Wilderness Medicine Case Study 1
A friend of yours from Florida and you have just flown to an Alpine ski area in Colorado for vacation. You are both beginning skiers and it's the fourth day of your vacation. You started skiing the beginner trails from the top of the mountain yesterday. The temperature has been in the upper twenties since you arrived; however, a cold front moved in last night and today's temperature is in the low teens with a light breeze from the northwest. The chair lift stopped for 20 minutes on your second ride up the mountain. By the time you got off the chair at the top, you were both quite cold and your friend reports that the fingers of both his hands are throbbing and feel cold and numb. You both head into the restaurant at the top to warm up. When you get inside your friend takes off his gloves to find his fingers completely white. You take a photo (inset) and call the Ski Patrol.
What's wrong with your friend's hands? What do you need to do? Can he still ski? Click here to find out.
Don't know where to begin or what to do? Take one of our wilderness medicine courses. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.
Looking for a reliable field reference? Consider consider purchasing one of our print or digital handbooks; our digital handbook apps are available in English, Spanish, and Japanese. Updates are free for life. A digital SOAP note app is also available.
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