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.
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...
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...
Oct 01 2012
Nifedipine for High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
In the Spring 2012 issue of the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine appears an article by Rajesh Deshwal and colleagues entitled “Nifedipine for the Treatment of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema” (WEM 23, 7-10, 2012). It is an interesti...
Jul 25 2012
Pulse Oximetry and Predicting Acute Mountain Sickness
In the most recent issue of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine appear two articles on a similar topic. The first is an article by Dr. Dale Wagner and colleagues, entitled “Oximetry Fails to Predict Acute Mountain Sickness or Summit Success...
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...
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...
Jan 23 2012
Lightning Safety Awareness
This post relates information learned in a recent issue (Volume 22, Number 3, 2011) of the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, published by the Wilderness Medical Society. In an article entitled “Lightning Safety Awareness of Vi...
Dec 19 2011
MedWAR: Medical Wilderness Adventure Race
This is another post derived from a presentation given at the 2011 Annual Summer Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society. Michael Caudell MD from the Medical College of Georgia gave an excellent talk entitled “Scenario-Based Learning in the W...
Nov 21 2011
Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for Frostbite
Led by Scott McIntosh, MD and his colleagues, the Wilderness Medical Society has published "Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Frostbite" (Wild Environ Med 2011:22;156-166). These guidelines are intended to provide clinicia...
Nov 14 2011
Stinging nettle plants, courtesy of Dezidor (CC BY 3.0)Hikers often brush up against injurious plants, such as poison oak or thorny shrubs. One particularly vexing plant is the “ubiquitous weed, Urtica dioica,” commonly known as stinging nettl...