Posts tagged: survival medicine

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 5: How To Treat A Bullet Wound

bulletphoto source: stock-clip.com

This week, Joshua Piven’s book “The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook” inspired me to write an article entitled How to survive if you’re in the line of gunfire” . Most survival manuals don’t cover this subject and I think it’s an important topic, especially when disasters and crises often lead to violent riots and street shootings (as it happened after hurricane Katrina, in 2005).

Now, as much as I’d like to think I won’t live to see this happening, I’ve got to be realistic and admit not only that I might see it, but that I’ll also get caught in the middle of it. You may never know…

So now I know the basic survival measure to avoid getting shot, even if I’m the primary target. However, what happens if I do get shot? Or if someone else gets hurt right beside me? What do I do then?

I found the answer on firstaid.about.com, and I want to share it with you. So here’s what you need to do if you or someone close to you gets shot:

1. Stay Safe. If you are not the victim, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if available. Any situation that involves a gun is potentially dangerous, and rescuers are no help to a victim if they get hurt.

2. Call 911 as soon as it is clear a gun is involved. Surviving a gunshot wound depends greatly on how quickly a victim gets to a hospital. Ideally, a gunshot wound victim should be on the way to a hospital in an ambulance within 10 minutes of being shot.

3. Do not move the victim unless his or her safety is in jeopardy.

4. Follow basic first aid. If the victim is unconscious but breathing, keep the airway open and clear. If the victim is not breathing, begin CPR.

5. Control any bleeding. The classic way to do so is applying pressure on the wound until the ambulance takes the victim to hospital.

6. Seal gunshot wounds to the chest with some type of plastic to keep air from being sucked into the wound. This helps prevent the development of a collapsed lung. If the victim begins complaining of worsening shortness of breath, remove the seal.

7. Let conscious victims sit or lie in a position most comfortable for them.

8. Unconscious victims should be placed in the recovery position.

9. Do not elevate legs to treat for shock if the gunshot wound is above the waist (unless the gunshot wound is in the arm). Gunshot wounds to the abdomen and chest will bleed more quickly once the legs are elevated, making it harder for the victim to breathe.

10. Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink, including water!

I also found a great video that shows every step you need to take to keep a bullet wound in control until the doctors arrive. I found it very helpful, I hope so will you.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back next week with more survival medicine methods and techniques. Until then, stay safe!

Also, don’t forget to check out more articles on www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com.

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.