Aircrew Survival: Survival Medicine circa 1990 FAA Federal Aviation Administration

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First aid tutorial: ‘Aircrew Survival: Survival Medicine. Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute’

Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

Wilderness medicine is defined as a medical emergency which takes place in a wilderness or remote setting which is at least 60 minutes away from definitive care (hospital, clinic, etc.) and present unique challenges that may require specialized skills, treatment techniques, and knowledge in order to manage the patient for an extended period of time before being evacuated…

First aid

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is the specific discipline of First aid which relates to care in remote areas, where emergency medical services will be difficult to obtain or will take a long time to arrive.

Locating the victim precedes assessment and intervention and in the case of wilderness response is often a difficult matter.[citation needed] Specialists in white water rescue, mountain rescue, mine disaster response and other specialties are often employed. In some cases, emergency extrication procedures at incidents such as automobile accidents are required before assessment is possible. Once the location of the victim has been determined, a trained responder has been dispatched and successfully reached the victim can the ordinary first aid process begin. Assessment is then enabled and it follows carefully specified protocols which have been refined through a long process of evaluation.

Specific conditions

– Exposure, sometimes called hypothermia, is a normal hazard of temperate wilderness. It occurs when a person’s core body temperature falls below 33.7C (92.6F). If a person is wet, in a mild wind, it can occur in less than an hour at temperatures as high as 15°C (59°F).

– Heat syncope: heat exhaustion or sunstroke Both maladies tend to occur during heavy exercise in high humidity, or with inadequate water. Some chronically ill persons enter this state normally.

– Burns There are many types of burns including; scalds, flame burns, flash burns, chemical and electrical burns. Each type of burn can be very variable, effecting different layers of the dermis and can cover varying degrees of the total body surface area (TBSA). For that reason, it can be very hard to treat, especially in remote or harsh environments.

– Cramps There are two basic causes of cramping. One is inadequate oxygenation of muscle, and the other is lack of water or salt. Cramps from poor oxygenation can be improved by rapid deep breathing, and stretching the muscle. Cramps from lack of salt and water can be treated by stretching the muscle, drinking water and eating salt. Cramps occur when lactic acid builds up because of normal anaerobic muscle metabolism. When the muscle burns sugar without enough oxygen, it makes lactic acid. The lactic acid finally becomes concentrated enough to trigger the contraction of the muscle. When the muscle lacks salt, the nerves firing the muscle are unable to recharge properly, causing a similar effect.

Insect and animal bites

– Anaphylactic shock. Insect bites as well as exposure to allergens can trigger anaphylaxis in some people. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency because of rapid constriction of the airway, often within minutes of onset.

– Altitude sickness can begin in susceptible people as low as 8,000 ft. The early symptoms are drowsiness, feeling unwell, and weakness, especially during exercise. Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

– Wounds The care of significant wounds in the wilderness presents a great challenge. Lack of access to sterile supplies and hospital care renders useless many aspects of routine wound care. The care of wounds can be broken down into acute care (immediate) and chronic (long term – day to day care)…


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