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Ask Stanford Med: Chief of Emergency Medicine taking questions on wilderness medicine

This summer families, nature lovers and thrill seekers will head outdoors. While many may spend hours planning camping trips, researching hiking gear or picking out the perfect sleeping bag, few are likely consider the potential health hazards that can arise on even an ordinary trip.

To help you prepare for those potential mid-adventure emergencies, we've enlisted Stanford Professor Paul Auerbach, MD, to respond to your questions about safety outdoors.

An expert on wilderness medicine, Auerbach is editor of the medical textbook Wilderness Medicine and author of Medicine for the Outdoors and Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine. He was a member of the Stanford medical team that provided assistance to survivors of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a volunteer physician at the Hospitalito Atitlan in Santiago, Guatemala, and instructor and examiner for the Nepal Ambulance Service in Kathmandu, Nepal. A founder and past president of the Wilderness Medical Society, he was named a Hero of Emergency Medicine in 2008 by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Questions can be submitted to Auerbach by either sending a tweet that includes the hashtag #AskSUMed or posting your question in the comments section below. We'll collect questions until Wed., June 13 at 5 pm.

When submitting questions, please abide by the following ground rules:

  • Stay on topic
  • Be respectful to the person answering your questions
  • Be respectful to one another in submitting questions
  • Do not monopolize the conversation or post the same question repeatedly
  • Kindly ignore disrespectful or off topic comments
  • Know that Twitter handles and/or names may be used in the responses

Auerbach will respond to a selection of the questions submitted, but not all of them, in a future entry on Scope.

Finally - and you may have already guessed this - an answer to any question submitted as part of this feature is meant to offer medical information, not medical advice. These answers are not a basis for any action or inaction, and they're also not meant to replace the evaluation and determination of your doctor, who will address your specific medical needs and can make a diagnosis and give you the appropriate care.

Previously: Stanford's Paul Auerbach writes on treating emergencies mid-adventure, The importance of being a health-conscious traveler, Most valuable tools for physicians working in Haiti and Reports from Stanford medical team in Haiti
Photo by skyseeker

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