Survival Medicine Hour: Ticks, Volcanoes, Special Guests

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Survival Medicine Hour: Ticks, Volcanoes, Special Guests

SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR PODCAST

Old Faithful is a sign of a mass of superheated water and rock below Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful is a sign of a mass of superheated water and rock below Yellowstone National Park

Can you prepare for a day at the beach? Can you prepare for an asteroid strike? Well, preparing for volcanic eruptions is in the middle, actually closer to an asteroid strike that anyone would like. Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP discuss what can and can’t be done to prepare for a volcano, and whether volcano preparedness is an oxymoron!


Also, school’s almost out and families will out hiking and camping. Ticks will also be out, and ready to make a meal out of the blood of your loved ones. The Altons discuss how to avoid being a blood donor to a tick this summer, and avoid diseases they transmit like Lyme disease.

All this and more in this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/05/18/survival-medicine-hour-ticks-volcanoes-interviews-more

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow; on Facebook at the Doom and Bloom(tm) page; on YouTube at the DrBones NurseAmy channel

Also, check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net!

Joe and Amy Alton

Video: Volcano Preparedness?

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Video: Volcano Preparedness?

VIDEO: VOLCANO PREPAREDNESS?

Being prepared certainly increases your chances of surviving and staying healthy in a lot of disaster settings, but can you prepare for a volcanic eruption like we’re seeing at Mount Kilauea in Hawaii? A volcano can form a river of lava, molten rock at 750-1250 degrees, plus shoot out rocks the size of boulders onto the landscape. Over time, falling ash can cause roofs to collapse. Sure, most of the country isn’t at risk for a volcanic eruption, or is it? Yellowstone National Park is home to a huge “caldera” where superheated gases cause geysers like Old Faithful. It exploded 640,000 years ago, and we’re due, some geologists say, for another event (in the next 40,000 years or so).

While you can’t protect your home from a wall of lava, there might be some actions that could give you a fighting chance to survive the event. In this video, Joe Alton, MD explores your options and offers some thoughts on what might make a difference and what might not for a volcanic eruption.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe Alton MD

Learn more about natural disasters and medical issues you might confront in one in the award-winning Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.  Also, check out some of Nurse Amy’s medical kits for off-grid scenarios at store.doomandbloom.net.

Survival Medicine Hour: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Malaria

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Survival Medicine Hour: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Malaria

SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR PODCAST

e. coli bacteria

e. coli bacteria

Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP often  talk about infectious diseases on the Survival Medicine Hour, a number of which are called emerging infectious diseases.

Emerging infectious diseases are infections that have recently appeared within a population or those whose frequency or geographic range is increasing or likely to increase in the near future. They say there’s nothing new under the sun, so how is this possible? Emerging infections can be caused by:

  • Previously undetected or unknown infectious agents (SARS, MERS)
  • Known agents that have spread to new geographic locations or new populations (Zika, Ebola, Chikungunya)
  • Previously known agents whose role in specific diseases has previously gone unrecognized. (like some viruses now being thought responsible for certain illnesses)
  • Re-emergence of agents whose incidence of disease had significantly declined in the past but whose incidence of disease has reappeared, say measles. This group is known as re-emerging infectious diseases.
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

The World Health Organization warned in its 2007 report that infectious diseases are emerging at a rate that has not been seen before. Since the 1970s, about 40 infectious diseases have been discovered, including SARS, MERS, Ebola, chikungunya, avian flu, swine flu and, most recently, Zika.

More information on emerging infectious disease can be heard on this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/05/11/survival-medicine-hour-emerging-infectious-disease

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Survival Medicine Hour: Causes of Abdominal Pain Off The Grid

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR PODCAST

After a disaster or at a remote homestead, we all know that the medic for the family may not have ready access to modern medical technology. That means many conditions that are commonly identified with ultrasounds or CAT scans may be more challenging to diagnose. One of these challenges is abdominal pain. There are various medical issues that cause it, and Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP discuss several common diseases that must be identified and treated, such as appendicitis, gall bladder stones, stomach viruses, and more. These issues have some telltale signs that clue you in on what’s going on.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/05/03/survival-medicine-hour-appendicitis-stomach-flus-gall-bladder-disease-more

Don’t forget to follow Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy on Twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom, and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy Channel!

Inflamed Appendix

Inflamed Appendix

Here’s wishing you the best of health in good times and bad…

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy

Joe and Amy

Find out more about abdominal pain and 150 more medical issues in survival settings with the award-winning Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide For When Medical Help is Not on the Way! And fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net

Survival Medicine Hour: Spring Camping Safety, Snakebite, More

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Camping Safety

Camping Safety

School is winding down, and families are starting to think about that camping trip to the mountains or shore. Camping safety is important, and a lot of factors need to be considered like weather, gear, and more to make a camping trip memorable (and I mean in a good way, not a bad way). What you need to do to deal with common injuries, supplies you’ll need, and even a little about snakebite, since those critters are waking up from their cold-weather slumbers.

venomous snake bite

venomous snake bite

all this and more on the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/04/27/survival-medicine-hour-spring-camping-safety-snakebites-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow  YouTube at drbones nurseamy channel

Facebook at our Survival Medicine Group DrBones NurseAmy or Doom and Bloom pages

Check out our kits and books at store.doomandbloom.net

 

Survival Medicine Hour: E. Coli Outbreak, Mudslides, Water Disinfection, More

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #386

MUDSLIDES

MUDSLIDES

Spring has sprung, and snowmelt plus heavy rains may increase the risk of mudslides, aka debris flows, in many areas. Find out more about this dangerous natural phenomenom which is akin to a river of wet concrete, plus some early warning signs that you property is at risk. Joe and Amy, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, also discuss a new E. Coli outbreak that is hitting several states across the country but is still mysterious in its origin, plus their recommendations for water disinfection and how it compares to official EPA directives.

bacterial outbreak in 7 states

bacterial outbreak in 7 states

Also, some examples as to when the medic has to make tough decisions in survival settings, like giving medicines to someone who is really sick but claims to have an allergy to the only drug or natural option you’ve got in your medical supplies.

All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/04/13/survival-medicine-hour-e-coli-outbreak-mudslides-disinfection-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

 

Follow Joe and Amy on twitter @preppershow; Facebook at Doom and Bloom, and on Youtube at drbones nurseamy channel!

Find the award-winning third edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook at Amazon.com

Survival Medicine Hour: Allergies, More

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Survival Medicine Hour #385

all about allergies

all about allergies

In certain seasons, like Spring, pollens and other substances are at high levels. For most, it’s a great time of year to be outside, but for allergy sufferers, well, not so much. Joe Alton, MD,aka Dr. Bones, and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Nurse Amy, go into detail to tell you the history of allergies (the word didn’t even exist in the year 1900!), what exactly happens in your body during an allergy attack, and how to identify it from, say, a simple adverse reaction to a medicine.

Also, a little about severe allergic reactions and your treatment options in good times or bad, plus why most people that tell their doctor they’re allergic to something may actually not have an allergy at all!

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/04/06/survival-medicine-hour-allergies-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy and Joe Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Follow the Altons on twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom(tm), and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy Channel! Drget to get a copy of their 2017 Book Excellence 1st Place Award winner in medicine, The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, and medical kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.https://store.doomandbloom.net/

The Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

The Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

Survival Medicine Hour: Wound Closure in Survival Settings, More

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #382

wound closure

Important factors when deciding to close a wound off the grid

Injuries occur in disaster and other off-grid settings, and some of those break the skin or even go into deeper layers, like subcutaneous fat and muscle. When do you close a wound and when is it wiser to keep it open? Also, if you’re going to close it, what materials should you use and why? Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, take you through the decision making process and much more in this episode devoted to wound closure in survival situations.

Suture Training is important, but so is open wound care

Suture Training is important, but so is open wound care

Follow Joe and Amy on Twitter @preppershow, plus their YouTube Channel at drbones nurseamy, and Facebook on their Doom and Bloom(tm) page!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/03/30/survival-medicine-hour-wound-closure-in-survival

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Amy's garden

Amy’s garden

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

The Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

The Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

 

Survival Medicine Hour: Preparedness Expos, Stop The Bleed Day, More

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Preparedness Expo

Preparedness Expo

We’ve been supporters of and speakers at the Self-Reliance Expo for many years, and we thought it might be interesting to talk to some of the speakers and exhibitors at the event. You’ll hear our friend Rich Beresford of AroundtheCabin.com, 17 year old survivalist Blake Alma, and other popular YouTubers and celebs of the survival community. Listen to the stories of people who are members of the preparedness community.

