Evisceration...Ewwww!

By John Hovey

Sep 29, 2008

Trauma to the abdomen can tear through the abdominal wall and, in some cases, expose the patient's intestines or other internal organs. This is a serious emergency called an evisceration, and it requires prompt evacuation from the wilderness and transport to a hospital. Infection, bleeding, and drying of the organs are all concerns.

The Wildernes EMT's prehospital care of this injury must include bandaging over the injury with a moist, sterile gauze dressing. The organs must be kept warm and moist, and they should not be touched. Definitely don't try to push them back in to the patient's abdomen! That is the job of a surgeon.
Evisc01

Note: this photo shows WEMT student Aaron Inouye suffering a *simulated* evisceration. How do we create these moulage injuries? Take a WMI Wilderness EMT course to find out!

Written By

John Hovey

Up Next

Beyond Limits and Proud: LGBT & NOLS Wilderness Medicine Experience

I entered the Wilderness First Responder course nervous.

It was January, four months prior to my first season as a rafting guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon for AzRA Discovery. The WFR certification through NOLS Wilderness Medicine would grant me the final two certifications I needed.

I was nervous for a couple reasons: First, my medical knowledge was limited to watching Grey's Anatomy on TV prior to the course; second, I was unsure how I would be triggered or invalidated in my Queer identity through the nine-day course.

Read More