Galapagos Medical CME Conference with National Geographic

Galapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos Islands CME Medical ConferenceNational GeographicGalapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos medical cme conference
Galapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos Islands CME Medical ConferenceGalapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos medical cme conference
Galapagos medical cme conferenceGalapagos Islands CME Medical ConferenceGalapagos Islands CME Medical ConferenceGalapagos Islands CME Medical ConferenceLEXNGlogo20140102wilderness medicine galapagos_0080
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We have just updated our image folder of the this amazing Wilderness Medicine Conference with photographs from our delegates – its pretty hard to tell the difference between theirs and those from National Geographic!


Polar Medicine Training Course – sign up discount

Sign up Discount available for limited period

For a limited time only Expedition and Wilderness Medicine are offering £100 of our legendary Polar Medicine Course from the 7th to the 13th of February 2010 to be held in Alta, northern Norway.  Contact Rosi for more details.

‘Probably one of the best courses that you will ever do!’ ‘Incredibly well organised, and presented with an infectious enthusiasm’ Past EML delegate.

The Life-Line Clinic, Namibia | Job Oppurtunity

Namib Naukluft National Park, NamibiaNamibia Medical volunteer
This challenging programme offers you a unique opportunity to work at a small, rural Bushman clinic in Africa and make a difference to the lives of those in most need.
N/a’an ku sê is a unique and special place in the heart of Namibia which is committed to conserving wildlife and improving the lives of the Bushman community. Live your African dream and help make a difference by volunteering at our Lifeline Clinic.

About N/a’an ku sê’s Lifeline Clinic
• Bushman are treated as third class citizens and live in extreme poverty
• Adult onset diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are sharply increasing in Bushmen and alcoholism has become prevalent
• Many Bushman children suffer from malnutrition, disease, discrimination and abuse

The N/a’an ku sê Lifeline Clinic was set up in 2003 to address the needs of the rural indigenous communities in Epukiro, a remote part of Namibia. The demand for a basic but comprehensive health service became apparent to medical professionals working in the area when they witnessed the tragic and unnecessary death of a young child due to the failure of ambulance service and hospital staff, largely due to the fact that the child was a Bushman.   This vital service relies upon the time and dedication of volunteers and donations from supporters to continue to run and serve the communities in need.

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Desert Medicine Course BOOK NOW!

We have a few places left on our Desert Medicine Course in Namibia from 19-25  April.  This course was run for the first time last year and proved a fantastic success.  Run by Drs Sean Hudson and Sundeep Dhillon plus a knowledgeable local team this course is ideal for those interested in working in arid or desert environments.

The tutors will develop the skills of the participants through a combination of practical sessions and evening lectures. The days will be spent in the field, learning both the essential medical skills and survival skills which will allow you to be a valuable member of a desert expedition team. Topics covered include, managing animal bites, identifying tropical diseases, heat related illnesses and managing the health of an expedition in the field, travelling in the desert by vehicle and on foot, setting up camp, cooking and lighting fires, managing casualties and evacuating them when needed. And much more. Skills without which a successful medical response is extremely difficult.

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Join us on Facebook

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine has it own area on Facebook – its been around for quite a while so why not come and join us and meet like-minded medics

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine’s Facebook Group


Expedition and Wilderness Medicine on Facebook

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine on Facebook

Local MP visits EML/ ATD HQ

The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP for West Dorset came to visit the Across the Divide headquarters and below is a copy of his impression written up for the Western Gazette.

Oliver Letwin 

I have seen the future – right here in West Dorset; and it is with us now.

If you want to see it too, you have to make a pilgrimage to Thorncombe (which happens to be the village in which I live)..

You have to go up the main street and turn off it down a tiny lane.  There you will find a barn.

Some time back, this barn was rather the worse for wear – and had clearly ceased to have the original agricultural purpose for which it had been constructed.

