Medical emergencies in Oregon
Medical Emergencies in Oregon

It is very important for you to have an understanding of how to deal with medical emergencies while in Oregon. Things can happen on any trip you take and you should be prepared for any eventuality. This becomes especially important when you are one of the many people that visit Oregon with the explicit purpose of spending time in remote wilderness. In situations such as these, you may be a very long way from help and will need to handle things yourself. Whether you intend on spending your time in remote wilderness or the urban wilderness, you need to have a good understanding of how to take care of medical emergencies during your stay in the state of Oregon.

Urban Medical Emergencies

Oregon has one of the lowest crime rates of any state in the country. This means that it is not very likely that you will sustain any type of injury from the aggression of others. However, the weather can definitely contribute to the occurrence of medical emergencies. For example, Portland can be prone to freak snowstorms in the early spring that have the propensity to catch tourists off-guard. These snowstorms can come on strong and fast on otherwise nice days to leave you out in the cold without the appropriate clothing. This can become a medical emergency much more quickly than you may imagine if you are unable to get back to your hotel or apartment soon enough.

If you are in need of emergency medical assistance while in a town or city, then you will find a large number of emergency medical clinics in Oregon. You will also find that the wait times at emergency rooms in Oregon are smaller than in most other states. This is due primarily to the work of the Emergency Healthcare Task Force. The task force was created in response to the rising costs of healthcare and the extremely long wait times for emergency care that were an epidemic throughout the state. The result of this task force's work has been a much leaner emergency medical system that is adequately staffed and trained to handle a wide range of emergencies.

Outdoor and Camping Medical Emergencies

Camping in Oregon is something that you should always take very seriously. Even camping in developed campgrounds can come with a certain amount of danger. This is due primarily to the very remote nature of most campgrounds throughout the state. If you look at a map of Oregon, then you will see huge tracts of mountainous forest on both sides of the Willamette Valley that are mostly roadless. You will also see the unforgiving badlands of eastern Oregon. The natural places of Oregon are often pristine and remote.

In Oregon, the weather is the biggest factor in creating medical emergencies. Weather can change on a dime here and you need to be prepared for the worst by always thinking ahead. For example, Hell's Canyon is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in the state. Despite this popularity, many people die here every year from flash floods that can often quickly manifest during spring rains. Alternately, people can get massive sunburns very quickly in the high mountains after spending very little time in the sun.

In the wilderness of Oregon, your best tool to protect yourself from medical emergencies is a locator beacon. These are not beacons that are reserved for people that are venturing out into the remotest reaches of the forest. They can be affordable when you purchase from online retailers and will require you to pay for a yearly subscription to the satellite service.

Other than the locator beacons, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from medical emergencies in Oregon is to take a class in wilderness medicine. The Wilderness First Responder certification will teach you everything you need to know if you want to give effective treatments in the backcountry.

Be Safe and Have Fun

These dangers should not deter you from enjoying everything that Oregon has to offer. They should simply serve as a reminder of the intensity of what you can experience in this state. With a little planning, it is unlikely that you will have to deal with any real medical emergencies while in Oregon.

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