Posts tagged: pain

Survival Medicine 101 Part 7: How To Treat Sprains, Dislocations and Fractures

sprains-and-fractures
photo source: www.doctortipster.com

Sprains, dislocations and fractures are the type of injuries that involve a lot of pain and swelling. Also, walking becomes very difficult, so it’s even harder to get help if you don’t have your phone around. And if it happens during a disaster, when there’s nothing but chaos all over the place, you’re in for the time of your life!

Now, I don’t mean to get all apocalyptic about this, but I do believe it’s very important that you know basic measures when you’re dealing with bone and joint injuries.

So let’s take them one by one and go through the whole process together:

Sprains

Most people get a sprain at least once in their lives, so you’re probably familiar with the symptoms: pain and swelling mostly, but also discoloration (when the sprained area turns black and blue).

Now, even if it hurts, do not call 911 for a sprain. Those guys take on more severe cases. However, according to firstaid.about.com, you should go see a doctor if there’s one close to you, especially if you’re experiencing:

○ severe pain

○ inability to put any weight on it victim unable to put any weight on it

○ inability to move it

○ inability to walk

○ numbness

○ redness or red streaks spread out from the injury

○ pain, swelling, or redness over a bony part of your foot

When it comes to treating sprains, you should think RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate):

RESTthe sprained joint. Don’t try to walk if you’re feeling severe pain whenever you take a step or two. But if you have to walk, use a cane to take most of your body weight.

ICE the sprained area with an ice pack.

COMPRESS it with an elastic bandage. Like this:

ELEVATE the sprain above the level of the heart during the first 48 hours. Just place your foot on top of some pillows or a rolled blanket and keep it that way as much as possible.

Dislocations and Fractures

According to eMedicalHealth.com, these are the guidelines to treat a fracture or dislocation if medical help is not available:

  • Apply a cold pack to the areaof fracture or dislocation to decrease swelling and to relieve pain.
  • Flush open wounds associated with compound fractures with clean, fresh water and cover them with a dry dressing.
  • Splint the injured area to keep it from moving. Support a broken limb by using the best material available for a splint, such as sticks, part of a backpack frame, or other stabilizing device. Wrap tape around the splint and the extremity affected. For example, if a forearm is broken, the splint should run from the wrist to the upper arm and support the arm without repositioning it.
  • Monitor the extremity near the fracture or dislocation, assessing any loss of sensation, decreased temperature, and pulse.

However, the first thing to do is call 911. ALWAYS.

Pain can get pretty nasty in case of dislocations or fractures, so take 1-2 tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours or 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) every 6-8 hours.

I really hope you’ll never have to take these measures, not for yourself or for anyone else. But if you do, I hope they help you treat your injury and relieve your pain. Make sure you stay safe, alright?

By Anne Sunday

Prepare Your Mind For The Coming Crisis – Part 6 –

Mind Preparedness
Registered to Alec Deacon

Coping with negative feelings: Anxiety, Panic and Fear

These three powerful emotions — anxiety, panic and fear — are common during any disaster or crisis and act just like the pieces of a domino.

First, anxiety sets in. It’s like a dark premonition of what is bound to happen. If the premonition turns out to be true, panic is next to take over. It’s a normal state in case of emergency situation, but if you don’t control it, it can easily turn into fear. And more often than not, fear leads to deadly mistakes that endanger your life and your whole family,

So let’s take these negative emotions one by one and see what you can do to avoid the “domino syndrome”:

#1: Anxiety

Anxiety is a universal human reaction, usually caused by major changes. Most people are resistant to change, as it threatens a habitat we’ve already grown accustomed to. It can also be translated into “fear of the unknown”.

Many people have troubles identifying the cause of their anxiety. This is the main difference between anxiety and fear. The latter is a stronger reaction to a specific, known cause. However, in times of disaster or crisis, causes of anxiety are usually obvious. But that’s not necessarily a good thing, as it can more easily turn into panic and then fear.

So what can you do to prevent panic from setting in? At the first sign of anxiety, take a moment to clearly identify the cause. After doing so, think of a way to eliminate the cause, step-by-step. Visualise yourself taking every step successfully. Then get to action and take every step of the way to eliminate the cause of your anxiety.

#2: Panic

If your anxiety does turn to panic, however, you must work harder on reducing this overwhelming feeling. Otherwise, you might just end up endangering your life or your family’s because you acted out of sheer panic.

So when you feel panic taking over, the first thing to do is sit down (in a safe place) and breathe deeply for 10 seconds. Try not to think of anything, just clear your head, it will help you focus. Then remember the basic survival techniques you’ve read or heard of that can save your life in that specific situation (an earthquake, an attack, a riot etc).

