Are you a river or climbing guide, a summer camp counselor or do you facilitate remote-area recreation activities? If so, then training in wilderness emergency care is a must.
Our Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course encompasses a completely different type of first aid training. The course considers the possible limited access to medial and first aid supplies and treatments, exposure to outdoor elements including excessive heat as well as cold and frigid conditions, and lengthy EMS response times.
A focus of the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is enabling participants to provide extended medical care treatments while in remote location. This class is designed for individuals who are not healthcare providers or professional rescuers but desire or are required to be certified in wilderness first aid knowledge and skills. For example, students learn how to prioritize injuries as well as hands-on treatment for basic wounds, heat and cold injuries, common injuries such as sprains, strains and abrasions to burns, dislocations, fractures and spinal injuries. Class participants will also learn how to assemble their own individual first aid kit (FAK).
The pre-requisites for the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course are that the participants be age 18 and up, be in good health and overall fitness, and be capable of communicating with course leaders and other participants. CPR certification is also required prior to this course. Those class participants whom have CPR certification must show valid certification to receive a waiver. If you need CPR, this will be offered.
Our Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is a two day course and is offered at Help-A-Heart CPR at various times throughout the year. For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 210-380-5344. Remember to never enter the wilderness without first being prepared!
The use of the tourniquet in medical emergencies is most often necessary with uncontrollable bleeding. While it is possible to suffer uncontrollable bleeding from smaller wounds; victims who bleed out often do so because they have cut an artery. You will often know that you have cut an artery as you will view blood spurting and the blood will be bright red. Other signs of uncontrolled bleeding include a victim that may be unconscious, or a full or partial amputation. Unfortunately, a person with a severed artery can often die in 2-3 minutes.
So what do you do? The first thing that you want to to is ensure that the scene is safe. Next, call 911 and find the wound and apply direct pressure. The next step is to apply a dressing and continue to press. Lastly, the application of the tourniquet requires the first responder to WRAP the tourniquet, WIND the tourniquet, SECURE the tourniquet, and write the TIME the tourniquet was applied on the tourniquet itself.
You might not have a tourniquet available but if you do, tie it off between the blood flow and the exit wound. If the wound happens to be too large to control with a tourniquet then grab a clean cloth or hemostatic gauze and pack the wound and apply pressure.
Here at Help-A-Heart CPR, we now offer an Advanced Bleeding Control certification class. This class will provide the students with the tools and knowledge to determine when and how to manage both controllable and uncontrollable bleeding both with and without a tourniquet.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.