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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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Old 29 Jan 2008
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 33
less than expert medical travel advice

Lovely, just lovely...the weather up here, I mean (lots of sarcasm here). With a straight temperature of 37 below 0 and wind chill moving that to 48 below, this seemed like a good time hole up at the computer and make a few posts.
Yesterday, while teaching the pre-requisite to a wilderness first aid course, we covered the very real dangers of hypothermia, dehydration, and neglected injuries becoming serious infections. Naturally the usual crop of solutions offered by nameless "experts" found on the net and else where, arose.
By this, I mean the endless parade of survival experts who teach people: how to "stitch up" a wound to stop bleeding, deal with frost bite by "vigorous rubbing", and putting a stick in someone's mouth when they are having a seizure. All of which is pure manure, and very dangerous at that.
On this and many other reputable sites, members are urged to take the most advanced first aid course they can before going on a trip.
This is excellent advice. The problem is, how do you know what is a course worthy of your hard earned dollars and what is just someone's down-right dangerous opinion.
My suggestion is to take a course that is supported by a nationally recognized organization. By this I mean: Red Cross, St, John Ambulance, or something associated with a goverment agency. This may not be the very best education you can find, but you can be sure at least it won't be the worst, and potentially dangerous. The internet is a source of both the best and worst information you can find. You need to be able to sort the good from the bad.
Anyone who even starts to talk about "stitching" a wound in a remote location, is someone you should avoid like the plague.
Be safe. Be smart.
(and now, back to adding logs to the fire, and more of that mulled wine, please)

Peace,
Narly
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