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Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Hosts Advanced Wilderness Life Support Course in Guatemala

March 01, 2014
Baystate Wilderness Medicine Fellowship in Guatemala
Sunrise on summit of Volcano Tajumulco
Left to right: Catherine Dudley, Martha McKean, Joseph Schneider, Ben Mattingly, Grant Christian, and Gabriel Cade

Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Program Director Benjamin Mattingly MD, FAWM, and fellow Gabriel Cade MD, hosted a 2-week Advanced Wilderness Life Support Course (AWLS) in Guatemala in January.

The course taught not only the medical understanding of anything from animal bites and stings to high altitude medicine to dive medicine, but also the practical skills of how to make rope carries, splints, and hypothermic wraps for patients in austere environments.

Dr. Mattingly relates that participants faced scenarios of snake bite victims in the jungle at the Tikal Mayan ruins, a drowning victim on the Cahbon river rafting expedition, and a high altitude cerebral edema while climbing Tajumulco, the highest volcano in Central America.

Other Baystate employees attending the course were Catherine Dudley, PAC, Grant Christian, MD, Martha McKean, PAC, and Joseph Schneider, MD and former wilderness fellow.

New Wilderness Special Interest Group Forming

A new hospital interest group is being formed for those interested in wilderness medicine, travel medicine, disaster and international medicine. The group will feature lectures, demos, and practical skills on a monthly basis. Nurses, EMTs, students, physicians, physician assistants, and anyone interested in the outdoors are welcome. Email to be put on the mailing list for meeting times and upcoming conferences.