Plus, Joshua Remer and Max Dodge of Stop The Bleed Day talk about the importance of teaching how to stop bleeding from traumatic wounds. Also, a short discussion of how the antihistamine Benadryl, in injectable form, is actually a reasonably strong local anesthesia. Is it an option for the survival medic? Find out on this out-of-the-box program,

Wishing you the best of health from good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Video: Fire/Cooking Supplies For Disasters

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VIDEO: Fire/Cooking Disaster Supplies

Eco-zoom's Stove

Eco-zoom’s Stove

Amy Alton ARNP asks: What should you have in your disaster supply storage to help you keep your family  in hot meals even when you’re off the grid? In this video, Nurse Amy gives her thoughts on what the well-prepared family needs to function in the aftermath of a major disaster.

To watch, click below:

Here’s wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy and Joe Alton

Amy Alton, ARNP

Amy Alton, ARNP

For more advice on disaster supplies and discussions of over 150 medical topics for when help is not on the way, get a copy of The Survival Medicine Handbook’s award-winning Third Edition!

2017 Book Excellence Award 1st place winner in Medicine

2017 Book Excellence Award 1st place winner in Medicine

 

 

Survival Medicine Hour: Wound Cleaning, Medical Backpacks, More

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #380

dealing with open wounds

dealing with open wounds

The right equipment is important for anyone to do a job efficiently. You wouldn’t expect a steak knife to cut a tree down better than a saw, or see a hunter have the same success with a catapult as opposed to a rifle. The same goes for the containers you put supplies in, especially one you have to carry with you while bugging out or away from your retreat. The right medical backpack allows you to work effectively as a medic, while giving you the ability to have plenty of materials and minimizing back problems. Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy discuss what goes into choosing a good medical backpack.

A loaded first aid kit with medical supplies for trauma,burns, sprains and strains and other medical issues

Picking the right medic bag

Plus, some basics of wound cleaning off the grid. In normal times, you can pass off a person with a wound to a hospital, but after a disaster, it’s your responsibility to see the wound to full recovery. That means diligent and strict attention to wound cleaning. We talk about some strategies for wound care off the grid that will decrease the risk of wound infections and increase the chances for survival.

All this and more on the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/03/16/survival-medicine-hour-would-cleaning-medical-backpacks-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Dr Bones/Nurse Amy

Dr Bones/Nurse Amy

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom’s page, and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy channel

Plus, get a copy of the Survival Medicine Handbook’s award-winning Third Edition at Amazon.com

2017 Book Excellence Award Winner in Medicine

2017 Book Excellence Award Winner in Medicine

Survival Medicine Hour: All about Arthritis, Mass Recall, Anosmia

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Survival Medicine Hour #379

Rheumatoid is just one kind of arthritis

Rheumatoid is just one kind of arthritis

 

What if you had to function with joint pain in the aftermath of a major disaster? In the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD, aka Dr. Bones, and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Nurse Amy, our hosts tell you all about arthritis: The different types, signs and symptoms, how to tell one type from another, treatment both natural and conventional, plus much more.

mass fire extinguisher recall includes ours!

mass fire extinguisher recall includes ours!

A mass recall of fire extinguishers going all the way back to 1973 is in the news after a fire rescue team couldn’t save a victim due to the failure of the all-important device. Is your device affected? Listen to Nurse Amy give an account of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report.

Plus, a listener who has lost his sense of smell; could it be allergies? could it be a chronic medical condition. Listen to his story and Dr. Alton’s thoughts.

To listen in, click here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/03/09/survival-medicine-hour-arthritis-mass-recall-anosmia

All this and more on the Survival Medicine Hour with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy!

The Altons

The Altons

 

Don’t forget to check out the Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition on Amazon!

Follow Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy on twitter @preppershow, facebook at Doom and Bloom, and YouTube at drbones nurseamy channel!

Survival Medicine Hour: Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery Off The Grid

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Survival Medicine Hour #378

Birthing a Baby Off The Grid

Birthing a Baby Off The Grid

It may not be the wisest move to be fruitful and multiply in the early going after a disaster. You need all your people at 110% efficiency, and that isn’t part of the deal with pregnancy, with all that fatigue, discomfort, nausea, and other symptoms. The best plans of mice and men often go awry, however, and you might find yourself taking care of a pregnancy and, eventually, delivering a baby.

Old Dr. Bones, retired obstetrician, and Nurse Amy, retired nurse-midwife, give you their perspectives on how to make labor and delivery manageable and result in a healthy baby and healthy mother. There’s more to it that we can fit in a one hour podcast, but you’ll learn a lot I’ll bet your didn’t know!

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP…

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/03/02/survival-medicine-hour-labor-and-delivery-off-the-grid

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical kit at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

Video: Disaster Food Supplies

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VIDEO: Disaster Food Supply Advice

Storing food for disasters

Storing food for disasters

In this video, Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Nurse Amy, steps in front of the camera to discuss disaster food supplies. Food, water, and shelter (don’t forget air!) are absolute basics for survival in a major disaster, followed by, in our opinion, medical supplies. Using common sense regarding your food storage will give your family the best chance to succeed, even when everything else fails.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy Alton ARNP

Amy  Alton

Amy Alton

Fill those holes in your disaster medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net.

Some of Nurse Amy's Kits

Some of Nurse Amy’s Kits

Video: Amputation in Survival Settings

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Amputation in survival settings

Amputation in survival settings

One of the worst injuries that can occur in a disaster or other off-grid setting is the traumatic amputation. In the Civil War era. amputations on the battlefield or later in the field hospital resulted in 1/4 to 1/2 of the victims succumbing to their wounds. In an EMP attack, we could easily be thrown back to that era medically, and we should consider what can be done for those injured so horrifically.

Joe Alton MD attempts to tackle this delicate subject that others won’t touch in this video, knowing the limitations on the medic and the lack of sterility in most instances. See him explain his thoughts and rationale on what can and can’t be done, and some tips on what to do when confronted with the traumatic amputation.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton MD

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Amy and Joe Alton

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with individual kits and supplies from Nurse Amy’s entire line at store.doomandbloom.net.

three compact first aid kits great for hiking and camping made by Amy Alton of store.doomandbloom.net

Survival Medicine Hour: Family Planning, Anxiety and Depression Off The Grid

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Family Planning in Survival?

You’ve heard “Be Fruitful and Multiply”, but in the early aftermath of a major long-term disaster, getting your women pregnant and having babies might be problematic when your garden isn’t doing so well and you need every person at 110% efficiency. But how to prevent pregnancy when IUDs, Birth Control Pills, and other high tech methods aren’t available. Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, tell you what you need to know about natural family planning.

Anxiety and depression are part and parcel of long-term survival

Anxiety and depression are part and parcel of long-term survival

Plus, your may associate a long-term disaster with a lot of gunfights at the OK corral, but you’re much more likely to deal with anxiety and depression than bullet wounds (we hope). Find out Dr. Alton’s thought about the subject as he answers a question from a listener of the Survival Podcast as part of good friend Jack Spirko’s Expert Council.

All this and more on The Survival Medicine Hour with Amy Alton ARNP and Joe Alton MD!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/02/23/survival-medicine-hour-family-planning-anxiety-and-depression-off-the-grid

Wishing you the best of health in good time or bad,

Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP

The Altons

The Altons

Hey, do us a favor and please follow us on twitter @preppershow, YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy Channel, and Facebook at Doom and Bloom ™; and don’t forget to check out our third edition of the award winning Survival Medicine Handbook at Amazon or on our website!

Video: Getting Rid of Rodents

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VIDEO: Getting Rid of Rodents in Good Times or Bad

not a very welcome guest

not a very welcome guest

Every year, a percentage of our food supply is contaminated by the dropping and urine of rats and mice. It’s bad enough in normal times, but it can be a disaster off the grid. Rodents also carry diseases that can affect the health of your group members at a time when modern medicine may not be available. Therefore, it makes sense to eliminate your unwanted guests!

In this video, which follows up on a previous video on rodent-proofing a home, Joe Alton MD tells you what to do if you already have an issue with rat and mice infestation. Various ways to tell that you’ve got visitors and methods to get rid of them are discussed in some detail.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Learn a lot about over 150 medical issues in the 700 page Book Excellence Award winner in Medicine, The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and items from Nurse Amy’s entire line at store.doomandbloom.net.

