
Mar 05 2012
Skin Patches to Treat Seasonal Allergies
Spring hay fever season will soon be upon us. We will sneeze, our throats will be scratchy, our noses will run, and our eyes will weep. Grass pollen is the major culprit in the allergic reaction. To combat the symptoms, billions of dollars will...
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...
Feb 21 2012
Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono) and the Outdoors
There are a number of diseases that are not commonly thought of as outdoor-related afflictions, but all the same, do have implications for persons who engage in outdoor activities. This may be because the diseases limit abilities or because the...
Feb 13 2012
Modification of Glasgow Coma Scale for Injured Elders
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a score that is used to assess mental status, particularly in the evaluation of injured persons. It is frequently used to determine if a patient should be transported to a trauma center. Here is the GCS scorin...
Feb 09 2012
Caring for Patients
There will be times in the outdoors when you’re called upon to become a caregiver. The technical issues aside, there is an art form to taking care of patients. Recall how you feel when you are ill. You may be frightened, needy, weak, vulnerable...
Feb 06 2012
Binge Drinking is Dangerous
In terms of drug abuse, both indoors and outdoors, alcohol leads the list. It is the most easily obtained drug, legal, socially acceptable, and marketed heavily to the same demographic most likely to show poor judgment in its use—namely, teenag...