Medical Support in the Brazilian Rainforest


A quick drink. Oral hydration is always preferable given the limited fluids and the procedure risks. When the patient can't hold water down, an IV is the choice for rapid correction. Photo by Emma Scala.

As a Remote Area Medic employed with Remote Medical International’s Medical/Rescue Support Group, I have had the opportunity to travel and provide medical coverage on many continents.  Most recently, whilst finishing a deployment in North Eastern Brazil, I was given the opportunity through RMI headquarters to partake in and provide Non-Profit medical support on a Brazilian Rainforest ( Amazon Jungle ) expedition. There are no words that can assist me in describing the true majesty and pure primitiveness that one experiences inside the Amazon Jungle.   I suppose the only way you can truly experience it, is by stepping foot into the rainforest yourself.

Paddling our canoe deep into the jungle.

The first thing that really grabbed hold of me was the humidity.  The air is so heavy and oxygen rich, it is almost tangible.  There is such an abundant feeling of life around you that I could not help but routinely stop in my tracks, truly awestruck by the energy the forest provides.  I was able to camp deep within the jungle using only a hammock facetted to a tree.  It is a very humbling to sleep unprotected and completely vulnerable inside the worlds densest rainforest.  Sleep was a luxury hard to come by as I was both intimidated and amazed by the noises that jungle emitted. I couldn’t help but lie awake, wishing I was able to record these sounds and share them with my loved ones.  The howler monkeys would sing to the moon at two AM like clockwork.  It was a very intimidating noise/Shreak to hear while lying in complete darkness, something I will never forget nonetheless.

I feel immensely blessed to have been able to see the wildlife I saw,  Caiman crocodiles, three toed sloth’s,  Pink Amazon Dolphins, Tarantulas, Poisonous Frogs, Giant Monitor lizards, Monkeys, Piranha, to name only a few.  Not only was the wildlife a highlight for me, but the flora and fauna was utterly amazing.  I was able to better understand from the indigenous local guide the different medicinal, aphrodisiac, hallucinogenic and spiritual effects that many of the rainforest plants had to offer.


Suturing a minor hand laceration in the jungle, hand injuries are by far the most common trauma-related injury I see on expeditions.

No pictures I have taken or songs I sing will ever do this rainforest justice.  All I can suggest is that if you are the adventurous type, willing to let go & surrender to the true awesomeness of the Amazon Rainforest  I RECOMMEND IT TO NO END !

Thanks to RMI for giving me the opportunity to partake on such an expedition as an employee for facilitating the medical support pack I was equipped with.

It has been one year employed with RMI and there has never been a dull moment or an experience less than greatness !

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