Survival Medicine Hour: The Flu Hits The Hosts, Antibiotic Use, More

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Antibiotics not helpful against the flu

Antibiotics not helpful against the flu

Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, come down with the flu after their successful appearance at the SHOT show in Nevada, just one of 47 states reporting widespread outbreaks of influenza. Find out how hard it is to escape becoming a victim, even if you walk around with hand sanitizer in your pocket all day! Nurse Amy gives her advice for speeding recovery and Dr. Bones talks about the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and how it works to shorten the duration and severity of the illness.

It's good to have antibiotics, even fish versions, in your medical storage, but how to use them wisely in survival?

It’s good to have antibiotics, even fish versions, in your medical storage, but how to use them wisely in survival?

Also, Dr. Alton was the first physician to write about the use of fish and bird antibiotics as a survival tool, but this stuff isn’t candy, and has to be used wisely if at all. Having a supply, however, may avoid the preventable deaths from infected cuts and other minor ailments that could become big trouble in hard times. Some general advice regarding appropriate usage is given, and a useful antibiotic called  metronidazole (Flagyl, Fish-Zole) is spotlighted.

All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/02/02/survival-medicine-hour-the-flu-hits-the-hosts-wise-antibiotic-use-more

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow, FB at Doom and Bloom(tm), and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy Channel!

Joe and Amy Alton

Amy and Joe Alton

Amy and Joe Alton

Learn more about respiratory infections, anti-viral drugs, and antibiotics in the award-winning Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook, The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

 

Survival Medicine Hour: James Rawles, Staph, Chest Trauma, More

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Survival Medicine Hour #373

rib fracture

rib fracture

Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy discuss chest trauma, including rib fractures, ballistic and projectile trauma, and pneumothorax. Plus, an interview with Survival Blog’s James Rawles on a book he wrote about a hypothetical Christian homeland in his novel “Land of Promise”.

James Rawles' Land of Promise

James Rawles’ Land of Promise

Plus, a series of listener questions about things like Staph infections, food-grade diatomaceous earth, and much more!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/01/26/survival-medicine-hour-james-rawles-chest-trauma-staph-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Nurse Amy/Dr. Bones

Nurse Amy/Dr. Bones

Learn about 150 medical topics off the grid in the award-winning Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide For When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

Video: Waters Filters and Storage

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VIDEO: WATER FILTERS AND STORAGE OPTIONS (with Nurse Amy!)

You're mostly made of this

You’re mostly made of this

Humans are made mostly of water, and many survival settings have either a lack of it or questionable quality. Therefore, it’s important that the water you find is safe to drink, but even the clearest  mountain stream may harbor organisms like Giardia and Entamoeba that can cause serious illness. In natural disasters like floods, there’s water everywhere, but almost always highly contaminated.

In this video, Nurse Amy steps in front of the camera to give a review of some water filter and storage options.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy and Joe Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Find out more about hydration, dehydration, and disinfection, as well as 150 other medical topics, with the award-winning Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide For When Medical Help Is On The Way!

Survival Medicine Hour: Mudslides, Antibiotics, EMPs

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #372

Aftermath of a mudslide

Aftermath of a mudslide

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton discuss California’s double whammy of drought wildfires, then mudslides and flash floods when the rain finally comes. A mudslide can be like a river of wet concrete, is there any way to survive one? If you know the signs, maybe, and is plan out that mountain retreats with mudslides in mind, definitely.

Dr. Alton, aka Dr. Bones, also gives you some common sense advice about the use of fish antibiotics, and tells the story of how he came to be the first medical doctor to write about them as a tool in the survival woodshed. More to come about individual antibiotics in future shows.

the wise use of antibiotics

the wise use of antibiotics

Also, Anthony Furey comes back to discuss the risk of an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States by saber-rattling North Korea or another irrational regime. His book “Pulse Attack” is in bookstores across North America.

To listen in, click here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2018/01/12/survival-medicine-hour-mudslides-antibiotics-emps

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s entire line at store.doomandbloom.net

Some Doom and Bloom Kits

Some Doom and Bloom Kits

Surviving A Mudslide

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CAN YOU SURVIVE A MUDSLIDE?

mudslide aftermath

mudslide aftermath

Southern California can’t catch a break. Enjoy a sunny climate, get wildfires. Wish for rain, get mudslides.

After record-setting wildfires that lasted all the way to late December, the first rain in Southern California in months caused a major mudslide that killed more than 15 people, injured others, and destroyed several dozen homes. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors in the wreckage.

I probably should write more about landslide events. We live part-time in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with a mountain home overlooking town and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  As such, we live on a slope. How much of a slope? Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to take a dive off our deck.

A mudslide, sometimes called a “debris flow”, is a landslide with a high water content. Mudslides act like a river that, if the mud is thick, has the consistency of wet concrete. Mud, rocks, trees, and other large objects are carried along and can cause homes to collapse and a huge amount of traumatic injury to residents.

Another type of landslide is a “mud flow“, which is characterized by a very rapid flow of water and debris. A mud flow is more “liquefied” due, at least partially, to a lot of rain in a short period of time. A third of the rainfall in Southern California when the rains finally came occurred in five (yes, five) minutes.

In the U.S., 25-50 deaths occur on average as a result of landslides.

Mudslides occur for a number of reasons: Periods of heavy rainfall or snow melt saturate the ground and cause instability in sloping areas. Areas prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters are especially susceptible. In the case of the California mudslide, soil which had been charred by recent fires made the it less absorptive; as such, water that couldn’t get through hard earth quickly formed a flash flood that cascaded down slopes, picking up soil and debris to become a mudslide.

CAN YOU PREVENT A MUDSLIDE?

Humans contribute to the risk of mudslides by planning poorly: Roads cut into hills and mountains and scenic mountain homes make mudslides more likely. River retreats at the base of a hill or mountain (in the “holler”, as we say in Tennessee) are also vulnerable.

mudslide1mudslide

Once you’ve built that home on a hillside, there’s a limited amount of preventative measures that can be undertaken. It’s a different story, however, when planning out that dream home:

  • -Beware of steep slopes, natural or man-made runoff conduits, or eroded areas.
  • -Have the county Geological Survey specialist assess your property for possible mudslide risk.
  • -Consider flexible pipe fittings (installed by pros) less prone to gas or water leaks.
  • -Consider building a retaining wall in likely mudslide channels.
  • -Avoid areas that have experienced mudslides in the past.
  • -Plan out an evacuation route.
  • -Have a battery-powered NOAA weather radio.
  • -Have a medical kit with items to deal with both traumatic injury and water sterilization.

WARNING SIGNS OF A HOME AT RISK

Sometimes, pressure from unstable earth may give you a hint that trouble is on the way and give you time to evacuate. Mudslide prone areas will begin to show signs of strain:

  • -Cracks develop in walls, flooring, paving, driveways, or foundations.
  • -Outside structures (for example, stairs) begin to separate from buildings
  • -Doors and windows start becoming jammed.
  • -Utility lines start breaking.
  • -Fences, trees, and utility poles start tilting.
  • -Water starts accumulating in strange places
  • -Roads and embankments along slopes start breaking off at the edges.
  • -The Terrain starts to “bulge” or starts slanting at the base of the slope.

DURING THE EVENT

mudslide2

  • -Turn on the NOAA radio and listen to warnings as they are reported.
  • -Warn your neighbors!
  • -If a mudslide is imminent, get out of Dodge if at all possible, with the understanding that roads may be washed out.  Stay away from mudslide areas; new mudslides may still occur.

In some mudslides, as in Southern California, things happen very quickly and you don’t have time to evacuate:

  • -If you stay home, get to the second story if you have one.
  • -Watch for and avoid downed power lines.
  • -As the slide passes through, get under a table and curl into a ball, protecting your head.
  • -If you’re trapped in the mud, survival rates go up if you can form an air pocket around you.
  • -it’s a good idea to carry a cell phone with you at all times in case you are trapped in the house.

Mudslides, like wildfires, leave scars on the land but are part and parcel of living with Mother Nature. Plan before you build, know the danger signs, and hit the road if at all possible in the face of an imminent threat.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with some of Nurse Amy’s kits or individual items at store.doomandbloom.net.

