Posts tagged: medical kit

How To Stop Excessive Bleeding In A Survival Situation

Everybody who has been following my writings or has some clue about who I am and what I “preach”, will have an idea of how much I advocate safety before anything else. I’ve talked many times before about the importance of having the right stuff and a personalized medical kit for and emergency situations, be it for TEOTWAWKI or simply for everyday life situations. But even though you might plan things in advance, the outcome of a situation can change unexpectedly. You might find yourself in need of medical assistance and have no professional products at your disposal. This is where you’ll need to improvise and fast. Open wounds and cuts are some of the most common injuries that usually occur. Find out how to stop excessive bleeding because will be imperative to reduce health risks as much as possible. Luckily there are plenty of methods to reduce hemorrhaging that don’t require special bandages and other products that are usually found in a professional medical kit. Here are some of the best methods to get the job done.

Applying Direct Pressure On The Wound

Stopping the heavy blood flow by applying a piece of cloth (or pretty much anything else that can stop the blood flow) directly on the gush will be your first instinct. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Any type of cloth or cloth-like material will do. In some cases, if the situation is desperate enough, you can even apply direct pressure with your hand. Using a sterile cloth would be preferable sure, but in life-threatening scenario pathogens are the least of your worries. Infections are risk factor beyond the shadow of a doubt, but it will take some time (days, even weeks) to set in and become a real problem. But blood drains really fast, especially if the wound is deep enough. You can die in a matter of minutes, considering the average adult male has a volemy (total blood volume) of about 5l, while the average female has 4,5l. So if SHTF, stopping the blood loss is top on the priority list.

Using Pressure Points

If applying direct pressure on the open wound fails and the blood loss can’t be stopped, you’ll need to take the technique a step further and resort to applying pressure on the nearest artery. The key is to press the artery against the bone in order to reduce blood flow; the main idea is to compress the artery that correlates the heart with the open wound. If you do the technique right, the blood transported from the heart to the affected area will be stopped in its tracks, hence the bleeding will cease. There are many pressure points on the human body for stopping massive hemorrhaging but the main two are the brachial artery (the primary pressure points for the arms) and the femoral artery (the primary pressure point for the arms). The brachial artery is placed a few inches below the armpit area, on the inside of the upper arm, somewhere in between the biceps and triceps muscles. Feel for the pulse; once you’ve got it, apply pressure with 3 fingers. The femoral artery is located on the inside of the thigh, in the groin area; it’s pretty deep in, so you’ll need to use a bit of force to actually apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, do not apply pressure on the artery for longer than 3 – 5 minutes.

Applying A Tourniquet

This method is probably the most efficient method in stopping heavy blood flow, but it should be used as a last resort only, as it can cause irreparable damage. It reduces the blood loss entirely, but it also prevents the oxygenation of the affected area and of all the living tissue below the pressure point. This could cause permanent damage or even the loss of the limb in question, so apply the tourniquet only if there is no other option available. You can improvise a tourniquet out of pretty much everything, whether it’s a belt, a hose or a folded piece of cloth (never wires or thin ropes). The contraption should be placed between the heart and the open wound, more precisely a few inches above the gush. Just make a simple knot, push a stick through it and tighten firmly by twisting. Loosen the tourniquet every 20 minutes to check if the bleeding stops. Once the hemorrhaging stops, apply direct pressure on the wound and ice packs (if available).

Astringent Plants

Once again, Mother Nature comes to save the day. If you find yourself in a desperate situation, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of plants you can grow (and find) that will do wonders for excessive and periodical bleeding. Once you’ve treated an open wound, you can always use prepare a mixture of concoction to fix the problem from “the inside” as well. Here are some of the most important and easy to use plant

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum minimum) – this pepper is recommended for external use; dry them up and grind them in a thin powder, that you can use on open wounds to stop the bleeding

Plantain (Plantago sp.) – it’s mostly used against superficial cuts; you can use the leaves to make salves, juices or even tea

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – it’s an excellent astringent and aids blood clotting; you can make a tea from both leaves and flower heads (fresh or dry)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) – as far as internal use goes, the witch hazel can be brewed into a tea that does wonders for internal bleeding, especially for the stomach and bowels

You should be very vigilant when treating a deep open wound. It’s preferable to have a professional medical kit at your disposal, but if for some reason or another you won’t, at least you know the alternatives. Respect these techniques, and if there’s ever the need for it, you’ll save lives.

