Wilderness medicine is generally understood to encompass prolonged patient transport, limited or improvised equipment, and/or severe environments. One of the most severe environments encountered by wilderness providers is the tent after a group meal of beans and rice. Any meal that includes dried onions is guaranteed to elicit gasps for relief from my tentmates and groans from any others in tents downwind.
In news that can only be described as reassuring for the emitter researchers have determined that the hydrogen sulfide produced in the intestinal tract and released in flatulence lowers blood pressure in a test of group of mice. Due to similarities in all mammals researchers believe their research findings will lead to new blood pressure therapies. Read more at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27343876/.
Meanwhile, protect yourself using diligent meal planning, careful tent mate selection, and excellent ventilation to protect yourself from inhalation of your tent mate’s hydrogen sulfide. Your safety is #1. Finally, remember the nose experience quick odor fatigue so seek out a replacement smell from nearby polypropylene for immediate relief.
Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P, WEMT
President, Emergency Preparedness Systems LLC