Survival Medicine Hour: Cold Weather Issues On The Trail, In The Car, At Home

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Dang, it's cold!

Dang, it’s cold!

It’s January, and bitter cold has already engulfed much of North America, with heavy snowfall and high winds causing all sorts of issues that might be hazardous to your health. Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones (Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP) go over a myriad of cold weather issues like hypothermia, winter car survival if stranded, and more. .

We pleased to announce that KYAH in the great state of Utah is now carrying our show on land-based radio!

We wish you the best of health in 2018!

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

For medical kits, individual supplies and our books/dvds, go to store.doomandbloom.net

Survival Medicine Hour: Surviving Building Fires, Truths About Medical Preparedness, More

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Survival Medicine Hour #370

surviving a building fire

surviving a building fire

12 people die in an apartment house fire in New York City, despite the presence of outdoor fire escapes on each floor. Winter is associated with the cold, but the heat from a fire is also part of it, as gas leaks and frayed electrical heating wires combust and cause major damage. Dr. Alton discusses 6 important things to know about the behavior of fire, and just what to do to get out of that burning building alive.

medical preparedness

medical preparedness

Plus, many folks are well-prepared with regards to extra food and water, but relatively few are medically prepared. Why are the Altons still just starting to get people involved in putting together medical supplies. They make their case for being medically prepared in this episode.

All this plus updates on the California wildfires, and a welcome to radio station KYAH in Utah, the latest network to carry the Survival Medicine Hour!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/12/29/survival-medicine-hour-surviving-house-fires-medical-preparedness-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

The Altons

Increase your level of medical preparedness with a medical kit or some individual items from Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net!

Just some of our family of products

Just some of our family of products

 

 

Acute Mountain (Altitude) Sickness

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Acute Mountain Sickness

Acute Mountain Sickness

Altitude SicknessThe journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) reports that 33.5% of the population lives below an elevation of 100 meters above sea level. That means that, in any major disaster, getting out of Dodge often means heading for the hills.

There’s a possibility that we might have to abruptly relocate from a home at sea level to a “bug-out” location in the mountains. Many people adjust to changes of climate and altitude easily, but others don’t; the rapid change in elevation may cause a condition known as Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

A certain amount of oxygen is needed to maintain the body physically and mentally. The availability of this oxygen is less as air pressure decreases at higher elevations, leading to “hypoxemia”, a major issue in mountain sickness. It occurs most commonly at elevations of 8,000 feet above sea level or more, although some experience symptoms somewhat lower.

At present, there is little hard data that predicts exactly which flatlander in your party is most likely to develop symptoms. The speed of ascent and the altitude reached (8000 feet or greater) are general factors.

The effects of altitude sickness are more noticeable with the exertion caused by traveling up mountainous terrain by foot. Although most will improve with rest, complications can develop that rapidly become life-threatening.

Identifying Acute Mountain Sickness

Monitor for early symptoms

Monitor for early symptoms

The typical victim of altitude sickness will present to you with (hopefully) mild symptoms, often within 8 hours or so of ascent. They will resemble someone with a hangover or a case of the flu without the associated fever.  You can expect to see:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • “Pins and Needles” sensations
  • Shortness of breath

A percentage of these sufferers will progress to a more severe state. You will notice:

  • Cough
  • Chest congestion (but not nasal)
  • Worsening shortness of breath
  • Confused and apathetic behavior
  • Cyanosis (a blue or gray appearance of the skin, especially the fingertips and lips)
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dehydration
  • Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • Loss of consciousness
Cyanosis

Cyanosis

The severe cases are characterized by the accumulation of fluid (known as edema) in certain organs. In altitude sickness, this may occur in the lungs (“high altitude pulmonary edema or HAPE”) or brain (“high altitude cerebral edema or HACE”), either of which can be life-threatening.

Treating Acute Mountain Sickness

Exertion can worsen altitude sickness

Exertion can worsen altitude sickness

In most cases, the treatment of altitude sickness is simple: The patient requires rest, if only to stop further ascent and allow more time to acclimate. Wiser still would be to descend to a lower elevation.

If a lack of available oxygen is the problem with rapid rises in altitude, it makes sense to have a portable canister as part of your medical supplies.  In climate-controlled studies, a small amount of supplemental oxygen had the result of reproducing the effects of descending to a lower altitude.

A medication commonly used for both prevention and treatment is the prescription drug Acetazolamide (Diamox). It has a “diuretic” effect, which means that it speeds the elimination of excess fluid from the body by urination. Therefore, it will help prevent the accumulation of fluid in the lungs or brain.

Acetazolamide is superior to many other diuretics in that it also forces the kidneys to excrete bicarbonate. By increasing the amount of bicarbonate excreted, the blood becomes more acidic. Acidifying the blood stimulates ventilation, which increases the amount of oxygen in the body. This effect may not be immediate, but will speed up recovery.

It should be noted that Acetazolamide is a prescription medication, but physicians shouldn’t have problems prescribing it if you let them know you’re planning a trip to high altitude areas. Your doctor should also be able to determine the right dosage, usually ranging from 125mg to 1000mg (average 250 mg twice daily). Some side effects include a strange taste and tingling of the fingertips.

Other medicines known to have a beneficial effect include other prescriptions meds like the blood pressure drug Nifedipine and the headache med Sumatriptan (Imitrex). Ibuprofen 600 milligrams three times daily was found to be effective for mild cases in a study done in 2012.  The strong steroid Decadron is used for those with edema in the lungs and brain.

Once down to more reasonable altitudes (immediately essential in HAPE or HACE) or with oxygen and acclimatization, you can expect symptoms of ACS to subside over one to two days in most cases.

Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness

Other than using meds like Acetazolamide for prevention, there are simple strategies that will help decrease the risk of altitude sickness. Choose your route to your retreat so that the ascent is as gradual as possible. Do not attempt more than 2,000 feet of ascent per day. Ensure that your personnel do not become dehydrated as they ascend, and, especially, avoid the consumption of alcohol.

If there is no choice but to make a quick ascent, it’s important to monitor members of your party for their hydration status and response to exertion, as well as the symptoms and signs described above.

There is some evidence that Gingko Biloba may be helpful in the natural prevention of altitude sickness. A small amount of an extract of this substance has been shown to allow the brain to tolerate lower oxygen levels. More research is needed to determine the appropriate amount for the desired effect.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Find out more about Mountain Sickness and 150 other topics in the award-winning Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for when Medical Help is Not on the Way. Also, fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net!

Video: Colds Vs. Flus

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VIDEO: COLDS VS FLUS

Colds vs Flus

Colds vs Flus

Colds and flus have similar symptoms, but there are ways to tell the difference. In his latest video, Joe Alton MD goes through the signs and symptoms that give clues as to which is which, and what you should do to treat and prevent respiratory infections this cold and flu season.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP

Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP

Learn about respiratory infections and 150 other topics in the Alton’s 2017 Book Excellence Award winner in medicine, the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way!

1st Place at the Book Excellence Awards!

1st Place at the Book Excellence Awards!

Survival Medicine Hour: Cellulitis, Spirituality of and Realities for the Medic, More

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #369

spirituality and survival

spirituality and survival

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP discuss the role of spirituality in survival, and the role hope plays in keeping people resilient in the face of adversity. Also, some hard realities the medic must confront in long-term survival scenarios and the role natural plant products will play in keeping people healthy when the medications run out.

Cellulitis: An epidemic off the grid?

Cellulitis: An epidemic off the grid?

Plus, a discussion of one of the most common issues that will attend injuries in survival settings: cellulitis, or soft tissue infections. People performing activities of daily survival get injured and those injuries can get infected. How do you recognize these infections, and what can you use to treat them?

All this and more in the Doom and Bloom(tm) Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/12/22/survival-medicine-hour-spirituality-and-survival-cellulitis-medic-realities

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad (and a Merry Christmas)!

Have a Corgi Christmas!

Have a Corgi Christmas!

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow; on Facebook @Doom and Bloom(tm);on Youtube’s DrBones NurseAmy channel!

Don’t forget the award-winning Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, as well as the kits and supplies at Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net.

 

Survival Medicine Hour: EMP author Anthony Furey, Wildfire Survival, More

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Survival Medicine Hour #368

California wildfires

California wildfires

Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP welcome Anthony Furey of the Sun Newspaper Chain to discuss his new book “Pulse Attack: The Real Story Behind the Weapon that can Destroy North America”.

