Wilderness First AidThis course covers the basics of first aid with a Red Cross first aid certification and then applies them to wilderness or help-delayed situations such as when out backpacking or after an earthquake.
If bleeding is more than minor and you are somewhere or in a situation when you can't expect an ambulance, what can you do?
How do you get out a tick or a fishhook?
Should the person with the head injury walk out or stay put?
How can I improvise a splint or roller bandage?
Is it true that rattlesnake bites are actually rare and non-life threatening?
Why is dehydration worse at altitude?
What is the best over-the-counter pain management for burns?
What is meant by climb high, sleep low?
How far apart should people be during a lightning storm?
Do bears really bluff charge?
What methods of food storage from animals are currently the most recommended? Will I have to defend my food from bears?
(The sources of answers to this information are listed below.)
What do students think of the class? Go to: Health 57 A and C student evaluations
Hlth 57A (Health 57A)
First Aid in the Workplace, Community and Wilderness
is a one-unit class offered at least once a year, often most quarters at De Anza.
The course description is:
Designed for certification in American Red Cross First Aid. Students will gain knowledge and skills necessary to recognize and provide basic care for injuries and sudden illness until advanced medical personnel take over. Adaptations for a wilderness environment, including altitude, lightning, heat and cold emergencies, sudden illness, injuries, leadership, decision making, resource management, victim protection and transport.
Upon successful completion of the course, each participant will receive an American Red Cross certification in First Aid (valid two years).
We start with the complete American Red Cross First Aid course, including material on recognizing emergencies, protecting yourself, prioritizing care, sudden illness, wounds, injuries to muscles, bones and joints, and heat/cold related emergencies.
We usually meet for only four sessions, not all quarter. At the last class session, after the written test for Red Cross certification, students who only want the Red Cross material can leave (especially if they applied for a pass/no pass grade at De Anza).
But most students stay for the whole class, because even if you don't backpack or stray far from quick 911 help, you might want to know how to handle emergencies when 911 can't respond right away, such as after an earthquake or other natural disaster.
Enrollment and registration steps are at: http://www.deanza.fhda.edu/admissions/
Go to Health 57A for details about the next class.
wilderness first aid outline
If you don't have any way to come to Cupertino to take this class, then here's a reading list.
The following is where the wilderness material for this class comes from. Many of these books are available at public libraries. If your local branch doesn't have one on the shelves, they can order it for you from another library.
The Red Cross has digital versions of textbooks, including American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid. digital Wilderness and Remote First Aid manual
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Wilderness First Aid, Emergency Care For Remote Locations. Sudbury, Ma:Jones and Bartlett, 2005.
American Alpine Club. Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2000, etc.
American National Red Cross, The. Emergency Response. Boston, Ma: Staywell 2001
American National Red Cross, The. First Aid - When Help is Delayed Instructor's Guide. St. Louis, MO:Mosby Lifeline, 1996
American National Red Cross, The. Wilderness First Aid Basics, 2000
Auerbach, Paul S. Medicine for the Outdoors. New York, NY: Lyons Press 1999
Barry, Jenna, managing editor and the Wilderness Medical Society, Wilderness Medicine (newsletter) Colorado Springs, Co. 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Campbell, John Emory. Basic Trauma Life Support For the EMT-B and First Responder. Upper Saddle River, NJ:Pearson Prentice Hall 2004
Forgey, William. The Basic Essentials of Hypothermia. Merrillville, IN: ICS Books, Inc. 1991
Forgey, William, Editor and the Wilderness Medical Society. Practice Guidelines for Wilderness Emergency Care. Merrillville, IN: ICS Books, Inc. 1995
especially the head injury and orthopedic injuries sections
Forgey, William. Wilderness Medicine, Beyond First Aid. Wilford, CT: The Globe Pequot Press, 2000
Fry, Alan. Wilderness Survival Handbook. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1999
Girl Scouts of the United States Of America. Safety-Wise. New York, New York, 2000
Graydon, Don and Hanson, Kurt, Editors. Mountaineering, The Freedom of The Hills. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers 199?
Hart, John. Walking Softly In The Wilderness. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books, 1998
Haessler, Herbert and Harris, Raymond. Medical Tests You Can Do Yourself. Chicago, Ill: Contemporary Books, 1998
Isaac, Jeffrey. The Outward Bound Wilderness First Aid Handbook. New York, NY: Lyons Press, 1998
Kelly, Kate. Living Safe in an Unsafe World. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam Inc. 2000
Men's Health Magazine- various articles including info from the American Academy of Neurology 3 grades of concussion
Merry, Wayne. St John Ambulance Official Wilderness First Aid Guide. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland & Stewart, Inc. 1997
has an excellent description of shock
National Park Service - Comprehensive Study of Visitor Safety in the National Park System, 2002
National Park Service Morning report (online)
Pelton, Robert Young. Come Back Alive. New York, NY: Random House, 1999
Schimelpfenig, Tom and Lindsey, Linda. NOLS Wilderness First Aid. Lander, WY: National Outdoor Leadership School, 2000
Soles, Clyde and Powers, Phil. Climbing:Expedition Planning.
Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers, 2003
Stienstra, Tom. California Wildlife. Avalon Travel Publishing, 2000
has a section Bear Attacks in California.
Weiss, Eric A. Backpacker Magazine Wilderness 911. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers, 1998
Wilderness Medical Society, Wilderness Medicine Letter, Colorado Springs, Colo: published quarterly, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Wilkerson, James A. Medicine for Mountaineering and Other Wilderness Activities. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers, 2000
Yellowstone National Park website - Bears and Menstruating Women
Videos I use (when we have time for all of them):
Denali Bear Quiz. National Park Service, 1996
Hiking the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon Association, 1997
Bear Careless. Yosemite Concession Services, 1997
Leave No Trace. NPS, 2003 or 2004?
(You can buy your own copy of the Grand Canyon hiking safety video before you try a backpack there. Go to the Grand Canyon Association at http://www.grandcanyon.org)
Prevention is often the key to a safe trip.
from the National Park Service Morning Report of July 15:
Yellowstone NP (WY) - Visitor Gored by Bison
A bull bison gored 37-year-old Paul Jocelyn of Albertville, Minnesota, near
Old Faithful Lodge on the afternoon of July 13th. Witnesses said that the
bison was grazing near the boardwalk that connects the lodge with Old
Faithful geyser. A group of visitors approached to within ten to fifteen
feet to take pictures of the animal. Jocelyn stepped out from the group and
walked around to the front of the bison to see if it would raise its head
for a better picture. The bison chased Jocelyn into the trees, picked him
up with his horns, and threw him three to four feet into the air. The bison
then stared at Jocelyn and the other visitors for several minutes before
walking off and resuming grazing. Jocelyn sustained a puncture wound to his
inner right thigh and various scrapes and bruises. Rangers provided initial
care; he was then taken to Old Faithful Clinic for treatment of his
injuries. Criminal charges are pending against Jocelyn for harassing
wildlife. No action will be taken against the bison. [Public Affairs, YELL,
Read more at my Bears and Backpacking Advice pages.
Some of the material in the class is from my own experience as a Girl Scout camp counselor and over 20 years as Senior Faculty Advisor to the De Anza College Outdoor Club. Click on this link: Personal Info for details about my experience.