Today, it is as smart a building as any in West Dorset, or anywhere else in the country, for that matter.  Its stone positively glistens. It has splendidly restored beams, a magnificent set of skylights which are appropriately invisible from outside, cunningly inserted places for birds and owls to eat and roost, and wonderfully polished restored wooden fittings.

But it is not just a West Dorset stone barn brought back to life. It is also packed with  high-tech, eco-conscious design features. It has absolutely the latest air heat recovery system, a solar water heating system, and fixed line broadband as well as – for safety’s sake – a line-of-sight wireless broadband system,

Enter the barn, and you find yourself in a brilliantly equipped and ultra-modern office, with ranks of calmly efficient young people working on the latest computers and surrounded by remarkable works of modern art, chic glass and metal tables, and all the other apparatus of the fanciest and grandest of London city firms.

The only thing that differs from a London city office is that this barn, instead of being cramped into some tiny keyhole-space amidst the grime and noise of city life, is surrounded by some of the loveliest of West Dorset’s hills and by the charm of Thorncombe’s little streets.

The business that is going on in this remarkable environment is, in itself, remarkable.  Known as “Across the Divide”, it is an organisation devoted to arranging outdoor activities across the world for charities, voluntary bodies and corporations that are raising money for charities.  From all over the country, experienced travellers and skillful medics are brought together to lead expeditions that venture not only along the heritage coastline of Britain but also to the North Pole and the Amazon .

The range is vast: an expedition to refurbish a decaying school in South Africa; a tour of a great city by night; the ascent of some dangerous peak; wherever, whatever and whenever – and all quietly and efficiently arranged from this barn in Thorncombe.

Ten years ago, it would have been quite another matter.  Twenty years ago, it would have been quite impossible.  But today, with broadband communications (mercifully available in Thorncombe, unlike some other parts of West  Dorset), it can all be done exactly as efficiently as in a big city office, and with a vastly higher quality of life for those involved.

Those who say that rural areas are inevitably  going to be left behind in the fast-moving global economy should pay a visit, and repent !

EML Director sets up online gallery of images

Mark, whose images appear regulary in the travel sections of a number of national newspapers, has establish a new web gallery of some of this best images at the Red Bubble website.

If you would like to see more of the stunning images available as cards, prints and posters follow this link; Travel Photography Gallery

Buy my art

Medicine in the Himalayas – Dr Kirstie Nicol

Working for the Himalayan Rescue Association in Nepal

About the writer.  Dr Kirstie Nichol is a G.P. with a keen interest in expeditions and the medical issues or remote locations.   She has attended the Expedition and Wilderness Medicine course in Keswick and the Polar Medicine training course in Alta, Northern Norway and worked as an expedition medic for Across the Divide Expeditions in locations as diverse as Kilimanjaro and Peru.

Kirstie Nichol in NepalIn 2007 I left ‘normal’ working life as a GP in Haddington behind for a while to work for the Himalayan Rescue Association in a high altitude clinic in Nepal.

The HRA is a Nepalese voluntary non-profit organisation formed in 1973 with an objective to reduce casualties in the Nepal Himalayas, especially in view of the increasing number of Nepalese and foreigners who trek up into the remote wilderness. Nepal alone now receives more than one hundred thousand trekkers from around the world every year. It can be easy to under-estimate the dangers of altitude illness; deaths from these conditions are all the more tragic because they are entirely preventable. Working at the clinic involves a mix of primary health care for local people including home visits, providing an emergency medical service for trekkers and the provision of daily lectures for trekkers emphasising the prevention, recognition and treatment of altitude illnesses. Because rescue is difficult in Nepal, prevention is a key part of the role.

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Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Course Feedback

We’ve just received some excellent feedback from one of our previous UK course delegates,

“Since attending the Keswick course in 2006 I have accompanied four charity treks as medical officer with different companies.The course has proved invaluable and I can strongly recommend the training provided by Expedition Medicine to anyone wishing to act as a medical officer”

Have a look at the Expedition & Wilderness Medicine website for further information,

What to put in your expedition medical Kit


Expedition Medical kits, everything but the Kitchen Sink by Dr Sean Hudson

Probably the most common question I’m asked as an expedition medic is ‘What shall I put in my medical kit?’  The question is very hard to answer and would receive a different answer from probably every doctor involved in remote medicine. It is dependent on skills, experience, environment, preferences, and purpose of expedition.

