Articles about hiking & Camping


First Aid for Snake Bites - How to Treat a Snake Bite

Here's How:

  1. Safety first! Get away from the snake. That's probably why it bit in the first place. Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it.
  2. Call 911 immediately! Waiting until the pain may lead to permanent tissue damage. Remember that calling 911 on a cell phone is different than a regular phone.
  3. Do not elevate. Keep the bite below the level of the heart.
  4. Wash the area with warm water and soap.
  5. Remove constricting clothing and jewelry from the extremity. The area may swell and constricting items will cause tissue death.
  6. If the snake is an elapid species (coral snakes and cobras), wrap the extremity with an elastic pressure bandage. Start from the point closest to the heart and wrap towards the fingers or toes. Continue to keep the bite lower than the heart.
  7. Follow the basics of first aid while waiting for responders to arrive. Be especially concerned about the potential for shock.


  1. NO CUTTING & SUCKING! Those snake bite kits from the drug store don't work. Cutting into the wound will just create infections.
  2. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of first aid:
    • Wear long pants and boots taller than the ankle.
    • Avoid tall brush and deep, dark crevices.
    • Make plenty of noise and vibration while walking.
    • Do not approach snakes, avoid them.
    • Do not expect rattlesnakes to make any noises.
  3. If the snake is dead, bringing it to the hospital is appropriate. Be careful, dead snakes can reflexively bite for up to an hour.
  4. In today's digital world, pictures are easy to get. A quick picture of the snake - even with a cell phone - will help medical crews identify the animal. Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, identified by dents in the side of their heads that look like ears. Coral snakes are small with bands of red bordered by pale yellow or white. Cobras have hoods that spread behind their heads.
  5. It's not that important to identify the snake; medical crews in areas prone to snake bites can often identify the animal just from the wound. Pit vipers have two fangs and the bite often has two small holes (see illustration). Coral snakes have small mouths full of teeth with rows of small puncture wounds.


Bone Fracture

What is it?

A fracture is a break or crack in a bone.

Who gets it?

Anyone can fracture a bone. Those with low bone density (osteoporosis), bone tumors, certain cancers, or a brittle bone disease called osteogenesis imperfecta are at higher risk for bone fractures. Children and adults who are extremely active and participate in contact sports are also more likely to experience bone fractures. After middle age, women are more likely than men to suffer bone fractures because of diseases that affect bone strength.

What causes it?

A fracture is most often caused by some type of trauma to a bone. This trauma might occur as a result of a fall, physical abuse, motor vehicle accident, or disease. Normal, everyday activities can cause bone fractures in people with diseases that weaken the bones.

What are the symptoms?

What are the symptoms?In general, a bone fracture results in pain, swelling, and, sometimes, bruising from internal bleeding. The patient cannot bear weight or pressure on the injured area, and may be unable to move it without severe pain. The soft tissues around the broken bone may also be injured. The area around or below the fracture may feel numb or paralyzed due to a loss of pulse in that area. There are many different types of fractures. These include a closed or simple, fracture, in which the skin around the fractured bone is not broken. An open, or compound, fracture, does include a break in the skin, revealing the bone and making the wound more susceptible to infection. A fracture is called complete if the break is the whole way through the bone, and incomplete (or greenstick) if the break is partial. Greenstick fractures are more commonly seen in children.

Stress fractures are small cracks in a bone that occur over time as a result of repeated activities that put stress on the bone. There are many other classifications of fractures according to characteristics such as where they occur and their appearance. A person can have just one fracture or multiple fractures at the same time.

How is it diagnosed?

A bone fracture is diagnosed by a physical examination and x-rays of the injured area. However, some types of fractures are difficult to see on an x-ray. In this case, your doctor may order other diagnostic imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or bone scans. Open fractures require additional laboratory tests to determine whether blood has been lost and if there is infection.

What is the treatment?

The treatment for a bone fracture depends upon the type and location of the fracture and the patient’s age and medical history. When a fracture is suspected, the affected area should be immobilized to prevent any further damage. Minor fractures can be treated in the office of an orthopedic specialist. Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that deals with the treatment of injuries to or disorders of the skeletal system. More severe fractures, such as those that are open, multiple, or to the hip or back, are treated in a hospital. Most fractures are immobilized with a cast, brace, splint, or sling. If there is severe swelling, your doctor may wait until the swelling has gone down before casting the fracture.

Stress fractures often require no more than rest, ice packs, anti-inflammatory medicines, and temporarily discontinuing the activity that has caused the injury. If a fracture results in the bone being misaligned, the doctor must realign the bone through a procedure called fracture reduction. This may be done manually and/or through traction, which holds the bone in place for period of time using weights and pulleys.

Surgery may be necessary when a fracture is open, severe, or has resulted in severe injury to the surrounding tissues. Severe fractures may require internal devices, such as screws, rods, or plates, to hold the bone in place or replace lost bone during the healing process. Bone grafts, where healthy bone is taken from another area of the body to fill in the fracture, may also be used. The length of time it takes for a bone fracture to heal and the need for physical therapy after treatment depend upon the severity of the fracture and the age and health of the patient.

