We know that education opens doors and as the EWM crew are both interested and a bit nosey, we love to hear what our alumni get up to after attending our courses. Naturally then, we were delighted to hear from Ian P, who told us he and his wife loved the 2013 Wild Medicine course so much, they’re busy packing up in the UK and moving to Namibia…
Not many things you can say that change your life! Attending the Wild Medicine course was one of those events. Amazing set of people and a fantastic opportunity to learn about conservation and desert medicine.
The kind of odd things we learnt…
– Take blood from a cheetah,
– Learn about (and touch – optional) many poisonous snakes,
– Sleep in a desert, walk 14km through a dry river canyon,
– What are the problem animals with Rabies? (A: Kudu),
– How can carnivores live outside conservation areas & not get killed by farmers &
– How to build a vineyard in a desert … what?!..
And the thing that changed our lives? Meet the Bushmen and see their need for healthcare! My wife and I are volunteering at Naankuse to run the Bushmen medical services. The real thing we learned? There are many people out there that can benefit from our skills …
Oh and by the way Namibia is amazing you get to see loads … but you can also get a 4×4 and do a week or so trip before the course.
STREET CHILD are looking for assorted medics and also a Medical Director* to provide cover for this fundraising event in the world’s 10th poorest country and help improve the lives of vulnerable children in West Africa.
**** POSITION NOW FILLED *****
The Street Child of Sierra Leone Marathon 2014 is an ambitious project and we need medical help to stage it. It’s more than just a run. We invite runners to join Street Child in Makeni, Sierra Leone to see and assist with the work we do in country, and to get involved with the local community. All of this takes place in a developing country with a basic medical infrastructure.
The race covers tough but beautiful terrain, invariably with high temperatures and humidity. The route is classed as a category “black” marathon – a marathon where serious consideration should be taken to safety provision. For this reason medical support is vital. Over the last 2 years, under the guidance of the Medical Director, groups of medical professionals from across the world have travelled to Sierra Leone to help out. When joined by local medics and nurses, mining corporation paramedics and medical students, this team have provided essential cover to the marathon. More importantly, previous teams can testify that they have have had an amazing adventure, providing a great talking point for grand rounds on their return!
Most of the action for the medical team takes place on race day, where teams set up makeshift medical stations around the course, providing first line medical care to the runners. This is co-ordinated from Medical HQ, the headquarters for ongoing treatment, and communication centre to each of the medical stations.
Sierra Leone is very much a developing country – supplies and equipment are limited and expertise is varied. This is a challenge, but one worth taking on. Outside of race day, the medical team will be involved in procuring equipment, medical briefings to international runners, and manning clinics offered to local runners on registration day. Another important job for the team is spending time chatting to the runners before the race, providing reassurance and advice, usually over a local beer!
We would like people who like the sound of this event to travel out to Sierra Leone for between 1 and 2 weeks to help us organise the 2014 Sierra Leone Marathon. We do ask that you fund your own trip (flights and accommodation only, all transport and meals will be free) but in return we will give you your own ‘experience of a lifetime’ seeing and assisting with Street Child projects in urban and rural Sierra Leone, taking part in a week of festivities in Makeni and you still get to finish on a high joining our West African beach party and 2 night beach hut retreat!
Dates are pretty flexible, the marathon is on Sunday 25th May so an 8 day trip could fly Wed 21st May and return Wed 28th May 2014. Direct 6 hour flights from London are available from Gambia Bird Airlines and BA.
To enquire or apply please send your details to [email protected]
*For applications to the role of Medical Director, the role will be to provide leadership and direction to the medical team. A return flight from London will also be provided. Minimum dates Mon 19th – Wed 28th May 14.
Dr Sean Hudson MBE shares the love about the Jungle Medicine course in Costa Rica
‘It’s humid, hot, muddy and sometimes cold at night, but it’s exactly this which makes the beautiful elements of the jungle just that bit more fantastic. Hidden waterfalls, incredible rivers, primary rainforest and then of course the chance of seeing elusive wildlife, jaguars, jaguarondis, monkeys and the plethora of ants, scorpions, spiders and snakes. The Jungle Medicine course is based on the Pacuare River, four hours by raft into the jungle.
