Termites Can Hurt You (at least indirectly)



Volume 27 Number 6

By Paul MacMillan, AEMT

I had the great pleasure of traveling with Frank Hubbell to Zambia in July to teach a Wilderness First Responder class with him to a group of aspiring missionaries. For years we have been teaching this course at the Overland base overlooking the Zambezi River in Livingston. This summer we were very fortunate to be teaching this class during a special occasion. Halfway through teaching this program, Chief Makuni, who is the tribal chief of all the villages around Overland Missions, was hosting the Chiefs’ Council, a time   when all sixty (60) chiefs from Zambia come to a series of four-day events which include eating and talking and also enjoying the different cultural dances and music from the many tribes.

You might be asking why this article is in the SOLO Wilderness Newsletter…. On the second day of the activities, Chief Makuni held a huge celebration of music, dancing, and singing. Dr. Frank, to his total surprise, was one of the honored guests at this celebration, and I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along. As an honored guest Frank was invited to have lunch with all the chiefs.

At the end of the cultural celebration, we all walked up to the area where people were going to be served lunch. It was a bright, beautiful day. Our WFR students, along with the Overland Missions’ staff, were the people who would be serving the chiefs and their delegations. Their delegations included their family members and their security people. There were a large number of police and military people carrying automatic weapons protecting the chiefs and their families.

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ISSN-1059-6518 Volume 25 Number 6


 By Frank Hubbell, DO


For years we rode our bicycles without helmets, played touch or flag football without helmets or padding, climbed, paddled, skied and did all sorts of sports without worrying about a little bump on the head. But, it would appear that modern medicine, moms, and coaches have uncovered some potentially major problems associated with a simple head injury known as a concussion.


Any bump or blow the head that damages the brain is referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI is an injury to the brain that disrupts of the brain’s normal functioning . TBI is referred to as mild if the loss of consciousness or changes in level of consciousness are brief. TBI is considered severe if the changes or loss of consciousness are extended.


Traumatic Brain Injury Stats:


There are 1,700,000 TBIs per year in the USA.

75% of TBIs are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.

Causes of TBI:

Falls – 35.2%

Motor Vehicle Accidents – 17.3% (largest % of deaths – 31.8%)

Struck by/Against – 16.5% (largest cause of TBI in children – 25%)

Assault – 10%

Unknown/other – 21%

Helmets and TBI:

90% of fatal bicycle accident victims were NOT wearing a helmet.

Motorcycle accidents – greater chance of severe TBI and death if the driver or passenger were NOT wearing a helmet.


21% of TBI are sports-related in children and teenagers.

#1 cause of sports-related death.

85% of head injuries (TBI) are prevented by helmets.

A concussion is the most common form of TBI. A concussion occurs when the brain has suffered a biomechanical injury, a direct force has been applied to the head, causing functional rather than structural changes of the brain, in other words a disruption of normal functioning of the brain. What this simply means is that the individual has the symptoms of a head injury, but all diagnostic imaging, xrays, MRIs, and CTs of the head are normal. The insult to the brain is on a physiological, cellular level, rather than creating gross anatomical changes.

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September/October 2010  ISSN-1059-6518  Volume 23 Number 5

By Frank Hubbell, DO


Headaches are an extremely common expedition problem. Fortunately, the vast majority of headaches are simply a nuisance and easily managed. The intent of this article is to make you aware of the common problems that cause headaches, what to do about them, and how to recognize a headache that might be serious and even life-threatening.

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May/June 2010  ISSN-1059-6518  Volume 23 Number 3

Lion Attack in Zimbabwe

By Rob Nixon

Our man in Africa, Rowan Lewis, sent us this eyewitness account of a lion attack in the Tashinga National Park, Zimbabwe. Rowan managed to get permision for us to reprint it from Turbo Charge, the tour group that ran the safari, and the account was first published in their newsletter. It has since appeared in the blog “Zimbabwe Lifestyle”. Read more