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Case Study: A Backcountry First Aid Mystery from the ’80s

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Feb 13, 2019

Fashion trends might change, but some things don't! NOLS students backpacking in the mountains. Photo from the NOLS Archives.

This is a tale from the early 1980s. Reagan was President, the internet and cell phones only a dream, and disco thankfully on its last legs. Two friends and I had recently learned wilderness medicine skills through an advanced first aid course, which was an early generation of the Wilderness First Responder (WFR).

Read along to see how you would react to a similar first aid situation today.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, altitude illness, case-studies, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine

Case Study: Finding a Sick Person High in the Mountains

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Aug 15, 2018
Photo by Ashley Wise.


The Setting

You are a Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer working with a team to sweep a trail in the central Rocky Mountains in response to a vague cell phone report of an ill person somewhere on the trail. Eight miles from the trailhead at 8,800 ft. (2,680 m) you find the patient sitting on a log. After introducing yourselves, and with the patient's permission, you and the SAR team members begin an assessment.

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Topics: First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, altitude illness, case-studies, Wilderness Medicine

Quiz: Managing Altitude Illness

By Ben Lerman on Aug 8, 2018
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Topics: First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, altitude illness, quizzes, Wilderness Medicine