The base camp has all the luxuries you don’t expect, with even a raised lecture theatre looking over the river. Expect to work hard in the jungle during the day, getting used to travel and life in the jungle and then relax in comfy chairs listening to a few evening lectures. Towards the end of the week you will have the opportunity to trial your new skills and travel into the jungle, sleeping in hammocks, cooking on fires and navigating through the jungle.
The directing staff will guide you through all of this and allow you to work and learn at your own speed, allowing you to feel safe and gain the most out of your experience and this incredible adventure. This course aims to give you the confidence to look after yourself in the jungle, hence allowing you to focus on the care of a sick patient.
The Jungle Medicine course aims to equip doctors, nurses and paramedics with practical survival skills, an overview of tropical medicine, logistical knowledge and pre-hospital skills required on a jungle expedition.
This action-packed course kicks off by rafting into camp before running through essential information you’ll need for the days ahead.
Splitting the course into practical and theory based elements gives us an opportunity to vary teaching methods and importantly, gets you hands on ‘learning by doing’. You’ll adapt basic navigation and camp craft skills for use in the complex jungle environment, we’ll discuss the common conditions found in jungle environments and learn how to treat this conditions in such a challenging location.
Accreditation will be offered through the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. We estimate 30 hours of CPD will be awarded for the complete course.
Jungle Wilderness Medicine Training Course – Spaces on this course are limited secure your place now
Feedback on our recent Polar Medicine training course in Norway has clearly affected some of the course delegates by creating a need for ‘biggles-speak’…
PapaFoxtrot calling Red Leaders AlphaHotel, AlphaCharlie, DeltaBravo, Bravo and Delta
Congrats on recent Operation Polar Bear
Bunks and chow excellent
Red Leaders all SPLENDID
Hope all returned to base safely
Please pass on to all members of Polar Bear as don’t have call signs
Do you read me ?
Jerry, who joins us on our September Expedition Medicine course to present the present the Rupert Bennett Memorial Lecture wins Prix Alain Bombard award, which ‘recognizes the exceptional nature of an adventure involving an education is delivered to the British diabetic climber Jerry Gore in the film Trango.’
Alain Bombard was a French biologist, physician and politician famous for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat without provisions in an extreme test of endurance and survival.
Jerry was born in Britain on April 15th 1961, is married with two children, and was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic on January 31st 2001. Though new to diabetes, Jerry has not let diabetes get in the way of his activities.
Management of AMS
Prospective, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Comparison of Acetazolamide Versus Ibuprofen for Prophylaxis Against High Altitude Headache: The Headache Evaluation at Altitude Trial (HEAT)
High altitude headache (HAH) is the most common neurological complaint at altitude and the defining component of acute mountain sickness (AMS). However, there is a paucity of literature concerning its prevention. The researchers sought to compare the effectiveness of ibuprofen and acetazolamide for the prevention of HAH.
Three hundred forty-three healthy western trekkers were recruited at altitudes of 4280 m and 4358 m and assigned to receive ibuprofen 600 mg, acetazolamide 85 mg, or placebo 3 times daily before continued ascent to 4928 m. Outcome measures included headache incidence and severity, AMS incidence and severity on the Lake Louise AMS Questionnaire (LLQ), and visual analog scale (VAS).
Two hundred sixty-five of 343 subjects completed the trial. HAH incidence was similar when treated with acetazolamide (27.1%) or ibuprofen (27.5%; P = .95), and both agents were significantly more effective than placebo (45.3%; P = .01). AMS incidence was similar when treated with acetazolamide (18.8%) or ibuprofen (13.7%; P = .34), and both agents were significantly more effective than placebo (28.6%; P = .03). In fully compliant participants, moderate or severe headache incidence was similar when treated with acetazolamide (3.8%) or ibuprofen (4.7%; P = .79), and both agents were significantly more effective than placebo (13.5%; P = .03).
