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.

  • Jul 01 2013

    In Advance of a Wildfire

    The tragedy of 19 firefighters of the Granite Mountain Hotshots from Prescott, Arizona being killed attempting to control the Yarnell Hill fire is beyond measure. The hot and dry environmental conditions being experienced by this nation have l...

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  • Feb 11 2013

    Topical Ivermectin Lotion for Treating Head Lice

    In a situation of poor hygiene and shared living quarters, particularly overseas, you may acquire head and/or body lice, which make their homes predominantly in hair-covered areas of the body. The overwhelming symptom is itching. To search for...

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  • Feb 04 2013

    Public Health Interventions and Snowmobile Fatality Rates

    Snowmobile fatalities are tragic events. Advocating speed limits, particularly at night (when riding in darkness) and not drinking alcohol are policies that have been attempted. Snowmobile accidents continue to occur. The American College of Em...

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  • Jan 28 2013

    Physician Warnings for Persons with Impairments

    As a physician, I sometimes identify persons with conditions that make them vulnerable to accidents and injuries. Physical or emotional disabilities, a pattern of substance abuse, forgetfulness, dementia, poor physical condition, and many other pr...

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  • Jan 21 2013

    Computer Modeling and the Risk of All-Terrain Vehicle Rollover

    All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have been associated with accidents. For the uninitiated, they may appear safe and easy to operate, but the fact is that they are heavy and powerful machines that must be carefully operated to avoid mishaps. The Amer...

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  • Jan 14 2013

    Death From a Brown Recluse Spider Bite

    “Emergency Department Death From Systemic Loxoscelism” (Annals of Emergency Medicine 2012;60:439-441) describes the unfortunate death of a 3-year-old child resulting from a brown recluse spider bite. In this case report, the child died from sev...

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  • Jan 02 2013

    Impulse Buying for Safety

    One of the best perspective pieces to come appear in a long time was published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (367;15:1381-83, 2012). Authored by Deborah A. Cohen, MD, MPH and Susan H. Babey, PhD and titled “Candy at the Cash R...

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  • Dec 10 2012

    Risk Factors for Death within 30 Days of "Passing Out"

    “Syncope” is medical jargon for “passing out” – becoming unconscious for a period of time, then waking up. This certainly happens to people from time to time when they are outdoors, and is always disconcerting. Sometimes the cause is easily det...

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  • 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 ...

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  • 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...

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About the Author

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