First Aid

If a hiker, skier, or cyclist is seriously injured in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Western Maine, there’s a good chance they’ll be cared for by Dr. Thomas Trimarco. An attending emergency department physician, Trimarco is the emergency medical services director for Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.—the North Country’s only level 1 trauma center. He…

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In August 2010, AMC Director of Huts and Pinkham James Wrigley received a call that a young hiker was in critical condition after falling hundreds of feet down steep sloping rock. The teen had been hiking on the Huntington Ravine Trail of Mount Washington, one of the most challenging and dangerous trails in the White…

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1: Wet leaves, slippery surfaces It is late October and you are descending Bear Mountain (2316’), the tallest peak in Connecticut, on the Undermountain Trail. You are with a small group of friends, about 2.5 miles from the trailhead parking lot. The trail is littered with wet leaves and very slippery. While navigating a tricky…

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I’m an outdoorswoman. My first hikes were enjoyed from a pack on my parents’ backs, and I haven’t slowed down since. Paddling, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and long-distance backpacking are all second nature to me now. So is doing it all with asthma. 26 million other Americans live with asthma, too. As an outdoor…

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Ticks are arguably the nastiest, most pernicious, most maddening outdoor threat we face here in the Northeast. I hate them, these vectors of disease, who crave adherence to my flesh, to inflate with my blood. So nasty. In early spring, adult ticks resurface after laying low through the winter. They are larger and easier to…

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Say you take a bad tumble on the trail and end up with a nasty scrape or cut. Even worse, dirt and debris are ground into the wound. To minimize the risk of infection, you need to thoroughly clean the injury site and get all of that debris out of there, especially if you are…

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A search-and-rescue (SAR) mission to locate a missing or injured person can involve helicopters whirring overhead, boats cruising the ocean, trucks traversing back roads, dogs tracking scents, and hikers risking life and limb in the backcountry. For organizations such as Down East Emergency Medicine Institute (DEEMI), based in Orono, Maine, another tool has become essential: drones. More inexpensively deployed than helicopters, drones can reach remote areas…

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We’ve all been there: You’re opening a can of baked beans when—bam—you cut your finger. Fortunately, a good backcountry first-aid kit comes stocked with the necessary supplies to treat a small cut or abrasion: adhesive bandages, occlusive dressing, gauze, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly, tweezers, a syringe, and nonlatex gloves. By knowing how to…

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Given their trailside access in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), AMC’s high-mountain huts staff are often the first responders to backcountry emergencies. Along with cooking, cleaning, and providing trail information, hut croo also serve as volunteers in search-and-rescue incidents. Virtually all AMC backcountry staff—hut croo, caretakers, and trail crew members—are certified in Wilderness First…

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Maybe its been some time since your wilderness medicine training? Test your memory and apply your knowledge to these wilderness medicine scenarios. Day Hike Damage You and your friend are on a 11.6 mile hike of Avery Peak and West Peak in the Bigelow Range in Franklin, County Maine. The route includes nearly 3000 feet…

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