Wilderness medicine is a subspecialty of medical care that provides first aid in remote or extreme environments. A Wilderness First Aid (WFA) class provides students with the basic first-aid techniques that can prevent or reduce the severity of a difficult situation. Here are some basic first-aid techniques.
This skill is necessary in the case of a fall or a forceful trauma to the head or back. It is necessary to stabilize the patient’s spine. This can be done by holding the head very still so that the person cannot move their head in any direction. This technique prevents any further damage to the spinal cord leading to paralysis.
In the case of sprain or strain, the patient should rest the part of the body that hurts by not using or moving it for a while. Then ice can be applied off and on at about 20-minute intervals. A bandage can be used to compress the injured part and raised above the heart to reduce swelling and prevent further damage to fragile joints.
In the case of profuse bleeding, it is best to apply direct pressure to the bleeding body part for at least 20 minutes. This is to allow the blood to congeal and prevent the patient from bleeding to death.
In the case of exhaustion as a result of heat or stress, it is best to get everyone into the shade and cooling down. If fainting occurs, loosen tight clothing, pour a bucket of water over the patient’s head to cool off and avoid escalation of any sort.
If someone has been in freezing water for too long, hypothermia can set in. The best first aid technique is to simply remove wet clothing and warm the person, slowly, focusing on the head and torso first.
These first aid techniques are very essential for any first responder.