Remove all the victim's clothing, spray the entire body with water and fan him vigorously, whichwill release heat through convection and evaporation. If possible, immerse the victim in ice water,or place ice packs under the back of the neck, armpits, lower back and groin. The secret totreating heat stroke is cooling the body immediately and evacuating the patient as soon aspossible. When using this process be sure to monitor the patient's core temperature. Stop thecooling process once the temperature reaches 100 degrees, or else the body can have a reversereaction and become severely hypothermic.
Diarrhea is another common medical condition for wilderness travelers. Simple diarrhea canbe caused from diet changes, stress, or nervous anticipation associated with new adventures.The more severe forms can be the result of intestinal infections (bacterial, viral, or parasitic,) foodpoisoning and allergies. Usually, simple diarrhea will take care of itself; however, prolongeddiarrhea can be serious and cause dehydration due to loss of fluids and electrolytes.Accompanying the serious cases may be lower abdominal cramping, fever, lack of bowel control,signs of dehydration, and others in your group with the same condition.Treatment consists of drinking copious amounts of clear fluids and a gradual return to anormal diet. Steer clear of milk products and meats for at least 48 hours after the diarrhea hasstopped and avoid caffeine and nicotine since it stimulates the intestine and increasesdehydration. Pepto-Bismol and Imodium AD should be included in every aidbag and used astreatment. One of the best treatments is Oral Rehydration salts which are usually found in goodtravel first-aid kits or you can make the bush equivalent detailed above.
Insect Bites and Stings
One of the largest adversities in serious bush is insect stings and bites. Mosquitoes, chiggers,flies and a whole host of other creatures love to feast on human flesh. For the most part, they'rerelatively harmless except for those that carry disease. The biggest medical problem usuallyassociated with bites is infection due to scratching with dirty fingernails.Treatment for minor bites and stings is application of Sting-Eze or other product designed toneutralize the venom removing the discomfort. More serious bites such as wasps and spiders canbe treated immediately with a Sawyers Extractor followed by close patient monitoring for furthersigns of envenomation and/or allergic reactions which can produce anaphylactic shock in thosewho are hypersensitive to the venom. Oral Benadryl will help to keep down mild allergic reactions,but will make the person drowsy, and heavy doses can increase the risk of heat-related illnessthrough raising the body's heat output and by decreasing sweating.Some serious bites like those from Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders may not producepain during the initial bite, however, in most all cases pain becomes evident shortly thereafter.Treatment should consist of washing the bite with soap and water, relieving pain with ice packson the bite, keeping a check on the ABCs (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) and evacuating thevictim to a primary care facility. Don't worry, most insect bites are not fatal if allergic reactions arenot present.The best treatment for insect bites is prevention. DEET is a good insect repellant, but careshould be taken when applying high concentrations directly to the skin, especially in children.Another good preventive measure is applying Permethrin to clothing, however it too has shownsigns of allergic reaction in some people. When traveling in tropical and other mosquito-infestedareas, always use mosquito netting when camping, and apply DEET around the pant legs andboots to keep down chiggers when walking through grassy areas.