International Society for Mountain Medicine
bringing together physicians, scientists and allied professionals in mountain medicine
Have you realized how many new, exciting, and also scientifically well-founded articles have been published in the field of mountain medicine in the last two years? Let's take a closer look: In the field of acute hypothermia, an update of the review from 2016 was published 1, in "Resuscitation", there are new recommendations for the management of avalanche victims 2, very interesting articles shed light on the outcome of severely hypothermic patients 3 or show an influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the risk behaviour of backcountry skiers 4. Moreover, did you know that in 1755 several people survived for 37 days in a stable buried by an avalanche 5? But also, in the field of mountain rescue there are interesting new articles such as a summary of the existing curricula in mountain medicine and wilderness medicine 6 or the use of methoxyflurane in mountain rescue 7. A milestone in the publication of the large spectrum of mountain medicine is of course the book "Mountain Emergency Medicine" edited by Hermann Brugger, Ken Zafren, et al., which appeared in 2021 in a first edition as a multi-author oeuvre 8.
Probably you feel the same way as I do: there is a great interest in the publications within in the field of mountain medicine, but it is difficult to stay up to date with the latest findings. We gratefully receive tips from colleagues who have either published an article themselves or have learned of such.
A congress is not only a perfect opportunity to refresh one's knowledge in an area of interest, but also allows us to meet friends and allies, to exchange ideas and perhaps even to start new projects.
The pandemic brutally halted these exchanges, and the consequences are still being felt today: many organizations are reluctant to announce conferences with a physical presence. Out of an abundance of caution, many meetings today are still offered virtually or at least hybrid. However, at the latest since our virtual world congress ISMM 2021, which should have taken place in Interlaken / Switzerland, we know that such events only fulfil the goal of exchange to a limited extent. The hybrid form has the advantage that the exchange is given on site, but at the same time all interested people can get the information, even if they cannot attend the event in person due to time or financial constraints. Technically, however, these events are very challenging and financially costly.
The Board of Directors of the International Society of Mountain Medicine ISMM has decided to organize a World Congress again, despite all the adversities that might come our way. ISMM2024 will be held together with our sister organization, the Wilderness Medical Society WMS, in the USA. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our board members for their work and dedication: even just holding a virtual board meeting is a challenge for everyone: The different time zones between New Zealand, Asia, America, and Europe mean that the board members are either at their screens very early in the morning or in the middle of the night, and sometimes have to fight sleep. Under the leadership of George Rodway, a committee has been formed from the Board of Directors and has been working with the WMS Congress organizers for several months to prepare for the joint WMS & ISMM Congress. I sincerely thank George, Linda Keyes, Andy Luks, and Steve Roy for lending their expertise and advocating that our joint World Congress in the summer of 2024 will be a resounding success.
Finally, my greatest thanks go to Miriam Gottardi, the woman who very humbly is responsible for the administrative work in the ISMM. Whoever has met her, knows that behind the inconspicuous person stands an extremely efficient and professional personality.
We are all happy that we can finally work on another wonderful project. It only remains to wish you all a good time. Stay healthy and see you in summer of 2024 in Snowbird/Utah!
- Paal, P.; Pasquier, M.; Darocha, T.; Lechner, R.; Kosinski, S.; Wallner, B.; Zafren, K.; Brugger, H., Accidental hypothermia: 2021 update. International journal of environmental research and public health 2022, 19 (1), 501.
- Pasquier, M.; Strapazzon, G.; Kottmann, A.; Paal, P.; Zafren, K.; Oshiro, K.; Artoni, C.; Van Tilburg, C.; Sheets, A.; Ellerton, J.; McLaughlin, K.; Gordon, L.; Martin, R. W.; Jacob, M.; Musi, M.; Blancher, M.; Jaques, C.; Brugger, H., On-site Treatment of Avalanche Victims: Scoping Review and 2023 Recommendations of the International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MedCom). Resuscitation.
- Pasquier, M.; Hugli, O.; Hall, N.; Rousson, V.; Darocha, T., Outcome prediction for hypothermic patients in cardiac arrest. Journal of Intensive Care 2022, 10 (1), 1-2.
- Valle, E. A.; Cobourn, A. P.; Trivitt, S. J. H.; Hendrikx, J.; Johnson, J. D.; Fiore, D. C., Perceptions Among Backcountry Skiers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Avalanche Safety and Backcountry Habits of New and Established Skiers. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 2022, 33 (4), 429-436.
- Lechner, R.; Brugger, H.; Paal, P.; Hüfner, K.; Agazzi, G.; Butler, F.; Gordon, L.; Darocha, T.; Zafren, K., Survival in a Collapsed Stable for 37 Days After Avalanche Burial in 1755. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 2022.
- Holstrom-Mercader, M.; Kass, D.; Corsetti, M.; Flamm, A., Wilderness Medicine Curricula in United States EMS Fellowship, Emergency Medicine Residency, and Wilderness Medicine Programs. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 2022, 37 (6), 800-805.
- Egger, A.; Huber, T.; Heschl, S.; Fiegl, J.; Burger, J.; Trimmel, H.; Schreiber, W.; Niederer, M.; Tscherny, K.; Roth, D., Efficacy and Safety of Methoxyflurane for Treatment of Acute Traumatic Pain by EMTs during Alpine Rescue Operations: The “PainDrop” Trial. Prehospital Emergency Care 2022, 1-6.
- Brugger, H.; Zafren, K.; Festi, L.; Paal, P.; Strapazzon, G., Mountain emergency medicine. Edra: 2021.
Download the latest recommendations
Check out the latest Lake Louise Score for Acute Mountain Sickness and the STAR data reporting guidelines for clinical high altitude research.
The International Society for Mountain Medicine was founded in 1985, and its goals are to bring together physicians, scientists and allied professionals interested in mountain medicine, to encourage research on all aspects of mountains, mountain peoples and mountaineers and to spread scientific and practical information about mountain medicine around the world.