Fascinatingly the authors demonstrated that Ibuprofen and acetazolamide are similarly effective in preventing HAH. This adds another medication to the useful arsenal to use in the treatment of AMS and in particular is especially useful when you have a patient who can’t take acetazolamide (diabetics or sulphur allergies) .
Learn more about Altitude Medicine by joining Expedition and Wilderness Medicine’s CME accredited Mountain Medicine course in Nepal headed up by Everest ER founder Dr Luanne Freer
Next October sees the inaugural Expedition Medicine Mountain Medicine Course following the route of the Everest Base Camp Trail over period of 16 days based out of Kathmandu. The course will be CME certified for an estimated 20 points.
Expedition Medicine’s Mountain Medicine course in the Khumbu Valley in Nepal headed by Drs Luanne Freer MD FAWM and Dr Amy Hughes Medical Director of Expedition Medicine. Dr Freer many of you will know as the founder and director of Everest ER which is a seasonal tent-based medical clinic at the Everest base camp (17,600 ft/5350m) founded in 2003, a volunteer physician for the nonprofit Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) in Nepal. Luanne, who is also a past president of the Wilderness Medical Society and medical director for the Yellowstone National Park aims to pass on through this mountain medicine course her years of experience of providing medical cover at this altitude as well as her passion for the Khumbu Valley and Nepal in general.
The Nepal Mountain Medicine course will also serve as a fundraiser for Everest ER
Previously Expedition Medicine had run it’s Diving and Marine Medicine course in the Bander Khayran area of the Oman coast but decided to change location to guarantee great diving to the Maldives. So, in October of this year an eclectic band of medics from literally all over the world joined Diving Medic Dr Lesley Thomson – who has treated divers at the Plymouth and Aberdeen Hyperbaric Units, Dr Robert Conway founder of award winning marine conservation charity Blue Ventures, Dr Mark Read a marine biologist and Head of the endangered species unit of the Great Barrier Reef National Park and Mark Hannaford veteran of over 25 years of adventure travel and expeditions to all of the worlds continents aboard the dive boat Ari Queen for a week amongst the coral atolls of the Maldives.
The diving standard was set by our first ‘proper’ dive after our initial check dive when we dived at a Manta Ray feeding station. I don’t think any of us were really prepared for the spectacle surrounding us. Diving down to about 25 metres we positioned ourselves below the reef edge and it wasn’t long before a mass of manta rays, both fully grown adults and juveniles, were looming out of the slightly murky water and gracefully glided over our heads. This really set the standard for the diving on the course, which reached a pinnacle on the last dive where a mass a over 10 Grey Sharks were spotted amongst huge flight of Eagle Rays, White tipped Reef Sharks, a giant Napoleon Wrasse and the most relaxed Hawksbill Turtle that any of us had ever dived with, calmly grazing next to us as we admired the gallery of marine life whilst a territorial Titan Trigger Fish took a fancy to our dive guide!
The teaching side of the course maintained equally high standards, with a range of specific diving medicine related topics covered, including decompression sickness and diving physiology. The team also drew upon Lesley’s experiences as a medical officer and diving medic for the British Antarctic Survey, Rob’s years of marine conservation work in Madagascar, Mark Read’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the underwater world and Mark Hannaford’s quarter century of experience of running expeditions and adventure travel.
If you are getting the impression that it was a pretty action-packed course you would be right – some days lecturing did not finish until 10pm! – but it was also hugely enjoyable! The enormous wealth of experience amongst the delegates meant that their input and knowledge added a great deal to the overall leaning. In terms of meeting like-minded people it was a great opportunity to establish some great networks and share contacts.
The Diving and Marine Medicine course in the Maldives is accredited by the Wildness Medical Society for CME points and also counts towards gaining a Fellowship of the Wilderness Medicine (FAWN). A full list of the topics covered can be found on the Diving Medicine course page of the Expedition Medicine website.
Dates for next year’s course are to be confirmed exactly but will be mid-October 2011 – send us an email here [email protected] to preregister your interest.