There are several items, which I always carry in my pocket if I’m working on an expedition in a wildnerness area:

· Roll of zinc oxide tape- covering blisters, taping injuries and dressings
· Ibuprofen- simple analgesia, especially useful for musculoskeletal injuries
· Imodium- To control the problem of gastroenteritis whilst participating in essential activities
· Tincture of iodine- used to purify water and antiseptic for wounds
· Gauze dressing- Simple dressings
· Compeed or similar dressing- adds padding to nasty blisters

The rest of the kit really depends on your experience and distance from help. I normally would break the kit down into:

· Analgesia
· Fracture Management
· Antibiotics
· Lotions and potions
· Dressings and Wound Closure
· Medical Emergencies
· IV Access and fluids
· Specialist Equipment (depends on environment)

· Analgesia is going to differ relative to your country of origin. As a doctor I would always take Morphine, IM Voltarol, Rectal Voltarol, Co-codamol, Paracetamol.

There are a variety of ways of immobilizing a fracture, the simplest being ingenuity, some zinc oxide tape or clingfilm. Otherwise Sam Splints are very versatile and a Kendrick Traction Device is lightweight and fantastic for lower limb fractures.

You want antibiotics to cover as wide a variety of infections as possible from dental abscess to travellers diarrhoea. I normally take Co-Amoxiclav, Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole, and Flucloxacillin. Remember always be aware of sensitivities to antibiotics.

Irritating skin conditions are common on expedition especially in tropical regions, consider taking an antifungal, an antihistamine, a steroid and an antibiotic, Clotrimazole, Anthisan, 1% Hydrocortisone, and Fucidin and an Antiseptic spray or liquid.

Simple dressings possibly impregnated with betadine are useful, together with some dry dressings and crepe bandages. Wounds can be closed with steristrips, sutures, staples or even superglue. Some training is essential.

I always carry a Salbutamol Inhaler, and treatment for anaphylaxis, Adrenaline, Piriton and Hydrocortisone. IV Fluids, Giving Sets and Venflons and an assortment of Syringes and Needles.

Extra equipment is often needed for different environments.

· Altitude Expeditions are most likely to see AMS, HACE and HAPE, so the training and medication to look these conditions is imperative. Dexamethasone, Nifedipine, Acetazolamide, Oxygen and a Hyperbaric Chamber, Increasingly other medications are being trialled with some success.

· In polar environments portable devices for rewarming hypothermic patients are useful, The HEATPAC is light and easy to use.

Lightweight stretchers are useful, they can be improvised from rope but some ski stretchers are invaluable whilst backcountry skiing

As you can see there is no easy answer to this question. You may choose to take a 25kg rucksack full of equipment, or it may fit into a camera case. Look at the common conditions, endemic diseases, common injuries and logistical and medical support and adapt your medical kit to fit the occasion, and don’t ask too many doctors otherwise you’ll end up taking the kitchen sink.

Specialist equipement can be hired from Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, see their remote media support page.

About the author
Dr. Sean Hudson is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and on the expeditionary advisory board for Summit. Sean has been involved in a wide array of expeditions over the last 18 years. During this time he has trekked across the Darien Gap, The Thar Desert, worked as a trekking guide and Chief Medic for Raleigh International in Namibia and Zimbabwe, a trauma medic in Columbia and ski field doctor in New Zealand. Since 1998 he has worked for Across the Divide Expeditions as medic and expedition medicine advisor, providing medical cover on expeditions in 21 different countries. Dogsledding to Desert trekking in Namibia. In 2002, he and his wife, expedition medic Dr. Caroline Knox, helped to established Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, which seeks to provide comprehensive training for medical professionals working as expedition medical officers in a variety extreme and remote environments.