The First Aid when in the Outdoors
Having some basic principles of outdoors firs aid and actually having the skills to apply them is one way to increase your survival chances when get lost.
You don’t know how important treating a minor injury may become until you’re dealing with the emergency. After all, last thing you want to think of when lost in the night is to treat a minor injury.
It’s not about having the solutions and ailments for all the injuries that could happen to you in the outdoors, but it’s more about learning the fundamental principle of first aid that you may confidently apply in many situations.
Take a look at our tips that even if they’re only general guidelines, may be of great help when in the outdoors. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check with a physician if you’re looking for a more specific medical information.
What are first aid priorities
If you’re going to practice firs aid, you must also identify what you should treat in the first place. You may start by checking how dangerous it is for you to give the first aid. You don’t want to move any casualty either as you may not observe all of his injuries.
Of course, you may think through these tips since you don’t want to leave you casualty there if the danger gets greater. You may also secure the area, keeping you safe at the same time.
Unless your casualty gets difficulties while breathing, you should never move anyone with a suspected neck or spinal injury either.
Here’s the list of priorities when giving the first aid:
You need to check if the airway is open and the victim is breathing. When someone loses his consciousness, he has no control over their muscles which means that the tongue may block the airway.
You may easily clear it using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique. Using this way, you’re going to pull the tongue away from the air passage in the throat.
Once you cleared the airway, it’s also important that you place the unconscious victim in a recovery position. Here’s how:
- Place the victim on his/her side, while having the uppermost leg at a right angle to the body. Try as much as you can not to move his/her neck if you’re suspecting a spinal injury
- Support the head using the uppermost arm
- Tilt the head back so that the airway remains clear
You need to stop any bleeding and this shouldn’t be that difficult since most external bleedings (open wounds are such) should be treated in the same way:
- You should press together the sides of the wound, using your fingers or, even better, a sterile dressing. Some clean clothing may do too if you don’t have anything else to use.
- You need to lie down the victim and lift the wounded part above the level of the heart. This step is fundamental for slowing the bleeding.
- Continue by bandaging the wound firmly, without cutting off the circulation to the area.
In case you’re suspecting an internal bleeding, you may only prevent the shock that is about to happen. Getting medical attention may be crucial.
Shock is caused by a general body weakness and it may appear in all cases of accidents. The victim may feel anxious, weak, faint or restless. You need to keep him/her quiet and warm, supporting him/her as much as you can.
The cold injuries
You may want to look for the useful information on hypothermia and frostbite treatment as they may be as dangerous as some internal bleeding.
Always take with you a wilderness first aid kit that has to include materials for the first aid. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in your backpack an easy-to-read basic first aid instruction book either.