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Medical Information

What is First Descents doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic?

Please see the FAQ linked here. First Descents has developed pre-program screening, and on-program infectious disease control protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines and experts in the field. 

What do I need to bring?

All of your medications are self‐administered so double‐check your bag and don’t forget to bring what you need for the entire Program! If you anticipate taking any over‐the‐counter medications (i.e. Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl), please bring these with you as well. Many Participants find that they get a little muscle soreness over the course of the week. Importantly, if you have a history of severe allergic reactions, discuss with your doctor about getting an Epi‐pen that you can bring to your program.Our staff do not carry Epipens and we can’t guarantee that Outfitters do either. Many of our programs occur at areas of high altitude, so it is very important to drink plenty of fluids and let a staff member know if you begin to feel ill as it may be due to the altitude. If you are concerned, discuss with your physician the possibility of getting a prescription for medicine to prevent altitude illness prior to arriving. Other items such as sunscreen and Moleskin for blisters (especially the climbing camps) are also important to pack.

What if I am still undergoing treatment?

If you are still undergoing treatment you are definitely welcome to apply for a program. Your physician will likely need to provide medical release so discuss your participation with your doctor. Your application is also reviewed by First Descents staff to ensure that you are able to participate and can enjoy the week. Let us know if you have questions.

Can I participate if I have seizures?

If you have ever had a seizure or have been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, syncope, fainting, or taken seizure medication, we welcome you to apply for a First Descents program, but this may limit the type of activity we are able to place you in.

We have a policy in place to accommodate participants with certain kinds of seizures. While participating in outdoor sports can be more risky when you have a seizure disorder, we encourage you to discuss with your physician to see if they feel you are medically cleared for participation. Generally, participants who have experienced seizures will be placed on a non water-based program, where our team will be able to ensure safety and control more easily, with one-on-one support. First Descents makes every effort to minimize the risks and provide a safe and rewarding camp experience. We will happily answer specific questions that either you or your provider may have.

What if I am taking a blood thinner?

First Descents generally doesn’t accept applicants who will be taking anticoagulation therapy (blood thinner) during their program experience. Several options are available for participants who are on short‐term anticoagulation therapy and these include delaying attending a program until the anticoagulation therapy is ended, or stopping anticoagulation therapy prior to program participation. Such decisions regarding anticoagulation therapy duration should be made between the participant and their provider. In some circumstances, however, participants on long‐term therapy may be accepted at a particular program if released by their personal physician, and also approved by the First Descents Medical Review Team.

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