Providing First Response Care Outdoors
The beauty of nature and the outdoors lure many experienced and inexperienced adventures alike into
the various geographical landscapes that surround Salt Lake City and the state of Utah. From the
majestic peaks of the Wasatch Front to red rock ridges of southern Utah to the vast western desserts
and supple Green River area in the east, the very terrestrial architecture of Utah summons persons to
explore further and venter farther.
Dangers that Face Outdoorsmen
With this drive to discover, however, comes an inherent danger to the outdoorsmen. Whatever their
activity may be, whether hunting, hiking, fish, camping or climbing, the great outdoors are laced with
endangerments and perils.
The most common of these hazards threaten the orthopedic structures of the
human body, specifically the skeletal structure and system of joints that make up a
person’s extremities. This is due largely to the fact that many outdoor recreations
and occupations require the extensive use of the extremities and in situations where
forces beyond the individuals control threaten their stability.
Hikers, for example, will often incur sprains or fractures to the ankles as walking
over unstable or rough terrain, as is found on most outdoor trails, can cause the
persons joints to roll at awkward and threatening angles. It is important, therefore,
that a person who ventures into the wilderness of Utah be prepared to administer first aid and first
responder duties to victims of outdoor injuries.
Typically, when a person is injured with in the backcountry or comes across a person who is injured in
the backcountry, there are few medical resources on hand that will be of aid to the care giver. Few
bandages or splints, no revitalizing IV’s or oxygen masks, just the knowledge and skill and the ingenuity
of the person on scene.
Being Safe While Helping the Injured
The first action of any person who attempts to treat another outdoors is to secure the area of potential
dangers. Falling rock, predatory animals or potential flooding are just three of the potential dangers
that may exist in the area of an injured person.
Remember that your personal safety is just as important as is the safety of the person you are trying to
treat because your incapacity will result negatively for both parties. After potential dangers of the area
have been negated, the persons assisting the injured can proceed to administer aid.
Severity of injuries sustained to persons in the outdoors varies greatly but generalities to providing aid
can be somewhat standardized into three columns or classifications with the acronym ABC. This stands
for airway, breathing, and circulation.
Addressing these three concerns will be the first step in
providing aid and classes in CPR that will teach proper
methods for addressing these specific concerns should be
considered by those who often venture outside. Once a
person has a clear airway, is breathing or being assisted in
breathing, and their circulation is ensured, then a care
giver can address specific injuries.
Leg injuries are the most common. When splinting a
fractured leg it is important to remember to split the
portions preceding and following the injured area. This means that for a long bone fracture, the joints
above and below the broken bone should be immobilized while a fractured joint will require
immobilization of the incoming and outgoing bones.
Most important of all is to seek professional medical care as soon as possible. Knee doctors in Salt Lake
will have the equipment and training to properly assist in the recovery of an injury sustained outdoors.