Breathe deeply at all times, unless you’re under a chemical or biological attack or you might choke on smoke. Breathing deeply and rhythmically will keep you calm and help you focus on your mission: survival.

#3: Fear

The difference between panic and fear lies in their intensity. Panic is a feeling that first takes control of your mind and then leads to a physical reaction. Fear is such a strong feeling that your mind immediately sends a stimuli to your body, forcing it to act irrationally.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of people were saved due to their instant reactions to danger. However, when it comes to an emergency situation you’ve never experienced before, your mind does not know how to react. So it usually forces your body either to run, or to freeze. And if you’re dealing with an earthquake, a flood or a terrorist attack, neither of these two will do you any good.

So what you can do is GET INFORMED! Read everything about the most common disasters in your area, but also about situations that may occur anywhere in the world: chemical and biological attacks, nuclear attacks and fallout or how to survive a violent mob and keep looters out of your home.

Every weekend, have an emergency drill with your family. One week, it can be for earthquakes, the next one for burglaries and so on. It may seem a bit crazy to your neighbors and even to some members of your family, but remember this: when a disaster does strike, you’ll be so familiar with these survival techniques, they’ll come naturally. And this means you can use fear to your advantage and save your family, while the ones who laughed at you will be making dangerous mistakes every 10 seconds.

I’ll get back with more tested techniques to prepare your mind for disasters and crises next week. Until then, you can work on controlling your emotions using the methods above. Stay safe!

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Prepare Your Mind For The Coming Crisis – Part 5 –

mind preparednessphoto source: http://simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com/

Coping with negative feelings: Extreme Temperatures and Fatigue

This week’s “Coping with negative feelings” revolves around physical states that give you an agonizing mental weakness: extreme cold or heat and fatigue.

Most survival books treat these two feelings only from the physical point of view, but the truth is the impact on your mind is just as devastating. Dealing with situations you’ve never encountered before, such as extreme temperatures or severe fatigue can literally block your entire thinking process, turning you into a vegetable. The weakness takes hold of both your body AND you mind. And it doesn’t give you a friendly warning before doing so.

But with just a little bit of focus and constant mental stimulation, you can overcome these difficult obstacles and fight for your life and your loved ones. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do today: discover the best strategies to fight off weakness and keep yourself alert.

Let’s take them one by one:

#1: Extreme cold or heat

Normally, your body temperature should be somewhere about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Any increase or decrease in temperature (even 2-3 degrees!) instantly causes you discomfort and makes you less efficient. However, your life won’t be threatened if the change is so slight.

When the body is forced to deal with extreme temperatures, the body tends to slow down its functions to the minimum, to keep the blood pumping to the heart. When that happens, you’ll start feeling numbness in your hands and feet… and then a strong desire to lay down and take a nap.

This is when the weakness sets in and when your mental effort needs to stay at maximum levels, to keep you alive. Whatever you do, you need to resist the temptation of falling asleep.And if there’s anyone else with you that’s got the same symptoms, try to keep them awake, too. And here’s why: If you let your mind stop its conscious activity, your body may stop its functions, also. This means you can easily die in your sleep without even realizing it.

So the best piece of advice I can give you is: KEEP YOUR MIND ALERT AT ALL TIMES!

And do not give into the need to sleep, not even for a quick nap. I am only talking about extreme situations here, of course. If temperatures are not life-threatening, then make sure you don’t get sleep-deprived, because then another problem sets in:

#2: Severe fatigue

During a disaster or a crisis, many people experience fatigue and sleep deprivation. When you’re fighting for your life, sleep is the last thing on your mind. And it is only natural to put in all your energy to make sure your family makes it throughout the disaster.

But after the danger is over (or it’s diminished), sleep should be your #1 priority. And the reasons are quite intuitive:

When you’re extremely tired and sleep deprived, looking for food and water becomes almost impossible. So if you need to feed your family, take a 2-minute nap and then get going. I know it’s hard to fall asleep when you know your family needs you, but just think about this: if you don’t, your loved ones may lose the one they depend on. And, trust me, a 20-minute nap can work wonders on an exhausted body.

When you reach complete exhaustion, you stop being yourself. Your mind is not capable of reasoning anymore and your body listens to no commands. This new you will most likely act like a madman and endanger your own family. This is the moment when you turn from reliable survivor to a burden for the family or even a threat.

So make sure you rest every time you get the chance to and sleep at least 5 hours at night, whenever you can. You may feel guilty for not working more, but remember: you cannot survive without it!

If there’s anything you’d like to add, please feel free to do so in the comment section below. Until next time, stay safe!

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