By My Family Survival Plan

The Ultimate Survival Medical Kit: What Will Save Your Life In A Worst Case Scenario

The Ultimate Survival Medical Kit

If you ever find yourself stranded or wandering for long periods of time in the wild, you’re going to need all the help you can get in order to make it out alive. In most cases, a fully equipped medical kit saves more lives than the weapons or knives people carry on them. You might not get to use your weapons for self-defense at all, but injuries happen in almost all cases. And even the smaller injuries, if left untreated, can cause severe health complications, even death.

So while you’re preparing yourself for the worst, don’t neglect your medical supplies. Because out there, they’re the best friend you got! Let’s have a look at what your survival medical kit should consist of.

Basic Items And Tools In Your Medical Kit

Medication aside, no medical kit should go without its very own arsenal of tools that will make performing hygiene and small surgical tasks a lot easier. Make sure not to leave anywhere without these: sterile syringes /needles / surgical blades (imperative for the administration of intravenous medicine, releasing pus from infection formations or small incisions), scissors (it makes the opening of packages and gutting bandages a lot easier), thermometer (monitor your overall situation based on your body temperature), sterile eyewash (clean and disinfect your eyes), sunblock lotions (apply if you’re constantly exposed to the burning sun), burn creams (help treat burn wounds) and soap. Most of these come as a standard in most medical kits, and those who don’t are easily procured.

Sterile eyewash

Open Wound Treatments

The most common injuries that happen outdoors are those caused by slashing, scratching or cutting. A moment of neglect will put you in a bad spot, as you can get cut even with your own knife or blade, in an attempt to open a can of food. Open wounds are a very serious cause of concern. Big wounds can result in a high amount of blood loss, which could cost you your life in minutes, and small wounds can result in infections that may prove just as fatal if left untreated. So the best way of dealing with an open wound is to close it up a.s.a.p. The first thing you’ll need to do is clean the cut with cold water and treat it with any sort of antiseptic solution or ointment you happen to have around. Once the area is clean, the butterfly sutures can be applied. These sutures are small adhesive strips that work in a similar way to regular sutures, pulling the edges of the cut together. Apply first to the middle of the wound then start building upwards towards the edges. For deeper and more serious wounds you can use (and if the proper medical equipment is not available), duct tape works just as well in shutting the cut until proper medical aid is available.

Personal Hygiene And Infections

Once a wound is caused for some reason or another, the damage is done. Personal hygiene is very important is such a scenario, as your life is constantly threatened by severe infection, that can set in very quickly and can cause permanent damage and even death. Ignoring an open wound is not an option. Your medical kit should always have: antiseptics / disinfectants (antiseptic wipes, Isopropyl alcohol, Iodine, Peroxide), ointments or oral antibiotics (Amoxicillin, Erythromycin etc.), adhesive bandages (adhesive medical dressings used for superficial plagues) and gauze (a lose translucent fabric, usually made of cotton which you can use for cleaning and bandaging the wound). Some antibiotics can be hard to procure from the pharmacy, but some doctors may prescribe it as a preventive measure to people who are planning potentially dangerous trips. Never bandage a wound before properly cleaning and disinfecting it first, unless no antibiotics are treatments are available.

Adhesive bandages come in all shapes and sizes

Pain Relief Medicine

Extreme pain can be debilitating. The human psychic can be affected if subjected to constant pain for long periods of time, and in a survival scenario, it can cause the loss of all hope and the will to carry on. Luckily there are plenty of pain suppressors available on the market. Here are some of the ones that are a must for your personal survival kit: codeine (opioid medication that can be used to treat severe pains, but use it with care as it can cause addiction if used in large dosages or over large periods of time), instant cold pack (a bag with chemical agents, that turn cold instantly when used, good for applying to sores and wounds) and anti-inflammatory medication (Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin, perfect for reducing swelling and soreness). Use the medicine with care and never exceed the recommended dosage. Read carefully the medicine prospectus to make sure it won’t cause complications to a pre-existing medical condition you might have or interfere with other drugs.

