Wilderness medicine is medical care delivered in environments where geographical challenges reduce the availability of or alter requirements for, medical or patient movement and resources.
It is of importance to people who engage in extreme sporting activities in remote localities where medical care is not readily available in the case of an emergency.
As a field of medical care, wilderness medicine focuses primarily on the evaluation, prioritization, and preliminary treatment of acute injuries or illnesses that occur in remote environments as well as the emergency evacuation of victims involved.
Wilderness medicine encompasses skills and knowledge from many other specialties like diving and hyperbaric medicine, tropical and travel medicine, high-altitude and mountaineering medicine, safety, rescue, and evacuation.
It also encompasses sports medicine and physiology, general environmental medicine, improvised medicine, disaster and humanitarian assistance, wilderness emergencies and trauma management.
Wilderness medicine is also regarded as a group of first aid medical services. It relates to care in remote areas where emergency medical services will be difficult to obtain or will take a long time to arrive.
In most cases, locating the victim, assessment, intervention, and response are difficult matters. Specialists in white water rescue, mountain rescue, mine disaster response and other fields are often employed.
Wilderness First Aid is a relatively new field compared to regular first aid, so several boards and societies have been formed in recent years in an attempt to establish normalized standards for wilderness first aid certification and wilderness medicine in general.
In Canada, the first WFA courses were taught in the mid-1980sand the first organization to adopt standards was the Wilderness First Aid and Safety Association of British Columbia.
This blog provides information about wilderness medicine, schools, and courses of wilderness medicine as well as details about wilderness first aid and certifications.