Self-care tips

Bone fractures should be treated as quickly as possible to avoid complications and ensure complete healing. Weight-bearing exercise and sufficient amounts of calcium in the diet help strengthen the bones and prevent bone fractures. You can also help prevent bone fractures and other automobile-related injuries by wearing a seat belt when riding in a motor vehicle. People who participate in contact sports should wear appropriate protective gear. Doctors recommend estrogen therapy for women over the age of 50. This, as well as calcium supplements, can help lower the risk of osteoporosis and related bone injuries.


Hyponatremia Symptoms - Hyponatremia First Aid - Water Intoxication

Hyponatremia is commonly known as water intoxication. Water and sodium lost to perspiration is replaced only with water, leaving the body low in sodium. While it has always been a concern during military training, today's growing occurrences of hyponatremia are often the result of athletes drinking water during endurance sports.

Heat Exhaustion or Hyponatremia?

Participants in marathons and other endurance events across the nation have become confused and collapsed during competitions due to hyponatremia. However, many more participants in these very events have become confused and collapsed from dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.

The need to remain hydrated during periods of exertion, particularly in hot climates, makes it difficult to recognize hyponatremia symptoms. Severe dehydration and heat exhaustion look very similar to hyponatremia and, like hyponatremia, are more common in hot weather during exercise.

Hyponatremia Symptoms

Hyponatremia symptoms include:

  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • muscle cramps
  • slurred speech
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures in severe cases

There is very little that can be done outside of a hospital for hyponatremia, so differentiating between dehydration and hyponatremia is the most important part of hyponatremia first aid. The symptoms are similar enough that a good assessment must include interviewing the victim and witnesses.

Hyponatremia First Aid

Victims with slurred speech, confusion, severe weakness, or loss of consciousness need medical attention immediately. Call 911 for these victims, regardless of the cause.

Heat exhaustion and dehydration can look very much like hyponatremia and are much more common. Heat stroke has a distinct set of symptoms and is a serious emergency.

Determine if the victim has been staying hydrated. If witnesses can confirm the victim has been drinking at least a pint of fluid per hour during exercise, consider the possibility of hyponatremia. In cases of rapid massive water intake -- such as college fraternity initiation -- consider the possibility of hyponatremia.

Victims of hyponatremia need salt. In minor cases -- usually just when nausea is present -- before cramps, dizziness or confusion occur, victims may feel better with salty food intake. Be very careful not to treat dehydration as hyponatremia and suggest salty foods when the victim really needs fluid. Assume any victim complaining of thirst is dehydrated.

Avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naprosyn when concerned about hyponatremia. These pain relievers may make symptoms worse.


Hypothermia - How to Treat Hypothermia - Hypothermia Treatment

Hypothermia ranges from mild chills and shivering to coma and death. Hypothermia is defined as a core body temperature of less than 95 degrees Farenheit. Hypothermia signs and symptoms include:

  • shivering
  • exhaustion
  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • memory loss
  • fatigue
  • loss of motor control (fumbling hands)

Some cold exposures are worse than others. Wet victims lose body heat much faster than dry victims. Windy conditions cause victims to lose heat very quickly as well.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Less than a minute to recognize, up to several hours to treat.

Here's How:

  1. Stay Safe! If it is cold enough to cause hypothermia for the victim, it's cold enough to cause hypothermia in the rescuers. Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it.
  2. Make sure the victim has an airway and is breathing. Follow the ABC's of first aid.

    CAUTION:Victims may get worse as they get warmer. As the cold blood in the extremities begins to flow back toward the heart, the victim's body temperature may go lower. Be prepared for a change in the victim's condition.
  3. Stop the exposure. Move the victim to warm, dry shelter.
  4. Call 911 for victims that show signs of severe hypothermia:
    • confusion
    • coma
    • fumbling hands
    • slurred speech
  5. Remove wet clothing - leave dry clothing on victim.
  6. Wrap the victim with blankets. Warming blankets (like electric blankets) work the best.
  7. Chemical heat packs can be used on the victim's groin, neck, and armpits.
  8. Victims that are able to follow commands and sit upright may drink warm, non-alcoholic beverages.


  1. As hypothermia progresses, shivering stops in order for the body to conserve energy. A victim of hypothermia that has stopped shivering may be getting worse rather than better.
  2. Unconscious hypothermia victims may have additional medical problems. There are several causes of coma.
  3. Victims of cold exposure may also be suffering from frostbite.
  4. Alcohol may feel like it warms the body, but that's because it flushes the skin with warm blood. Once the blood is at the surface of the skin, it is easily cooled. Alcohol speeds hypothermia. It can also cause dehydration.
  5. As severely hypothermic victims begin to recover, cold blood from the extremities is pulled back to the core of the body. This can lead to a decrease in core body temperature and worsens the hypothermia. Watch hypothermia victims closely. They may suffer sudden cardiac arrest and require CPR. If that happens, follow the ABC's of first aid.

Pasakat Logo


Navigation Menu

Earth hour
Bantay Kalikasan
Born to be wild
WOW Philippines
Magayon Festival
Catanduanes Province