How to deal with injuries and illness in the great outdoors

6:47 PM, Jun 7, 2011   |    comments
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HUGO, Minn. -- June is national Men's Health Month and also a time when men like to get out into the great outdoors. Sometimes they get injured.  

Dr. John Northwood of the Fairview Hugo Clinic in Hugo has advice on how to handle injuries and health issues out in the wild. He said it's important to carry a well stocked first aid kit.  It should include aspirin which can thin the blood if someone starts having chest pains which could be a sign of a heart attack.

As for injuries in the woods, Dr. Northwood said the most common injury is a sprained ankle.  You can splint a sprain with sticks and an Ace bandage, putting the sticks in your hiking boots.  But when should a sprain cut a guy's camping trip short?  

"If he can't walk on it if he can't bear weight at all that's a sign that it's time to evacuate and come on out," said Dr. Northwood. 

Dr. Northwood also showed how to remove a fish hook stuck in the skin.  He said you push down on the back of the hook so the barb is disengaged and then pull the hook out the way it went in.  The barb will likely rip at your skin.  Another option is to push the hook forward through the skin, cut the barb off and then pull the rest of the hook out the way it went in. 

But if it looks like any of the hook could cut something important, tape it down instead and get to a clinic so it can be removed by an expert.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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