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:
- The 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.
- The University of California San Francisco Fresno Department of Emergency Medicine provides base hospital support for the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SEKI) emergency medical services (EMS) system. This descriptive epidemiologic study reports reasons the park EMS system is used and interventions provided, detailing the nature of patient encounters, type and frequency of injuries and interventions, reasons for base hospital contact, and patient dispositions.
- Airway management in the wilderness runs the gamut from basic airway support to endotracheal intubation. Fortunately, direct laryngoscopy is a seldom called upon skill in expedition medicine. However, the medical skills required during a mission or expedition are never truly known in advance. Improvisation during evolving medical events is a mainstay of expedition medicine education and practice. It is unlikely, given constraints of weight and size of expedition medical kits, that a conventional laryngoscope would find its way into a standard “go bag.” Faced with the real but rare event of needing to intubate a patient in an austere environment, how can improvisation be used? Multiple ideas for improvised laryngoscopes can be found in the wilderness medicine literature, but which, if any, of these devices have true clinical utility? To this end, participants of a recent Wilderness Medical Society preconference in medical elements of light search and rescue were given the opportunity to devise and construct their own improvised laryngoscopes and attempt intubation of a training mannequin.
- To provide guidance to clinicians, the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) convened an expert panel to develop evidence-based guidelines for the out-of-hospital evaluation and treatment of victims of accidental hypothermia. The guidelines present the main diagnostic and therapeutic modalities and provide recommendations for the management of hypothermic patients. The panel graded the recommendations based on the quality of supporting evidence and the balance between benefits and risks/burdens according the criteria published by the American College of Chest Physicians.
- The Wilderness Medical Society convened an expert panel to develop evidence-based guidelines for the management of pain in austere environments. Recommendations are graded based on the quality of supporting evidence as defined by criteria put forth by the American College of Chest Physicians.