"Good fortune favors the well prepared," says Paul S. Auerbach, MD, a founder and past President of the Wilderness Medical Society and editor of Wilderness Medicine, 6th Edition, recently published by Elsevier. With some advance reading, individuals planning vacations or outdoor excursions can become familiar with adverse situations and be prepared to handle them.
"Severe weather, wild animals, rugged terrain, and equipment failure all conspire to create or complicate medical hardships that must be diagnosed swiftly and remedied with certainty," says Auerbach, the Redlich Family Professor of Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Through his work as a volunteer physician in Haiti, Nepal and Guatemala, as well as his many hours exploring the outdoors, Auerbach has faced a myriad of emergency medical situations without the benefit of access to a hospital. Wilderness Medicine has been the go-to textbook for physicians since its debut in 1983, while his paperback, Medicine for the Outdoors, is written for the lay reader and offers a succinct yet comprehensive reference guide that is also available in electronic format.
Auerbach offers these ten useful tips for avoiding or treating common medical problems in the outdoors: