During the January 9, 2001 Chapter meeting we had our Chapter President Rudy Gable give an excellent presentation on First Aid and the safety of being outdoors. Rudy has had a lot of experiences in administrating first aid from Vietnam War days (he was a helicopter medic) and he keeps up locally with current events in this area as well as upstate Pennsylvania. We are very fortunate to have him as our local expert in this subject as well as our current Chapter President. Thank you, Rudy, for educating and keeping us well informed. It can be a dangerous world out there in the mountains and streams and the flyfisherman has to be aware of all the potential problems he may face. Prevention and Knowledge are the keys to happy and safe fishing. Success and adventure then follows those well prepared.
Nothing listed below can take place of a First-Aid course and CPR course.
The environment challenges us in many ways and it needs to be respected. Realize it cannot be conquered. Adapting and being properly prepared will play a significant role in surviving nature's sometimes awesome power.
Whether it be a simple or complicated kit everyone should carry some type of First Aid supplies.
2x2 Sterile gauze pads
4x4 Sterile gauze pads
Latex or nitrile gloves
Non-Presciption drugs - Asperin/Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen
1 Roll gauze
1 roll medical tape
1 Buffered Eye Wash
It's important to get as much information from a person as possible if conscious. Name, Address, Phone Number of contact person. Find out if the person is Diabetic or if they are allergic to any medifications.
The ABC's of First-Aid
Prevention of hypothermia is simple. Treatment is not!
Hypothermia is your worst enemy. Frostbite is dangerous and painful, but hypothermia is ofter considered deadlier because it deminishes mental capacity and having your wits about you is the key to survival.
Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops to 95 degrees F. or lower, a condition that is not exclusive to winter environment. Hypothermia can develop whenever heat loss exceeds heat gain and is as common during the wind, rain and hail of summer as it is during winter.
1. RADIATION is the direct loss of heat from a warm body to a cooler environment. Your head and neck alone can account for 50 percent of your total body heat. Protective clothing, including a hat and scarf, will help prevent heat loss.
2. CONDUCTION is heat loss through direct physical contact between the body and a cooler surface. Insulating yourself from the ground will help prevent this type of heat loss.
3. CONVECTION ios the heat loss by air movement circulating around the body and depends on the velocity of the wind (wind chill factor). Windproof clothing and shelter will reduce this type of heat loss. In a survival situation, wrapping a garbage or survival blanket around yourself can help protect yourself from wind chill.
4. EVAPORATION is heat loss through sweat drying on your skin. Using a vapor barrier liner under your clothing minimizes this type of heat loss. Heat is also lost by breating cold dry air. Breathing through a scarf or face mask can reduce this type of heat loss.
How Your Body Recognizes and Reacts to Being Cold
Your perception of whether you are cold or warm depends more on your skin temperature than on your core temperature. Your body's thermostat is in your skin, not your core or brain. Even when your core temperature is above normal, if your skin is cold you will "feel" cold and begin shivering (an involuntary condition in which our muscles contract rapidly to generate additional heat). And if your core temperature is low but your skin is warm, you will "feel" warm, and will not shiver despite being hypothermic.
If you warm your skin without providing heat to the core, you extinquish the drive to shiver and thus produce less heat. If, for example, you give a hypothermic victim some alcohol it will cause the blood vessels on the skin to dilate: the victim will feel warmer, stop shivering, and become more hypothermic. Sugary Hot Fluids -- Concentrated sugars are absorbed into the blood rapidly from the stomach and provides powerful source of fuel for your body to generate heat.
Air Force Search And Rescue Survival Training: Air Force Regulation 64-4, Washington, D.C.: Dept. of the Air Force.
NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) Wilderness First Aid
Wilderness 911, Eric A. Weiss, M.D.
In Conclusion: Don't fall in the water while fishing. Try to stay warm and dry. Fish with a buddy or always let someone know where you are in case you do not come back. In this case everything mentioned above must be taken into account. Enjoy the outdoors. - WK
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January 17, 2001