Expedition Medical Skills & Advanced First Aid

Advanced montageOur Outdoor or Fieldwork First Aid courses perfectly prepare you for travelling into outdoor environments where medical backup is readily available e.g. mountain rescue teams. However when travelling abroad, either as part of an expedition or for fieldwork medical backup may be rudimentary or even non-existant.

This course develops your skills to a point where you can help a patient with severe injuries or illnesses on expedition. During the course you will learn advanced trauma care and many medical skills such as suturing (sewing wounds up) and analgaesia (giving pain relief injections). You will also learn how to give oxygen and use defibrillators. Often on expedition it is minor problems such as an infected wound that can quickly escalate and require evacuation. We teach you about the many illnesses associated with foreign travel. You will also learn about antibiotics and how to use them, so enabling you to recognise and treat wound infections - thus preventing minor wounds becoming serious. Due to the nature of this one of the tutors is a GP and Medivac doctor. Following successful completion of the course you can also gain access to a range of medications for foreign travel.

Advanced Skills to keep people alive

When help is delayed you often need more advanced skills than taught on basic first aid courses - the skills a paramedic or doctor might use when they arrive. This is particularly relevant when on expedition. On our Outdoor or Fieldwork courses you learn to close would with 'wound closures' (butterfly stitches). However these often do not hold if a wound is large or bleeding profusely. We will teach you how to suture it correctly - a true medical skill. 

Why is it only 2 days long!

You need to have underpinning knowledge of anatomy and physiology to treat serious problems. This is normally taught by lectures during the course, making similar courses up to 5 days long. Instead we teach this by pre-course online learning. This enables us to make our course much shorter and far more practical since we can teach  hands-on skills rather than anatomy!

Online Learning/Marking

Prior to the course you receive our full colour 200 page anatomy and physiology manual. You self study this before the course and complete questions on our Online Learning Environment. This gives you instant marking and feedback. 

After the course you will be required to complete an online assessment. This focuses on key areas from the course, particularly illnesses and the use of medications. This ensures that we know you will be safe using medications.

Plenty of Practice

During our courses we like to give you plenty of hands-on practice, so you will get to do all the key skills of the course yourself, from inserting airways to giving oxygen to suturing chicken legs and even giving injections. We believe that you need plenty of practice to gain the confidence to know what you are doing on expedition!

Comprehensive Full Colour Course Manual

Every participant is provided with a comprehensive full colour 220 page Expedition Medicine & First aid manual, which means that you can sit back and learn the important skills rather than writing notes! The manual also provides an excellent resource after the course since it covers everything you were taught. It also contains  drug protocols and patient record sheets that can be used on expedition to remind you what to do and to record patient details and treatments given.

Medically Correct Information

We are often astonished when students tell us what they have been told to do on other courses! Our course follows the latest medical advice and advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). We also have a medical advisor with whom we consult to ensure that our courses provide you with accurate information.

Typical examples of problem from other courses are the advice on plasters and medications. Students often tell us that previous courses have advised them not to use plasters on children. This is just an urban myth. The HSE have also issued clear guidance on this issue. Most courses also advise a first aider never to issue medications e.g. paracetamol. Again there is clear guidance from the HSE on this issue stating that it is "perfectly ok to give basic medications". This advice can be extended to carry a basic medications kit which of course can be invaluable if you are miles from the nearest pharmacy! If you would like further information on these issues please contact us. However be assured that by attending one one of our courses you will learn the most up to date information at all times.

Time (hours): 
Suitable for: 

Expeditions abroad, in remote locations.


 Follows the latest medical and Mountain Rescue Council guidelines. 

Recognised by:

  • Royal Geographical Society
  • Adventure Activities Licensing Authority

Marlin's Outdoor First Aid or Fieldwork First Aid

Course Contents: 

The course is extremely comprehensive and also flexible to meet the needs of a group .

If your group are off to Africa we will cover the endemic problems where you are travelling to. If you are planning a trip to altitude we will cover altitude sickness, hypothermia and their medical treatment.

Typical course contents include:

  • Introduction
  • The dangers of foreign travel. Infection risks.
  • Scene assessment, communication & delegation. Medivac procedures.
  • Safety & hygiene, communicable diseases and foreign travel (eg. HIV)
  • Primary survey-trauma/non-trauma (recovery postn./imobilisation)
  • The “chain of survival” - relevance & application of CPR on foreign expeditions
  • Airways. How to insert oropharyngeal airways to keep airways open for long periods of time.
  • CPR and resuscitation. Integration of O2 and defibrillators.
  • Oxygen administration in resuscitation
  • Defibrillation. Training and usage in hostile environments
  • Oxygen administration for the conscious patient (injuries and illnesses)
  • Advanced Trauma Care. Serious injuries. e.g. difficult fractures, dislocations (and their relocation), pneumothorax, pelvic injuries, spinal injuries.
  • Advanced Wound Care. Handling large and difficult wounds. Wound infection recognition and treatment. Suturing wounds.
  • Dangerous animals on expedition. Perceived and real risks.
  • Remote medical emergencies. Illnesses on expedition. Application ofcommon mdical problems e.g. heart attack, asthma or stroke on expedition. Specific travel illnesses e.g. malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, etc.
  • Gastroenteritis and foreign travel. The biggest reason for expedition failure. Recognition, treatments, use of medications - antispasmodics and antibiotics.
  • Use of medications to treat illnesses. How medications work. Simple protocols for using antibiotics.
  • Analgesia (pain relief). Types of pain relief drugs and how they work. Giving pain relief intra-muscular injections.
  • Reporting of accidents on expedition. Medical repatriation procedures and insurance issues.