Both the Altons and Mr. Furey are concerned about the risks associated with electromagnetic pulse attacks, when a nuclear weapon is detonated high in the atmosphere. Once thought to be the stuff of post-apocalyptic fiction, North Korea has recently acknowledged the usefulness of such an attack against the United States, and they ability to intiate the event.

All about EMPs

All about EMPs

Plus, wildfires in California are devastating a quarter million acres of forest, as well as destroying homes and causing casualties. What would you do in a wildfire, and can your home be saved? Is there any way to effectively defend against it?

All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP! To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/12/13/survival-medicine-hour-anthony-furey-emp-author-wildfire-survival

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Don’t forget to check out the Altons’ 2017 Book Excellence Award Winner in medicine, The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way!

Video: EMPs And Our Unprotected Grid

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EMP VIDEO

ICBM launch

ICBM launch

A natural disaster could knock you off the grid for a time and make it difficult to keep your family healthy. Imagine, then, what the effect of an electromagnetic pulse event, especially one perpetrated by one of the world’s rogue nations, on the health of the entire continent.

In his latest video (a companion to a recent article) Joe Alton MD discusses the risks of EMPs caused by a low-yield nuclear weapon detonated in the atmosphere. Once thought highly unlikely, it’s now an official part of North Korea’s plans for the U.S. Find out what we’ve done (or not done) to harden our electrical grid against EMP attacks.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Still have holes in your medical supplies? Fill them up with kits and supplies from Nurse Amy’s entire line at store.doomandbloom.net!

Essential Oils As Medical Tools

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ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential Oils As Survival Tools

Essential Oils As Survival Tools

Recently, I wrote an article about the use of herbal teas for their medicinal benefits. For the medic who is concerned about long-term survival scenarios, a hard reality is that stored pharmaceuticals will run out over time. This leaves them with only natural options, such as the plants that grow in their own backyard. These were used with skill by our ancestors, who had little else to treat sickness and injury.

While teas are the simplest way to utilize your medicinal herbs, many swear by essential oils as a storage option with other medical supplies. These items have much more longevity than fresh plants and can include those that don’t naturally grow in the area.

Essential Oils Contain Various Compounds

Essential Oils Contain Various Compounds

An essential oil is distilled from whole plant material, not a single ingredient; therefore, each one has multiple compounds that might be medically useful. To take an example, English lavender has about 20 different chemicals, including esters, ketones, and terpenes. These combinations make each oil unique. Oils may be produced from leaves, bark, flowers, resin, fruit or roots. For example, Lemon oil comes from the peel, Lavender oil from flowers, and Cinnamon oil from bark.

Although you might not realize it, you’ve been using essential oils all your life in soaps, furniture polishes, perfumes, and ointments. Previous generations of conventional physicians commonly included them in their medical bags. Indeed, many standard medical texts of the past were really instruction manuals on how to use these products.

Distilling Essential Oils Requires Equipment

One Way To Make Essential Oils: Distillation

Essential oils aren’t easy to produce without distillery equipment. Although it only takes a few leaves of peppermint to make a tea, you would need 5 pounds of leaves to make 1 ounce of essential oil. One source states that it takes an entire acre of peppermint to produce just 12 pounds of oil. The same source says that 12,000 rose blossoms are required to produce a tablespoon of rose oil. These concentrated versions are the ones you see marketed in small, dark bottles. Unless you intend to buy distilling materials, you should accumulate essential oils in quantity but use them sparingly.

The strength or quality of the oil is dependent on multiple factors, including soil conditions, season harvested, subspecies of plant, rainfall, and, in some cases, even the time of day. This is akin to the conditions that determine the quality of a particular vintage of wine. It also explains the significant variance you’ll see in the effects of the same oil from year to year.

You might be surprised to learn that the Food and Drug Administration only requires 10% essential oil in the bottle for it to be marketed as “Pure Essential Oil”. Beware of claims of FDA certification; the FDA has no certification or approval process for these products.

Making Essential Oils

The manufacture of essential oils, known as “extraction”, can be achieved by various methods:

Distillation Method: Using a “still” like old-time moonshiners, water is boiled through an amount of plant material to produce a steam that travels through cooled coils. This steam condenses into a “mixture” of oil and water from which the oil can be extracted

Pressing Method: The oils of citrus fruit can be isolated by a technique which involves putting the peels through a “press”. This works well only with the oiliest of plant materials, such as orange skins.

Maceration Method: a fixed oil (sometimes called “carrier” oil) or lard may be combined with the plant part and exposed to the sun over time, causing the fixed oil to become infused with the plant “essence”. Oftentimes, a heat source is used to move the process along. The plant material may be added several times during the process to manufacture stronger versions. This is the method by which you obtain products such as “garlic-infused olive oil”. A similar process using flowers is referred to as “Enfleurage”.

Solvent Method: Alcohol and other solvents may be used on some plant parts, usually flowers, to release the essential oil in a multi-step process.

As each essential oil has different chemical compounds in it, it stands to reason that the medicinal benefits are also different. An entire alternative medical discipline has developed to find the appropriate oil for the condition that needs treatment. The method of treatment may differ, as well. Common methods are:

1) Inhalation Therapy: This method is also known as “aroma- therapy”. The simplest  way to perform direct inhalation therapy involves putting 2 or 3 drops of essential oil on your hands, rubbing them together, and inhaling.

Steam inhalation therapy utilizes the addition of a few drops of the essential oil in a bowl of steaming water (distilled or sterilized), which is then inhaled. This method is most effective when placing a towel over your head to catch the vapors.

Many people will place essential oils in potpourri or use a “diffuser” to spread the aroma throughout the room. This technique probably dilutes any medicinal effects, however.

2) Topical Application: The skin is an amazing absorbent surface, and using essential oils by direct application is a popular method of administration. The oil may be used as part of a massage, or directly placed on the skin to achieve a therapeutic effect on a rash or aching muscle.

It’s wise to always test for allergic reactions before using an essential oil in this manner: Even though the chemical compounds in the oil are natural, you could still exhibit an allergy to it or be irritated by it (case in point: poison ivy).

A simple test involves placing a couple of drops on the inside of your forearm with a cotton applicator. Within 12-24 hours, you’ll notice redness and itching if you’re allergic. Mixing some of the essential oil with a “carrier” oil such as olive oil before use is a safer option for topical use. Another concern, mostly with citrus oils applied to the skin, is “phototoxicity” (an exaggerated burn response to sun exposure).

Although we have seen many sources recommend applying essential oil over the location of an internal organ, some reservations exist about whether such an application will really have an effect on that organ. It is much more likely to work on skin issues or, perhaps, underlying muscle tissue.

3) Ingestion: Direct ingestion is unwise for many essential oils, and this method should be used with caution. Professional guidance is imperative when considering this method, except for a very few instances. A reasonable alternative to consider is a tea made with the dried herb. This is a safer mode of internal use, but the effect may not be as strong.

Hard Data?

Hard Data on Oils is Not Always Easy To Find

Hard Data on Oils is Not Always Easy To Find

Essential oils have been used as medical treatment for a very long time, but it’s difficult to provide definitive evidence of their effectiveness for several reasons. Essential oils are difficult to standardize, due to variance in the quality of the product based on soil conditions, time of year, and other factors that we mentioned above.

In addition, there are many subspecies of plants that may differ in their effects. An essential oil of Eucalyptus, for example, may be obtained from Eucalyptus Globulus or Eucalyptus Radiata; these plants may have their own unique properties. These factors combine to make scientific study problematic.

In most university experiments, a major effort is made to be certain that the substance tested caused the results obtained. As essential oils have a number of different compounds and are often marketed as blends, which ingredient was the cause of the effect? If the oil is applied with massage, was the effect related to the oil itself or from the physical therapy?

The majority of studies on essential oils have been conducted by the cosmetics and food industries. Others have been conducted by individuals or small companies with a vested interest in the product.

Definitive studies of possible medicinal benefits are usually performed in universities sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. Unfortunately, they generally have little interest in herbal products because they are hard to patent. Therefore, serious funding is hard to find because of the limited profit potential.

