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[pct-l] Hikers Health Care

In the category of health care. I found this article on Hikers Health while
searching WebMD about water purification. It probably applies equally well
to the PCT. 

Health care needs of Appalachian trail hikers. 
Crouse BJ; Josephs D
BACKGROUND. With a growing interest and participation in hiking, predictions
indicate that over 45 million Americans will participate in backpacking and
day hiking in 1993. There has been very little assessment of the health care
needs of this group. The purpose of this study was to assess the health care
needs of Appalachian Trail backpackers. METHODS. Backpackers who completed
hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1987 or 1988 received a 3-page survey
questionnaire. The survey contained questions to elicit demographic
information, general health characteristics, and health care experiences
during the hike. Information about injuries, medications carried and used
during the backpacking activities, health care needs, and trail time lost
because of health problems was also requested. RESULTS. Injuries and
illnesses were reported by 82% of the respondents, incurring an average loss
of 4.7 days of hiking. Musculoskeletal complaints, traumatic injuries, and
gastrointestinal complaints were most often reported. The severity of these
problems was such that medical attention was sought in 25% of these events.
CONCLUSIONS. Hikers need to anticipate that musculoskeletal,
gastrointestinal, and skin problems may occur during hiking. It is prudent
to carry medications such as analgesics in the form of aspirin or other
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, topical antibiotics, and bandages.
Methods to purify water need to be used regularly, and adequate preparation
of food needs to be a priority.
J Fam Pract 1993 May;36(5):521-5
MDX Health Digest, Copyright by Medical Data Exchange (MDX)

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak
Fallingwater Journals - www.fallingwater.com
Pacific Crest Trail Assoc. - www.pcta.org
American Long Distance Hikers Association - West -

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