Dr. Dan's Lifeline series:

The Northwest Whitewater Association publishes a periodical Newsletter that includes a regular column on health and medical issues. The feature is called Lifeline and is written by Dan Schaffer, M.D.

As a service to visitors to this web site, selected issues of this column are available by clicking on the titles below. You are free to print these for your personal use. Any commercial use, however, will require written permission from the author who can be contacted at:
schafferdj@comcast.net
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First Aid Kits

The question of what to put in your backcountry First-Aid Kit is easy to answer - "it all depends".   The "depends" part is where it gets tricky, and requires you to assess the following issues: 1. What kinds of problems do you expect to encounter? 2. What kinds of treatment do you feel comfortable administering? 3. How far away is definitive medical care? and 4. How much stuff do you really want to carry with you?

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HYPOTHERMIA - Good For Beer, Bad For Boaters

OK, so it's too cold to lie on the beach but you've already hung up your skis for the season. Your choices are to sit around and watch golf on ESPN or go boating.   Once you've managed to find all your equipment and repair that frame you broke on the Tieton last fall, it's time to get on the river. You know you ought to get that rip in your drysuit fixed, but, hey, it's 60 degrees out and you're only going to do a Class III.

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OF STINGS AND BITES AND THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT

In spite of being at the top of the food chain, there are things out there that want to eat us, even if it's only a little at a time.   Most of us will never experience the life or death struggle with a large predator such as a great cat or grizzly bear, but we will all encounter during our lifetimes a vast array of smaller beasties whose soul purpose is to deprive us of a portion of our precious bodily fluids or our peace of mind.

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