Expedition and Wilderness Medicine provides medical support for BBC Blue Peter Presenter Helen Skelton as she attempts to be the first woman to kayak solo the Amazon.

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine provides remote media medical support for BBC Blue Peter Presenter Helen Skelton as she attempts to be the first woman to kayak solo the Amazon. Source: Telegraph Newspaper

A terrible thought crosses Helen Skelton’s mind. “I am going to need seven bottles of shampoo,” she says, aghast.

It is indeed scary news for the 26-year-old Blue Peter presenter, but not perhaps the worry that would be uppermost in the minds of most people setting off on a world record-breaking ordeal.

Her task over the next six weeks is to kayak solo for 2,010 miles down the Amazon. No woman has ever done that before, let alone one with no paddling experience.

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The BBC and Expedition and Wilderness Medicine

Helen Skelton completes the Namibia ultra marathon

Helen Skelton completes the Namibia ultra marathon

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine have once again been called upon to help BBC’s Blue Peter program. After Helen Skelton, one of the loveliest presenters we have ever had the pleasure of working with, completed Across the Divide’s  Namibia Ultra Marathon, considered by many to be the hardest desert marathon in the world and for which EWM medics provided support, she is now heading off down the Amazon and Expedition and Wilderness Medicine and Across the Divide and  were called upon to provide medical support.

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine who provide remote medical support for film crews and media companies have been busy preparing Helen for the rigours of her next adventure and expedition doctors Dr Sean Hudson and Lucy Dickinson have been busy in the BBC centre running scenarios and doing on site training.    Dr Dickinson has the pleasure of accompanying the Blue Peter expedition but rumours have it is she is more excited about the prospect of gaining an elusive Blue Peter badge than exploring one of the world’s greatest natural wonders!!

In true BBC fashion it was all filmed for prosperity and will appear on next weeks Blue Peters shows on Tuesday 19th of January and Wednesday the 20th.

New Diving and Marine Medicine location – Maldives, Indian Ocean.

Diving Medicine Training Course in the Maldives

Diving Medicine Training Course in the Maldives

Diving and Marine Medicine Training Course – Indian Ocean

3 – 9 OCTOBER 2010 ABOARD THE LIVEABOARD MV ARI QUEEN, THE MALDIVES

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine are very excited at being able to offer an inspirational course for all those medical professionals responsible for clients or expedition team members in a diving or marine environment.

This is a 6 day course, aiming to give participants an understanding of conditions likely to occur whilst working as a doctor on a diving expedition. Topics covered will include pre-expedition medicals, diving-related illness, marine envenomation, emergency treatments and casevac plans. Practical sessions include boat handling, search & rescue and underwater communications. There will be at least 2 dives a day, including a night dive and hopefully a visit to the hyperbaric chamber on Kuramathi Island – the largest facility in the Maldives. At the end of the week, participants should feel confident to act as medical officer on a diving expedition, or in any UK diving medical practice. Read the ‘What to Expect’ section below to get more of an idea of what the course entails.

MINIMUM COURSE REQUIREMENTS
All participants are expected to at least have a PADI Open Water qualification (or equivalent) with a minimum of 10 dives. Ideally participants should have PADI Advance Open Water qualification (or equivalent) as we will be doing some current diving. Conditions are dependent on dive sites, currents and times of year. If your qualification is not recent we recommend you complete at least 2 or 3 refresher dives before the course so that you get the most out of the fantastic diving the Maldives offers.
If the group is mixed, the dives will be split into 2 groups, so that each group is diving to its own ability.
PARTICIPANTS MUST BRING WITH THEM THEIR DIVE QUALIFICATION CERTIFICATES AND LOG BOOKS AS PROOF OF DIVING QUALIFICATIONS.

The Diving And Marine Medicine Course is accredited for FAWM points but we are waiting for confirmation of these as the Diving medicine course has moved to a new location.

CME accredited wilderness medical training courses.

Free Medical Training for Media Production Companies working in Remote Locations

Medical Training for Media Expedition Media TrainingProduction Companies

December 3rd 2009
09.00 – 13.00

Royal Geographical Society, London

This is a free training seminar, limited to 25 places, for people involved in filming or media projects abroad in locations where medical cover is not close at hand. It will highlight the biggest risks and you will learn how to administer immediate care and the importance of including the medical provision in your planning.

Anyone who is part of a media crew or production company working on location abroad in remote environments or who is filming and photographing adventurous activities.

Interested?   Then contact Piers Carter on  Piers@expeditionmedicine.co.uk  or  07801 104604

Expedition and Wilderness Medical Training

Cervical collar or SAM splint in a pre-hospital wilderness environment – Dr Sean Hudson reviews

For some time there has been a debate about the value of cervical collars in the pre-hospital wilderness environment. A recent article has lent weight to the ‘don’t take collars on expedition’ protagonists.

The recent journal of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine: Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 166–168 compares a molded SAM splint as a collar with the traditional philadelphia collar.

The SAM splint was simply wrapped and molded around the C spine. and degrees of movement of the C spine were tested in all planes.

They found no significant difference in the ability of the 2 collars at limiting movement of the cervical spine. Podolsky and colleagues, in a prior study, found that the Philadelphia collar is as effective as numerous other collars available for cervical spine immobilization.

None of these devices has the broad range of uses that can be performed by a SAM splint (in addition to limiting movement of the cervical spine) The ability to carry one universal device for so many different medical conditions is one of the advantages of the SAM splint. This study helps to validate the practice of using a SAM splint as a universal splint for environments with limited medical supplies.

For more information on Expedition and Wilderness Medicine visit www.expeditionmedicine.co.uk.

Wilderness Medicine resources and training courses.

Sarah Outen – makes it with a little help from EWM!! The first Britian to row in the India Ocean and the first female ever!

Sarah Outen in a breathtaking achievement and with a little help in terms of support and training from Expedition and Wilderness Medicine has successfully become the first Britian and the first woman ever to row across the Indian Ocean and the youngest woman to solo any ocean- massive congratulations to her from us

A very exciting, record-breaking, and ever so slightly crazy sort of challenge. It involved my little boat, the Indian Ocean and lots of chocolate. April Fools Day 2009 I set out from Western Australia in a bid to become the first woman to row solo across this ocean. 124 days later after 4,000 miles, having eaten all my chocolate, faced storms and mid-ocean capzies , I landed in Mauritius. It was raw and elemental – just as adventure should be.

Find out more about Sarah’s epic row at http://www.sarahouten.co.uk or donate online via JustGiving

Landing at the end of the record breaking row

Landing at the end of the record breaking row

Heat related injuries in extreme desert conditions

Operating in extremely hot conditions creates a unique set of medical risks. In the link is the medical outline – for non medics, regarding those risks from the Namibia Ultra Marathon training guide.

DEHYDRATION
Dehydration is the most common heat related illness – in fact, it is thought that dehydration could be the single greatest threat to the health of an athlete. When training regularly and for long distances, fluid intake should be made a priority. You must drink fluids all day – not just during training. 

Don’t depend on feeling thirsty to tell you when to drink. Thirst is a late response of the body to fluid depletion. Once you feel thirsty, you are already low on fluids. The best indicator of proper fluid levels is urine output and colour. Ample urine that is light coloured to clear shows that the body has plenty of fluid. 

Dark urine means that the body is low on water, and is trying to conserve its supply by hoarding fluid which means that urine becomes more concentrated (thereby darker). 

Dehydration can be the cause of feelings of fatigue or exhaustion – at all times watch out for signs of dehydration and take on water regularly through out the day. 

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