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Alpine Emergency Medicine Commission

14 Oct 2022

Medicine Stethoscope

The International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM) founded in 1948 is a commission of the International Commission for Alpine Rescue. More than 60 emergency physicians and paramedics, experienced in pre-hospital treatment of injuries and illnesses in the mountains are members of this commission. The main goal is improving medical treatment and outcome of casualties in the mountains by establishing recommendations and guidelines dealing with scientific and practical aspects of mountain rescue and emergency treatment of casualties in mountainous terrain.

Recommendations of this commission are published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and referenced to "International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM)". All papers are intended for emergency physicians, paramedics, first responders and authorities responsible in organizing rescue operation in the mountains. Moreover, joint recommendations for mountaineers are worked out in collaboration with the Medical Commission of UIAA (The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation), the ISMM (International Society for Mountain Medicine) and the WMS (Wilderness Medical Society). Together with these organizations ICAR MEDCOM conducts the World Congress in Mountain and Emergency Medicine, the largest international congress in this field.

The commission is also involved in education and training of mountain rescuers and physicians in countries with efforts of establishing a system of local rescue groups and a demand of knowledge and training. Up to now, we supported courses in Argentina (2005) and Nepal (2009) with human and financial resources. In cooperation with UIAA MEDCOM and ISMM (International Society for Mountain Medicine) the ICAR Alpine Emergency Medicine Commission has established the "Diploma for Mountain Medicine" and the "Diploma for Mountain Emergency Medicine" in order to standardize postgraduate medical training for physicians interested and/or involved in mountain medicine and rescue medicine in mountainous areas.

The commission meets twice a year at the spring meeting (on invitation of our members) and at the ICAR Assembly of Delegates where we present our work to the other commissions. Additionally, our members are invited to many national and international congresses to give lectures and present our scientific work. There is also a close cooperation with the "Institute for Mountain Emergency Medicine" at the European Academy (EURAC) in Bolzano, Italy and other research facilities and universities. Many members are in leading or consulting roles in their national organizations.

ICAR MEDCOM runs it's own website: The e-mail contact for any queries to that respect is

And there is the ICAR MEDCOM Discussion & Information Platform (closed user group):

Further images

John Ellerton