CWS Blog

EPINEPHRINE ADMINISTRATION FOR ANAPHYLAXIS (NOV 2012)

OVERVIEW OF ANAPHYLAXIS Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that has life-endangering effects on the circulatory and respiratory systems. Anaphylaxis is an almost immediate, rapidly progressive multi-system allergic reaction to a foreign protein injected into the body by stinging and biting insects, snakes, and sea creatures […]

ADDITION: COMPARTMENT SYNDROME (FEB 2012)

Compartment syndrome is a serious condition that involves increased pressure in a muscle compartment and can lead to muscle and nerve damage and problems with blood flow. It can be caused by fractures, crush injury, burns or other trauma or repetitive activities, such as running. […]

TREATMENT PRINCIPLES OF FROSTBITE (JAN 2012)

The Wilderness Medical Society released a position paper on frostbite (Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, 22, 156–166. 2011). One of the points they made refers to the decision of “to thaw or not to thaw.” Partial or full ­thickness injuries are ideally thawed in a warm water bath at 99-­102°F (37-­39°C). However, in the backcountry, skin-­to‐skin contact might be most practical. If this is not possible, spontaneous or slow thawing may be unavoidable and should be allowed. Don’t purposely keep tissue frozen for extended periods of time.

SPINE INJURY MOI: FALL HEIGHT (DEC 2011)

How far must one fall to have a mechanism for spine injury? We don’t know. It depends on the height of the fall, how you land, the surface on which you land, your age and other factors. As a guideline, the WFA and WFR Scope […]

DON’T BANDAGE BOTH EYES (OCT 2011)

In the case of embedded objects or penetrating eye injury, the common advice has always been to bandage both the injured AND the uninjured eye. The rationale was conjugate gaze; if one eye moves, so does the other (we can’t move each eye independently like […]

PRESSURE POINTS & BLEEDING CONTROL (APR 2010)

Squashing an artery to control severe bleeding a.k.a. “Pressure points” is a difficult skill to perform and there is little evidence it helps (and this evidence may be more lore than substance). Our new bleeding control curriculum is Well-aimed direct pressure, Elevation, and as a last resort, apply a Tourniquet. The acronym used to remember this is W-E-T.

As an additional side note, pressure points are also no longer part of the American Red Cross, Pre-­Hospital Trauma Life Support, Tactical Combat Casualty curriculum, or the National Registry of EMT Skills Sheets.

CHEST & BACK SEALS TAPED ON ALL SIDES (MAR 2010)

The Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support and Tactical Combat Casualty Curriculum is now recommending taping chest wound seals on all (4) sides. The goal is to seal the hole completely and quickly. The concept of a one-­way valve from a dressing taped on 3 sides doesn’t […]

DENTAL EMERGENCIES (JAN 2010)

We no longer advise people to apply a small piece of crushed Aspirin to “cauterize” an exposed pulp and dull the nerve pain. This is incredibly painful and likely not to work, indeed, it may worsen the problem or chemically burn the oral tissue. We […]