Shared Science - Wilderness & Environmental Medicine
WEM and The Journal of Special Operations Medicine (JSOM) participate in a shared science program. This opportunity is made possible through a reciprocal partnership between the journals. Click here to see the JSOM articles selected for WEM readers, please visit:
Helicopter-Based Search and Rescue Operations in the Dutch Caribbean: A Retrospective AnalysisSearch and rescue (SAR) operations in the Dutch Caribbean offer basic and advanced prehospital care and transport for definitive care. Helicopter-based SAR in this geographic area has not been previously studied. Data from the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard were analyzed with the aim of describing the current operational setting and optimizing SAR operations in the future.
Evaluation of Escherichia coli Inactivation at High Altitudes Using Solar Water DisinfectionSolar disinfection (SODIS) is an effective method for microbiologic inactivation of contaminated water using ultraviolet rays at low elevations. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of SODIS at higher elevations.
Validating the Remote First Aid Self-Efficacy Scale for Use in Evaluation and Training of First Responders in Remote ContextsThe purpose of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the remote first aid self-efficacy scale (RFA SES). The RFA SES is a 30-item self-report scale developed in response to emerging evidence showing that self-efficacy is predictive of performance.
Therapeutic Plasma Exchange for Venom-Induced Thrombotic Microangiopathy Following Hump-Nosed Pit Viper (Genus: Hypnale) Bites: A Prospective Observational Study—Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), which is the triad of acute kidney injury (AKI), microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (MAHA), and thrombocytopenia, is a rare complication of snakebites, and in Sri Lanka, it is commonly seen with hump-nosed pit viper (HNPV) bites.
Perceptions Among Backcountry Skiers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Avalanche Safety and Backcountry Habits of New and Established SkiersThe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacted the ski industry worldwide by closing or limiting access to ski resorts. Subsequently, anecdotal reports of increased backcountry use emerged in the press, with concerns of inexperienced skiers causing or having problems in the backcountry. This study attempted to quantify this and identify motivations for new backcountry skiers.
Intranasal Fentanyl for On-the-Hill Analgesia by Ski PatrolIntranasal fentanyl offers a means for safe and effective pain management in austere environments. Prehospital analgesia traditionally involves intravenous or intramuscular medication. However, for wilderness rescuers, these methods are often impractical.
Avalanche Preparedness and Accident Analysis Among Backcountry Skier, Sidecountry, and Snowmobile Fatalities in the United States: 2009 to 2019While avalanche fatalities have remained relatively steady per year, data suggest a possible increase in sidecountry use and snowmobile fatalities. Limited information is known regarding the accident details and preparedness among different groups of backcountry users including snowmobiles, sidecountry, and backcountry skiers, and what specific factors could contribute to their fatalities.
Latency of Symptom Progression in Mild Daboia palaestinae EnvenomationDaboia palestinae is the most common venomous snake in Israel. In most cases, snakebite does not develop into a systemic disease. Since the introduction of specific antivenom therapy, the mortality rate has declined sharply. Nevertheless, there is still no uniform therapeutic protocol in Israel for patients who have been envenomated, and there is no current data regarding latency of symptom development. We aimed to evaluate the latency of symptom development after D palaestinae snakebite in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with local reaction.
Static Rope Rescue Operations in Western Norway: A Retrospective Analysis of 141 MissionsThe Norwegian national standard for rescuers describes medical and rescue requirements for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) technical crew members, but there is a lack of scientific data supporting these requirements and their safety relevance. The study aims to analyze the rescue profile of Norwegian HEMS static rope human external cargo operations, emphasizing terrain challenges and additional safety measures utilized on-site.
Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Injuries While Hiking with a Backpack at Philmont Scout RanchParticipants at Philmont Scout Ranch embark on 12-d treks with pre-trek physical conditioning and medical clearance by their primary care physician. In this study, we investigated potential contributing factors to self-reported musculoskeletal injuries during a backpack trek.
Cardiovascular and Blood Oxidative Stress Responses to Exercise and Acute Woodsmoke Exposure in Recreationally Active IndividualsThose who work and recreate outdoors experience woodsmoke exposure during fire season. Exercise during woodsmoke exposure harms the cardiovascular system, but the acute physiologic and biochemical responses are understudied. The purpose of this pilot laboratory-based study was to examine the effect of exercise during woodsmoke exposure on acute indicators of cardiovascular function, including heart rate variability (HRV), pulse wave velocity (PWV), blood pressure (BP), augmentation index (AIx), and blood oxidative stress.
Arterial Blood Gas and Rotational Thromboelastometry Parameters in Healthy Rescuers Incidentally Exposed to Nitroglycerin, Nitrogen Compounds, and Combustion ProductsAcute exposure to nitrogen compounds combined with a massive inhalation of air pollutants can influence respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms and coagulation abnormalities in accidentally exposed healthy adults during cave detonation operations.
Survey of Musculoskeletal Injuries, Prehike Conditioning, and On-Trail Injury Prevention Strategies Self-Reported by Long-Distance Hikers on the Appalachian TrailStudies show that 40 to 60% of long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail experience musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries, but these studies are over a decade old. The increasing popularity of hiking and injury prevention advances warrant re-evaluation of injury patterns. We sought to determine the frequency of self-reported MSK injuries in long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail and associations with prehike conditioning and on-trail injury prevention strategies.