Commonly Used Essential Oils

There are many types of essential oils

There are many types of essential oils

Despite the lack of hard data, essential oils have various reported beneficial effects, mainly based on their historical use on thousands of patients by generations of healers. Although there are many essential oils, a number of them are considered mainstays of any herbal medicine cabinet. Here are some of the most popular:

purple colored lavender flowers smell really good and they have medicinal properties

Lavender is a very popular oil

Lavender Oil: An analgesic (pain reliever), antiseptic, and immune stimulant. It is thought to be good for skin care and to pro- mote healing, especially in burns, bruises, scrapes, acne, rashes and bug bites. Lavender has a calming effect and is used for insomnia, stress and depression. It has been reported effective as a decongestant through steam inhalation. Lavender oil may have benefit as an antifungal agent, and has been used for athlete’s foot or other related conditions.

Eucalyptus Oil: An antiseptic, antiviral, and decongestant (also an excellent insect repellent), Eucalyptus oil has a “cooling” effect on skin. It aids with respiratory issues and is thought to boost the immune system. Consider its use for flus, colds, sore throats, coughs, sinusitis, bronchitis, and hay fever. Eucalyptus may be used in massages, steam inhalation, and as a bath additive. Although eucalyptus oil has been used in cough medicine, it is likely greatly diluted and should not be ingested in pure form.

Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil: Diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut, Tea Tree oil may be good for athlete’s foot, acne, skin wounds, and even insect bites. In the garden, Tea Tree oil is a reasonable organic method of pest control. In inhalation therapy, it is reported to help relieve respiratory congestion. Studies have been performed which find it effective against both Staphylococcus and fungal infections. Some even recommend a few drops in a pint of water for use as a vaginal douche to treat yeast. Tea Tree oil may be toxic if ingested or used in high concentrations, around sensitive areas like the eyes.

Peppermint Oil: This oil is said to have various therapeutic effects: antiseptic, antibacterial, decongestant, and anti-emetic (stops vomiting). Peppermint oil is claimed to help for digestive disorders when applied directly to the abdomen. Some herbalists prescribe Peppermint for headache; massage a drop or two to the temples as needed. For achy muscles or painful joints, massage the diluted oil externally onto the affected area. As mentioned previously, definitive proof of topical application effects on deep organs is difficult to find.

Lemon Oil: Used for many years as a surface disinfectant, it is often found in furniture cleaners. Many seem to think that this disinfecting action makes it good for sterilizing water, but there is no evidence that it is as effective as any of the standard methods, such as boiling. Lemon oil is thought to have a calming effect; some businesses claim to have better results from their employees when they use it as aromatherapy. Don’t apply this oil on the skin if you will be exposed to the sun that day, due to increased likelihood of burns.

Clove Bud Oil Is A Dental Anesthetic

Clove Bud Oil Is A Dental Anesthetic

Clove Oil: Although thought to have multiple uses as an anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral, analgesic, and sedative, Clove oil particularly shines as an anesthetic and antimicrobial. It is marketed as “Eugenol” to dentists throughout the world as a natural painkiller for toothaches. A toothpaste can be made by combining clove oil and baking soda. When mixed with zinc oxide powder, it makes a temporary cement for lost fillings and loose crowns. Use Clove oil with caution, however, as it may have an irritant effect on the gums if too much is applied.

Arnica Oil: Arnica oil is used as a topical agent for muscle injuries and aches. Thought to be analgesic and anti-inflammatory, it is found in a number of sports ointments. As a personal aside, we have tested this oil on ourselves and found it to be effective, though not very long lasting. Frequent application would be needed for long term relief. Although some essential oils are used as aromatherapy, Arnica oil is toxic if inhaled.

Chamomile Oil: There are at least two versions of Chamomile oil, Roman and German. Roman Chamomile is a watery oil, while German Chamomile seems more viscous. Both are used to treat skin conditions such as eczema as well as irritations due to allergies. Chamomile oil is thought to decrease gastrointestinal inflammation and irritation, and is thought have a calming effect as aromatherapy, especially in children.

Geranium Oil: Although variable in its effects based on the species of plant used, Geranium oil is reported to inhibit the production of sebum in the skin, and may be helpful in controlling acne. Some believe that it also may have hemostatic (blood-clotting) properties, and is often recommended for bleeding from small cuts and bruising. When a small amount of oil is diluted in shampoo, it may be considered a treatment for head lice.

Helichrysum Oil: Thought to be a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory, Helichrysum is used to treat arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia as part of massage therapy. It has also been offered as a treatment for chronic skin irritation

Rosemary is a versatile oil

Rosemary is a versatile oil

Rosemary Oil: Represented as having multiple uses as an antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic, Rosemary oil is proven to control spider mites in gardens. Use a few drops with water for a disinfectant mouthwash. Inhalation, either cold or steamed, may relieve congested or constricted respiration. Mixed with a carrier oil, it is used to treat tension headaches and muscle aches

Clary Sage Oil: One of the various chemical constituents of Clary Sage has a composition similar to estrogen. It has been used to treat menstrual irregularities, premenstrual syndrome, and other hormonal issues. Sage is also believed to have a mild anticoagulant effect, and may have some use as a blood thinner. Clary Sage also is thought to have some sedative effect, and has been used as a sleep aid.

Neem Oil: With over 150 chemical ingredients, the Neem tree is called “the village pharmacy” in its native India. Many Ayurvedic alternative remedies have some form of Neem oil in them. Proven as a natural organic pesticide, we personally use Neem Oil in our garden. Reported medicinal benefits are too numerous to list here and seem to cover just about every organ system. It should be noted, however, that it may be toxic when the oil is taken internally.

Wintergreen Oil: A source of natural salicylates, Wintergreen oil is a proven anticoagulant and analgesic. About 1 fluid ounce of Wintergreen Oil is the equivalent of 171 aspirin tablets if ingested, so use extreme caution. It may also have beneficial effects on intestinal spasms and might reduce elevated blood pressures.

Frankincense Oil: One of the earliest documented essential oils, evidence of its use goes back 5000 years to ancient Egypt. Catholics will recognize it as the incense used during religious ceremonies. Studies from Johns Hopkins and Hebrew Universities state that Frankincense relieves anxiety and depression in mice (we’re unsure how, exactly, this was determined, but it probably involved a cat). Direct application of the oil may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is thought to be helpful for wound healing. As a cold or steam inhalant, it is some- times used for lung and nasal congestion.

Blue Tansy Oil: Helpful in the garden as a companion plant for organic pest control, Blue Tansy is sometimes planted along with potatoes and other vegetables. The oil has been used for years to treat intestinal worms and other parasites. One of its constituents, Camphor, is used in medicinal chest rubs and ointments. In the past, it has been used in certain dental procedures as an antibacterial.

Oregano Oil: An antiseptic, oregano oil has been used in the past as an antibacterial agent. It should be noted that Oregano oil is derived from a different species of the plant than the Oregano used in cooking. One of the minority of essential oils that are safe to ingest, it is thought to be helpful in calming stomach upset, and may help relieve sore throats. Its antibacterial action leads some to use the oil in topical applications on skin infections when diluted with a carrier oil. Oregano Oil may reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron, so consider an iron supplement if you use this regularly.

Thyme Oil: Reported to have significant antimicrobial action, diluted Thyme oil is used to cure skin infections, and may be helpful for ringworm and athlete’s foot. Thyme is sometimes used to reduce intestinal cramps in massage therapy. As inhalation therapy, it may loosen congestion from upper respiratory infections.

“Thieves’ Oil”: Many essential oils are marketed as blends, such as “Thieves’ Oil”. This is a combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils. Touted to treat a broad variety of ailments, studies at Weber State University indicate a good success rate in killing airborne viruses and bacteria. Of course, the more elements in the mixture, the higher chance for adverse reactions, such as phototoxicity.

I’m sure I missed some of your favorites. There are as many oils as there are species of plants.

Many oils aren't proven safe in pregnancy

Many oils aren’t proven safe in pregnancy

Some important caveats to the above list should be stated here. Many of the essential oils listed are unsafe to use in pregnancy, and some may even cause miscarriage. Also, allergic reactions to essential oils, especially on the skin, are not uncommon; use the allergy test we described earlier before starting regular topical applications.

Even though essential oils are natural substances, they may interact with medicines that you may regularly take or have adverse effects on chronic illness such as liver disease, epilepsy, or high blood pressure. Thorough research is required to determine whether a particular essential oil is safe to use.