Anti-allergens

Even if you don’t have any allergies, best play it safe. You might be allergic to different things and not know it. And the worst time and place to find out what they are is when you are in a survival scenario. Still, there are things that can counter the possible allergic reactions and save your life. To counter anaphylactic reactions you’ll need: EpiPen / Epinephrine (the base substance is life-saving if you succumb to an allergic reaction and stops the anaphylactic shock in its tracks), antihistamine tablets / ointments / syrups (they do not cure but treat a large number of allergic reactions, and Benadryl is one of the best antihistamines on the market, very useful against all sorts of allergies).

Medicine To Accommodate Your Personal Needs

If you’re known to suffer from a certain medical condition, make sure to have a dosage of the required medicine at all times your personal survival medical kit. If you’re an asthma sufferer, you should always have an inhaler put aside in the kit or even OTC medication for conditions like arthritis, nausea, cramps, irritable colon etc.

Be prepared, be safe! Leave nothing to chance and make sure you’re locked and loaded. You never know when a fully equipped medical kit will save your life. To really go in depth with medical supply, read this: Survival MD.

Survival Medicine 101 Part 3: How To Save A Life

Survival Medicine 101 Part 3 - How To Save A Lifephoto source: www.healthy.net

Consider the following article: a written CPR & First Aid course.

If you’ve never been to one of those (or if it’s been too long since your last one), read it closely, as it may save someone dear one day. But maybe you’re wondering how and when you could possibly use these First Aid techniques.

After all, you’re no doctor or nurse… But here’s the thing: we’ve got disasters happening every single day in the US.

You may never know when an earthquake, a tornado or a flood will strike your town. For example, if an earthquake hits tonight, while you’re sleeping, and catches you off guard, you or any member of your family could get hurt. Severly.

And that’s where you step in. CPR & First Aid techniques are not only for pro’s. Anyone can learn these simple steps and save a life, so why wouldn’t you?

Just imagine a disaster strikes and, by the time you get to make a move, your child gets knocked down to the floor, unconscious. What do you do?

survival
photo source: chandigarhtrafficpolice.org

First, you need to perform a quick medical exam, to identify the cause of the injury and whether the person is still breathing or not. This is extremely important because it dictates your further actions. If the victim is bleeding severely, you need to quickly put pressure on the wound to diminish the loss of blood. Then you check if the airways are clear or obstructed.

According to Wilderness Survival, if the victim can’t breathe, here’s what you should do:

Step 1:

Check to see if the victim is just struggling to breathe or cannot breathe at all. If he can cough or speak, let him clear his throat or nose by himself. Be a good moral support, reassuring him that he’ll be fine once he’ll clear his airway.

However, you always have to be ready for a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in case he can’t do it on his own. If he can’t breathe at all, mouth-to-mouth may not be enough. In such case, you need to administer abdominal thrusts until you hear him choking, coughing or spitting.

Step 2:

Once he starts showing signs of breathing, quickly sweep the victim’s mouth clear of any foreign objects, broken teeth, dentures, sand etc. using a finger. Make sure you pull it all out completely and don’t leave anything inside his throat or mouth.

Step 3:

Using the jaw thrust method(see image below), grasp the angles of the victim’s lower jaw and lift with both hands, one on each side, moving the jaw forward. For stability, rest your elbows on the surface on which the victim is lying. If his lips are closed, gently open the lower lip with your thumb.

first help
photo source: www.wilderness-survival.net

Step 4:

With the victim’s airway open, pinch his nose closed with your thumb and forefinger and blow two complete breaths into his lungs. It’s crucial that you pinch his nose first, so all the air goes straight into his lungs and doesn’t go out his nose.

Let the lungs deflate after the second blow of air and then do this:

See if his chest rises and falls. If it doesn’t, he may not be breathing by himself yet or his breath may still be too faint to make the chest inflate visibly. So make sure you take the next two steps as well:

Get closeto his cheek and check if he’s breathing.If he does, you’ll feel a flow of air on your cheek.

Listen carefully for escaping air during exhalation. If you hear a strange noise while he’s breathing, he may be choking on something or may be injured. Try to figure out the cause of the noise.

help a person
photo source: www.vcc.edu

Step 5:

If the forced breaths do not stimulate breathing, keep performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Step 6:

The victim may vomit during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Check the victim’s mouth periodically for vomit and clear as needed.

After cleaning the airway, you may have to perform CPR, but only after major injuries have been taken care of. But we’ll talk more about CPR next time when you’ll learn how to get every move correctly and keep the victim alive.