The Wind-Chill IndexThis Lessons from History article about the wind-chill index (WCI) explores the historical polar and meteorologic literature relevant to the topic and presents unpublished work from 1939. Geographer Paul Siple (1908–1968) was a 6-time Antarctic explorer and scientist who invented and named the WCI in his doctoral dissertation at Clark University. Siple and Charles Passel (1915–2002) performed studies in Antarctica in 1940 that led to publication in 1945. This paper is often credited as the beginning of the WCI.
Prehospital Cross-Sectional Study of Drowning Patients Across the United StatesEvery year drowning is responsible for 7% of injury-related deaths worldwide, making it the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death. However, in the United States, little is known regarding the prehospital presentation and management of these patients. The purpose of this study was to describe the drowning population in the United States, with a focus on prehospital time intervals, transport, and cardiac arrest frequency.
Influence of Fluid Delivery Schedule and Composition on Fluid Balance, Physiologic Strain, and Substrate Use in the HeatWildfire suppression is characterized by high total energy expenditure and water turnover rates. Hydration position stands outline hourly fluid intake rates. However, dose interval remains ambiguous. We aimed to determine the effects of microdosing and bolus-dosing water and microdosing and bolus-dosing carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions on fluid balance, heat stress (physiologic strain index [PSI]), and carbohydrate oxidation during extended thermal exercise.
Altitude-Related Disorders on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: Two-Year Survey in a Local Referral CenterA significant number of climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro are affected by altitude-related disorders. The aim of this study was to determine the main causes of morbidity and mortality in a representative cohort of climbers based on local hospital records.
Acute Hamstring Muscle Tears in Climbers—Current Rehabilitation ConceptsAcute hamstring injuries are often caused by the heel hook technique. This technique is unique to climbing and causes injury to muscular and inert tissues of the posterior thigh. The heel hook is used by climbers during strenuous ascent on overhanging walls and when crossing difficult terrain. The technique reduces the amount of upper body strength required during strenuous climbing because the climber’s center of mass is retained within the base of support. The heel hook is stressful collectively for the hamstring muscle group and musculotendinous junction.
Athlete’s Heart in Elite Sport Climbers: Cardiac Adaptations Determined Using ECG and Echocardiography DataSudden cardiac death in a young athlete is the leading cause of mortality in athletes during sport. Specific knowledge about cardiac adaptations are necessary for a better understanding of the underlying causes of such events.
Prehospital Use of Ketamine in Mountain Rescue: A Survey of Emergency Physicians of a Single-Center Alpine Helicopter-Based Emergency ServiceAlthough ketamine use in emergency medicine is widespread, studies investigating prehospital use are scarce. Our goal was to assess the self-reported modalities of ketamine use, knowledge of contraindications, and occurrence of adverse events associated with its use by physicians through a prospective online survey.
Developing Cricothyroidotomy Skills Using a Biomaterial-Covered ModelCricothyroidotomy is an advanced and life-saving technique, but it is also a rare and a difficult procedure. The purpose of the present study was to produce a low-cost simulation model with realistic anatomic features to investigate its effectiveness in developing cricothyroidotomy skills.
Evaluation of Three Field Rewarming Techniques During Cold Weather Military TrainingThe purpose of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of 3 rewarming techniques to determine how warfighters, and perhaps other populations in wilderness environments, should prioritize field rewarming options after a brief accidental immersion in cold water.
Venom-Induced Consumption Coagulopathy Following Hump-Nosed Pit Viper (Genus: Hypnale) Envenoming in Sri Lanka: Uncertain Efficacy of Fresh Frozen PlasmaHump-nosed pit vipers (Hypnale spp) cause the highest number of venomous snakebites in Sri Lanka. Bites commonly cause local envenoming leading to local pain, swelling, and necrosis of the site of the bite. Acute kidney injury is the most common systemic manifestation, and some patients develop venom-induced consumption coagulopathy (VICC). Genus Hypnale comprises 3 species. Of them, H hypnale is found in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats region of India. The other 2 (H nepa and H zara) are endemic species in Sri Lanka.
Review of Scorpion Stings and Snakebites Treated by the French Military Health Service During Overseas Operations Between 2015 and 2017Depending on their theatre of operation, French soldiers may potentially be exposed to scorpion stings and snakebites. Following the recommendations of a French military health service (FMHS) technical committee for envenomation, the FMHS provides antivenoms appropriate to each deployment. This work aimed to evaluate this risk of envenomation and to assess the antivenoms used by the FMHS in operational theatres since the creation of this committee in 2015.
Trends in Snakebites Related to Texas Tropical Storms and Hurricanes, 2000–2017Anecdotal media reports suggest an increase in snakebites after hurricanes. After Hurricane Harvey, several households called Texas poison control centers to report snakebites that occurred when rising water flooded homes. Patterns of snakebite before and after hurricane landfalls have not been well studied.