Having said that, essential oils are a viable option for many conditions. Anyone interested in maintaining their family’s well-being, especially off the grid, should regard them as another weapon in the medical arsenal. Learn about them with an open mind, but maintain a healthy skepticism especially about “cure-all” claims.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Learn more about natural remedies and 150 other topics on survival medicine with the 2017 Book Excellence Award winner in medicine, “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide For When Medical Help is Not on the Way”.

Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse Events

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NUCLEAR EMPS

EMP range

EMP range

We live in the shadow of the sun, which gives us, well, shadows, but also bathes us in huge amounts of electromagnetic radiation. Luckily for us, the earth has a magnetic field as a shield against cosmic rays; thanks to it, the human race survives solar storms and other cosmic phenomena.

The sun is a natural source of electromagnetic radiation, but there are un-natural sources as well. The proliferation of nuclear weapons has given us the potential for ending society, not just from physical blasts, but also from electromagnetic pulses.

A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) is a burst of radiation created by the detonation of a nuclear weapon high in the atmosphere. Higher up, there are less blast effects on humans but more severe effects on certain equipment. The flood of electromagnetic energy can produce surges that instantaneously damage electrical grids and electronics, perhaps permanently.

atmospheric detonation

atmospheric detonation

What experience do we have with nuclear electromagnetic pulses? Precious little. In 1962, the U.S. tested a 1.4 megaton device 240 miles over the South Pacific (“Operation Starfish Prime”). It unexpectedly affected street and traffic lights 1000 miles away in Hawaii. There were other surprises, as well: 6 satellites were damaged by the radiation, which spent months in space due to the high altitude of the detonation. All eventually became inoperative. Concern over these effects resulted in the 1963 ban on nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere.

The military has since taken measures to “harden” strategic defense systems against NEMPs; little has been accomplished, however, to protect civilian infrastructure in a nation increasingly dependent on the grid and delicate electronics.

The consequences of a successful nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack could, therefore, be devastating, knocking millions off the grid in an instant and causing widespread chaos.  Even though a detonation 300 miles up in space won’t kill people from the blast, you can imagine the challenges related to keeping society stable and people healthy in the aftermath.

Once upon a time, a nuclear EMP was considered to be an event with a very low likelihood of occurrence, but recent advances in weapons technology by the saber-rattling regime of Kim Jong-Un in North Korea begin to make even skeptics realize that NEMPs may become a major concern in the near future.

ICBM launch

ICBM launch

The rogue nation is now able to send an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as far as the U.S. capitol. Although they are not yet perfected, these missiles carry a significant payload and have the capacity to deploy decoys that might confuse our missile defense systems. In addition, North Korea has been successful in launching satellites that currently fly over U.S. territory every 46 minutes. At the rate that they are advancing, North Korean satellites with the ability to carry low-yield nuclear weapons may soon be a possibility.

To be honest, we don’t have a clear picture of the effects of a NEMP on heavily populated areas. Some believe that the risk to the electrical grid and electronics is overblown. Others, however, feel that an unprotected grid struck by an electromagnetic pulse event could take years to restore in worst-case scenarios, and cause widespread civil unrest and panic even if a limited event.

Who's in charge of protecting the grid?

Who’s in charge of protecting the grid?

Regardless of your estimation of the severity of NEMP attacks, you probably would agree with me that there should be someone in charge of protecting us against them. Despite this threat, and 15 years of recommendations from a national EMP commission to harden civilian infrastructure, we still have no definitive oversight body with any real regulatory or funding power to protect the grid. What we’ve done instead is disbanded the EMP commission entirely, allowed needed legislation to die in committees, and left our energy corporations and utilities to make their own decisions. These organizations, and the private North American Energy Reliability Corporation, are more concerned with protecting the grid from the more common natural disasters than nuclear ones.

The EMP commission estimated that it would cost at least 20 billion dollars to harden our civilian infrastructure against EMP attacks. I believe it’s money well spent, but funding alone isn’t enough. Responsibility for grid protection must be assigned to a single body; one that can oversee, not only security, but also recovery in the aftermath of an attack.

We tend to react to disasters after they happen rather than take measures to prevent their consequences. This is bad policy for the medic, and worse national policy when it comes to hurricanes and wildfires; it’s disastrous when it comes to EMPs.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Follow Dr. Alton on Facebook at Doom and Bloom(tm), Twitter @preppershow, and YouTube’s DrBones NurseAmy channel. Don’t forget to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and individual supplies at store.doomandbloom.net!

Herbal Teas as Medicinal Tools

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HERBAL TEAS

herbal teas

herbal teas (image by pixabay)

In a long-term disaster setting where you are knocked off the grid, medical supplies expended and medicines dispensed over time may not be easily replaced. When confronted with dwindling access to the tools needed by the survival medic to keep people healthy, it becomes clear that knowledge of natural remedies is important.

Every medic must determine whether they believe a long-term survival scenario is a possibility. If this is their concern, they must not only have a sizable amount of supplies and medicine, but also a realization that they eventually must turn to the plants in their own backyard that may have medicinal benefit.

For long term storage, the preparedness community has turned primarily to essential oils as a natural alternative. These are, indeed, some of the best natural products the medic can stockpile due to their longevity. Producing new supplies of them, however, is problematic. Without distilling equipment and a large amount of plant material, you will not be able to replenish oils in any significant quantity.

purple colored lavender flowers smell really good and they have medicinal properties

It takes a lot of lavender to make an oil

A more realistic option for sustainable herbal medicines is using fresh or dried plant materials in teas. These require little more than a garden and some knowledge regarding each herb.

It should be noted that the term “tea” is incorrect: The word actually refers to various drinks made from the leaves of one species, Camellia sinensis. Green, black, white, and oolong teas are made from the same plant; only the processing differs. The proper term for a drink made by steeping herbs in hot water would be an “herbal infusion” or “tisane”. For simplicity’s sake, though, we’ll call them teas.

Standard teas from Camellia Sinensis, like green, black, white, and oolong, are high in antioxidants with many health benefits ascribed to them for various medical issues. These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver dysfunction, and more.

Making a tea is one of the simplest ways to prepare medicinal herbs. If you can boil water, you can brew tea. You just:

  • Bring some water to a roiling boil in a pot or other container. Crush the herb leaves, roots, and/or flowers.
  • Pour the boiled water over 1 teaspoon of herbs and let steep for about five or ten minutes
  • Keep a cover on while steeping.
  • Unless using a tea bag or “bob”, place a strainer over a cup, and pour.
  • Use honey or lemon to add flavor if desired.

A tea doesn’t have to be ingested to be of benefit: Some may be used as an eye wash, an irrigation solution for wounds, or in cold or warm compresses.

There are many herbs that can be made into a tea. Although some of the information below lacks hard scientific data, these are just some of the teas made by your ancestors for medicinal purposes.

Alfalfa: The seeds and leaves contain vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, phosphorous, iron, and potassium. It has been used as a diuretic to help urine flow and for upset stomachs. There are claims that it helps arthritis pain and may lower cholesterol. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves, steeped in 1 cup of boiling water, for 10-20 minutes.

Burdock: The dried root has been used in teas to help clear acne and to treat psoriasis. Use 2 tablespoons of fresh grated root or 1 tablespoon of well-dried root in 3 cups of boiling water.

Catnip: Leaves and flowers are used to treat intestinal cramping, indigestion, diarrhea, and other stomach ailments. Also thought to treat respiratory infections like the common cold. A substance in catnip called nepetalactone is thought to produce a mild sedative effect. Use 1 teaspoon of dried leaves or 1 tablespoon of fresh leaves per cup.

Chamomile: This popular tea contains the amino acid Tryptophan, which gives it a sedative and relaxing effect. As such, it may help treat anxiety and insomnia. Antioxidants in chamomile may help slow down progression of visual, kidney, and nerve damage in diabetics. Use 2-3 teaspoons of dried flowers per cup.

Chicory: When supplies of coffee ran out, soldiers in the Civil War used the root of this common plant as a substitute. It doesn’t have caffeine, though, and has more of a sedative than stimulant effect in large amounts. Chicory root has an effect against intestinal worms, and has been shown in animal studies to improve calcium absorption and bone mineral density. Scrape the “bark” off the root before drying; use 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water. Tea made from leaves has a laxative effect.

dandelion tea

dandelion tea

Dandelion: You might be surprised to know that the common dandelion contains vitamins and minerals. Indeed, it’s thought to have more beta-carotene than a similar serving of carrots. Young flowers and leaves make a good tea for constipation (steep for 20 minutes). Roasting the roots produces a coffee-like drink; use 2 teaspoons of dried chopped root in 1 cup of water.

