Part III: Acronyms That You Need To Know For Wilderness First Aid

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The third and final part of this series looks at additional acronyms that you must learn if you intend to master different techniques of wilderness first aid. These acronyms are made so that they are easy to remember, after all, what is the point of creating an acronym that many people struggle to recall? It beats the logic to try and come up with a long name. Without much ado, here are acronyms that you need to know.

i)                    RICE is perhaps the most common acronym, not just in wilderness first aid, but also in basic first aid procedures.

R – rest the affected area to give time for the injury to heal.

I – immobilize the area of injury to prevent additional damage.

C – use a cold pack on the injury to alleviate pain as well as keep swelling down.

E – Elevate the injured area, preferably above the level of the heart. In cases where there are serious injuries to the legs or arms and this is not possible, skip the elevation stage before continuing with basic first aid procedures.

ii)                  SAMPLE constitutes part of wilderness first aid procedures that focus on a patient’s medical history, and which is appropriately used when carrying out an assessment.

Symptoms – look out for the signs and symptoms that accompany the injury, where does it pain?

Allergies – does the patient have any known allergic reactions?

Medication – is the patient undertaking any medication, and for what condition?

Past medical history – are there any medical conditions in the past that the doctor needs to be aware of?

Last food intake and defecation

Events that occurred prior to the injury.

iii)                When checking for shock as you administer wilderness first aid, here are some of the things that you should be on the lookout for using the acronym SCTM.

Skin color to show the coloration in areas that lack a natural pigmentation, and ideally this ought to be pink.

Temperature of the patient’s skin: ought to be warm.

Moisture – the skin should not be moist, but dry when felt through touch.

iv)                Use the TBSA when you need to find out about the Total Body Surface Area. This is relevant for assessing burn victims as it enables one to calculate the sum body surface area that has been affected by burn injuries.

v)                  Classified in the general category of wilderness first aid acronyms, ‘umbles’ are used to gauge the symptoms of hypothermia at the onset stages. This is because the patient mumbles when they talk, stumbles when they walk and grumbles during the procedure. Notice a pattern here?

vi)                What procedure of wilderness first aid must you use when gathering information about a patient for legal purposes? Use the acronym SOAP to help you with this.

–          S means that you get subjective information concerning their situation, for instance, what have they complained about previously? What is their medical history like?

–          O means that you have to objective information about the patient. Check out results of body tests that have been carried out as well as take not of the vital signs.

–          A means that you have to carry out an assessment to establish what could be wrong.

–          P means that you have to plan the course of action that you want to take even as you monitor the patient’s condition.

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  • All 1staid.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.