Wilderness Medicine

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For some unknown reason, I ended up being the only guy that went on the Wilderness Medicine Retreat this past weekend.  I didn’t mind at all. 
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We spent Saturday hiking parts of the Bruce Trail (which is over 600 km long).  It was tipping it down, so we ended up covered with mud.  We spent Saturday night at Hart House farm (which is owned by the University of Toronto, pictured at the bottom).  We made a big bonfire.  There was a woodshed with a large axe for splitting logs.  I chopped way more kindling than we needed to start the fire, but I was enjoying myself too much to stop.  The girls couldn’t figure out why I was so keen on chopping wood.  They chalked it up to a “guy thing”.  Come one, who doesn’t like the feel of an axe in his (or her) hands?
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On Sunday morning, an emergency room doctor (Dr. Cheng, bottom left) with an interest in wilderness medicine kindly came out to Hart House farm to teach us some basic skills such as assessing the airway, breathing, and circulation (ABCs) on a victim with a possible cervical spine injury.  We also learned how to “wrap” and evacuate an injured (and immobile) victim who was also suffering from hypothermia (above).  In addition, we learned how to splint fractures of the ankle, leg, wrist, and forearm MacGyver style, as well as how to stabilize a neck fracture.  We also learned ways to reduce a separated shoulder in the field.  Finally we went through what to include in an expedition medical kit (always include safety pins!).  It was a fun and informative weekend.  Who knows when this training will come in handy.
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