Wilderness Medicine a must to play outdoors - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Wilderness Medicine a must to play outdoors

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

As summer starts, many of us will be spending more time outdoors. From falls, to snake bites, there are dangers out there. There's also a right and a wrong way to treat injuries.

"People feel like they have there cell phone with them that's all the protection they need and that doesn't really work that well," said Wilderness Medicine director and Hutcheson Chief Medical Officer Chris Moore.

Moore said yes, a cell phone can call for help but what if help is hours away.

"You have to rely on what can you do with what you have with you."

Wilderness Medicine is all about knowing how to improvise, covering everything from using sticks to secure a broken leg to lowering or raising the body's core temperature.

Moore has brought in dozens of the best professionals this weekend for the Southeastern Wilderness Medicine Conference. On Friday it's open to the public, 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Church on Main Street.

"These speakers are coming in a day early giving talks aimed at the general outdoor population. We're gonna talk about snake bites, hypothermia, frostbite and lightning, what you should and shouldn't do," said Moore.

When it comes to snakes Moore said there's more fear than warranted but you should still be in the know.

There are three main poisonous snakes in our neck of the woods: copperheads, cottonmouths and several types of rattlesnakes. The rattlers and copperheads are more popular. If bitten by one don't try to suck out the venom. Moore said that doesn't work.

"If I got bit on the hand I would want to immobilize my hand about the level of my heart and get out of there. The only other thing I would advise doing is called a constriction band. I don't want a tourniquet. I don't want a tight band constricting and cutting off blood flow," said Moore.

Moore also said snakes tend to hide in shaded areas, under rocks or logs. So if you're hiking it's best to step on the log or rock then over it. If you just step over it that could scare the snake.

Moore said it's always smart to tell someone where you're going if you're heading into the wilderness.

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