If you’re planning to go camping this summer, someone may get injured. If you’re in a remote area where you won’t be able to get to a hospital quickly and where first responders will have trouble reaching you, wilderness first aid may mean the difference between life and death.
Figure out If Anyone Else Is in Danger
You may not see an accident occur and know exactly what happened. If the victim was hurt in a fall down a rocky hillside or got bitten by a venomous snake, rescuers can also be in danger. Identify any potential hazards so you and others don’t get hurt while trying to provide first aid.
Use Personal Protective Equipment
Wear gloves when evaluating and treating a patient. That can protect you from blood and other fluids and reduce the risk that the injured person will develop an infection. That danger can be particularly high in a wilderness environment.
Assess the Nature and Severity of an Injury
If the victim is conscious and able to speak, ask what happened, what hurts, how severe the pain is, and if you have permission to provide first aid. If the person has a cut or a broken bone, remove clothing if necessary so you can examine the wound and determine how severe it is. Provide appropriate first aid, such as cleaning and covering a wound or setting a fracture.
If the victim is unconscious, check to see if the individual is breathing and clear the airway if necessary. Check for a pulse and take blood pressure and temperature readings if you have access to necessary equipment. Record vital signs to share with medical personnel later.
Check the person from head to toe for other injuries. The individual may be focusing on the most severe injury and may not realize that there is another serious injury to another part of the body. A person with a spinal cord injury may lose feeling in limbs. Don’t try to move a patient with possible spinal damage. That could make the condition worse.
Gather the Victim’s Medical History
Ask if the patient has any medical conditions that may impact the type of care you provide. Inquire about any prescription and over-the-counter medications the individual takes and whether the person was taking them on a regular schedule prior to the accident. If the individual didn’t take medication for some reason, that may have contributed to the accident and may impact the way you will care for the patient.
Inquire about the person’s food and water intake. If the individual was hiking on a hot day and didn’t drink enough water, dehydration may have played a role in the accident. Provide the patient with plenty of water.
Pack a First Aid Kit for Your Camping Trip
In the wilderness, accidents can be serious, and medical care may not be readily available. Order a first aid kit from 1st Aid Supplies so you’ll be prepared to help if necessary.