Patagonia Remote Medical Expedition

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] By Nicole Ernst, PA Physician Assistant University of Colorado Children’s Hospital Patagonia Remote Medicine Expedition (P.R.M.E) is a 10 days guided expedition in the Andes Mountain Range of Patagonia, the course is directed by Dr. Martin Musi, faculty at University of Colorado School of Medicine and originally from Argentina, “This is a terrain-learning experience […]

. . . Still Not Dead Yet

Terry O’Connor, MD 16:30pm. The ranger station is still. The storm clouds are clearing. Inside, the rolling glow of embers fade in the fireplace, as outside, the amber alpenglow lights the fresh coat of snow on the mountain above. A knock on the door breaks the silence. “Hey are you a Ranger?, I just snowshoed […]

Ultrarunning in Cambodia

Ryan Paterson, MD DTM&H Traveling across Cambodia by foot, sleeping, hanging from a tree in a hammock and swimming in jungle rivers with massive waterfalls all while providing medical direction and support to the 40 runners running 220KM. This is Expedition Medicine.  Global-Limits runs some of the worlds most amazing, staged ultra-marathons in locations such […]

Spinal Immobilization

Terry O’Connor Indications: The risk, benefits, and latest evidence regarding the decision to perform spinal immobilization have been reviewed previously here. For review, we generally recommend a focused spinal assessment in making the decision to perform spinal immobilization. This helps to determine if spinal precautions, such as c-collar, head-blocks and a backboard are necessary for […]

Patient Packaging

Terry O’Connor, MD Generally speaking, patient packaging is the process of securing a patient for transport.  The technique is dependent on environment, available resources, type of rescue and number of rescuers as well as extraction plan.  Below is a brief review, but if you’d like to learn more: join us for for some hands-on practice […]

Splinting Review

Terry O’Connor Extremity Splints: Principles of Splinting Visualize the injured body part. Continually recheck the patient’s neurovascular status. Traction is indicated if the pulse is not palpable. Gentle traction involves less than 10 lbs of force. Cover open wounds with sterile dressings. Immobilize the joints above and below the injury. Padding prevents further tissue damage. […]

Feeling Lucky?

Terry O’Connor, MD Ever wonder how much risk you’re taking with your recreational versus lifestyle choices? Check out this entertaining little reference!  

Cleaning Wounds

Terry O’Connor, MD What’s the Magic Cleanser for wounds? Bottom line: Turns out it’s water . .  .  and lots of it. In this  meta analysis of 11 studies, tap water, distilled water, cooled boiled water, and normal saline were evaluated. The studies included wounds in kids and adults. Wound type included lacerations (five trials), chronic […]


Terry O’Connor, MD Clinic Day here on the Tibetan Plateau. Typically the queue is quiet and reserved. I am often amazed by serene, smiling, weather-worn and wrinkled faces . . a stark contrast to each calamity that hides underneath a bloody bandage or crooked arm. Today, however, one hunched over Yak herder, head in his […]

Are we Burning the Spine Board?

Terry O’Connor It’s just so hard to break dogma in medicine these days, but those in the regular practice of wilderness care or prolonged patient transport are happy to see the use of the ubiquitous rigid spine board fade away. Even in New York City we are leaving this practice behind Why? Application of spinal […]

Search and Rescue Dogs

by Justin McLean Use of Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs The use of trained wilderness search dogs dramatically increases the chances of finding a lost/injured victim.  The olfactory bulb in dogs is forty times the size of humans. Therefore trained search dogs will use scent, sound, and visual clues to find a victim or just […]

Introducing the "Section!"

by Jay Lemery It’s my privilege to inaugurate my first WM blog by announcing the arrival of the Section of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine within the Department of Emergency Medicine.  What does that mean?!  The Section is designed to be a discrete endeavor recognized by the Department with a support structure and recognized faculty—in our […]