Echinacea: Well-known to decrease the duration of colds and flus, Echinacea boosts the immune system and may have some antiviral activity. Steep 1-2 teaspoons of leaf, flower, or ½ teaspoon of root to 1 cup of boiling water.

Elder: Elderberry flowers make a tea that is used for many upper respiratory infections such as sinusitis, colds, flus, and laryngitis. Applied in a compress, the tea may be helpful for wound healing and some skin conditions.

The blue or purple berries are high in antioxidants and may be made into a juice or syrup: Put two pounds of elderberries and four cups of water and bring to a boil, then simmer for a half hour. Use a fine mesh strainer to press out the juice. Sugar may be added under medium heat to make a syrup.

Eucalyptus: Tea made from eucalyptus leaves offers relief from asthma as well as respiratory infections, mostly by opening airways and loosening thick mucus. It may have antibacterial and antiviral effects. Steep ½ teaspoon of dried or fresh leaves in 1-2 cups of water.

ginger rhizome

ginger rhizome

Ginger: The underground stems, or rhizomes, of Ginger are used to treat nausea of all types from morning sickness to motion sickness. Slice one inch of the rhizome into small pieces and simmer in two cups of water on low heat for 15 minutes. Then strain. ¼ – ½ teaspoon of ginger powder is another option.

Ginseng: Both Asian and American Ginseng root can be made into herbal teas that are thought to lower blood sugar levels, a useful benefit for those with diabetes. Simmer three to six teaspoons of the root for 45 minutes in three or four cups of water, then strain.

Lavender: Used in aromatherapy, lavender may improve nausea and other digestive symptoms when drunk as a tea. It’s thought to decrease migraine headaches and possibly limit convulsions and muscle spasms. Use 1 tablespoon of dried herb in 1 cup of water.

Lemon Balm: An herb with antiviral effects, it’s a member of the mint family. A tea made from lemon balm leaves and flowers was used in the past to treat mouth, throat, and dental infections like gingivitis and herpes sores. It’s also thought to decrease anxiety, aid sleep, and may help improve intestinal spasms and nausea. Add 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 5-6 fresh leaves to one cup of boiling water.

Licorice: Better known as an ingredient in candy, its coating properties may help with sore throats, coughs, and heartburn. Licorice can, however, raise blood pressure and should be avoided during pregnancy. Add 1-2 teaspoons of chopped root to 2 cups of boiling water. Drink ½ cup at a time.

Passionflower: Tea made from passionflower has a beneficial effect on anxiety and may serve as a sleep aid if taken regularly. Boil 1-2 teaspoons of herb (avoid the root) in 2 cups of water for 5-10 minutes.

Peppermint: A long-standing herbal remedy, tea made from peppermint calms the stomach and helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but can worsen heartburn. The tea helps thin respiratory mucus and relieves nasal congestion. Put 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 6-8 fresh leaves over 1 cup of boiling water.

rose hips

rose hips

Rose: Rose “hips” make a tea with vitamin C, as well as calcium, selenium, zinc, manganese, and others. It boosts the immune system and is thought to be beneficial for the adrenal gland, responsible for the stress hormone cortisol. Boil 1 teaspoon of dried rose hips in water and steep for 20 minutes.

Sage: Sage leaf tea is a time-honored remedy for sore throat as well as the common cold as a tea or gargle. It may also aid digestion, decrease cramping, and may even improve memory. Steep 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in one cup of water.

Stinging Nettle: Stinging nettle root is thought to have benefits as a diuretic to improve urine flow, even in those with enlarged prostates. The leaves may decrease the pain of arthritis in joints. Use 1 teaspoon dried leaves in 1 cup boiling water or boil 5 grams of dried root in 2 cups of water for 5-10 minutes.

St. John’s Wort: One of the few herbs that has known activity against minor depression, it has been called “herbal Prozac”. Beware of interactions with prescription drugs, however. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of herb.

Thyme: Teas made from thyme will loosen thick phlegm and may help coughs. It’s known to inhibit bacteria, viruses, and fungi, including many that cause respiratory infections. Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried leaves in 1 cup of water.

Turmeric: This herb contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that may treat Crohn’s disease and other digestive tract issues. As well, it may have beneficial effects on joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders.

Valerian

Valerian

Valerian: The dried roots of this plant have been utilized for centuries to deal with anxiety and insomnia. It may even decrease the frequency of seizures in patients with epilepsy. Its mild sedative effect eases pain and promotes sleep. Avoid taking with alcohol or sedative drugs.

Willow: The green underbark of willow trees contain salicin, the original ingredient used to produce aspirin. It is especially useful for muscle aches and joint pain. Simmer 1 teaspoon of bark in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes.

There is much research to be done to confirm all of the effects of these plants, and there may be other benefits not mentioned. Many other plants have medicinal effects other than the ones in the list above. These, however, are easily made into teas that can be produced even while on the move.

I’m sure you have your own herbal teas that have helped with various medical issues. The bottom line: Learn how to grow your own medicinal herbs. You may find they are all you have to keep people healthy in the long run. Using all the tools in the medical woodshed will make you a more effective medic.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Learn more about natural remedies in the 2017 Book Excellence Award winner in Medicine “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way”.

Survival Medicine Hour: Acid Reflux, Colds vs Flus, Medical Barter Items, More

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Survival Medicine Hour #366

Colds vs. Flus

Colds vs. Flus

Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, discuss a number of topics, including honey as a treatment for burns, how to tell colds vs. flus, medical barter items, acid reflux, using glues to close wounds, and much more!

Honey, if raw and unprocessed, has antibacterial effect and may be useful to treat burns in situations where modern medical care is not a possibility.

Honey as a treatment for burns

Honey as a treatment for burns

Do you have a cold or the flu? Here’s some tips on how to tell the difference.

Most survivalists consider ammunition to be the most important barter item, but how about items that could heal, instead of cause, wounds? Dr. Alton bets that medical supplies would be important barter items in a post-disaster economy.

Glue in place

Glue in place

Medical glues and even Super-glue, may be valuable items for closing wounds. Here’s how to use glue to close a wound (remember, that it’s more important to know when a wound should be closed and when it should remain open!).

acid reflux

acid reflux

How many people do you know that have problems with stomach acid? In a disaster, those people will still be there, and they need your help. Dr.Alton tells you everything you need to know about gastroesophageal reflux disease (G.E.R.D.).

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/11/30/survival-medicine-hour-acid-reflux-medical-barter-items-colds-vs-flus-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Follow us on twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom(tm), and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy channel.

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net!

 

 

 

 

Survival Medicine Hour: Natural Burn Remedies, Ingrown Nails, Lone Wolves

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Survival Medicine Hour Podcast #365

lone wolf

Lone Wolf?

Does the “lone wolf” have an advantage or disadvantage in situations where you’re knocked off the grid and long term survival is not a sure thing? Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP discuss the importance of community in tough times, even if it’s just an extended family.

3rd degree burn

3rd degree burn

Plus, after discussing first and second degree burns last week, Dr. Alton, aka Dr. Bones, tackles third degree burns, a difficult challenge for the survival medic, as well as natural burn remedies that might help speed recovery for some of the injured.

off grid ingrown toenail strategy

off grid ingrown toenail strategy

Lastly, minor conditions like ingrown toenails may not seem like much to those who watch The Walking Dead, but they’re a major impediment to work efficiency. Not being able to take a step without pain isn’t likely to increase your chances for survival. Dr. Alton talks about what can be done to prevent and treat this condition off the grid.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/11/25/survival-medicine-hour-natural-burn-remedies-ingrown-nails-lone-wolves

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad!

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Hey, follow us on twitter @preppershow, YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy channel, and Facebook at Doom and Bloom. And check out the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook on Amazon!

Third Edition

Third Edition

 

 

 

 

 

G.E.R.D. (Severe Acid Reflux) Off The Grid

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Acid Reflux Off The Grid

G.E.R.D.

Acid Reflux

In this high-stress world, you probably know someone who suffers from G.E.R.D. (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). “Gastro-“ refers to your stomach; “-esophageal” refers to the tube that runs from it to your throat. Acid “reflux” is essentially acid that escapes the stomach and can go all the way up to your throat. G.E.R.D. is a severe form of acid reflux that can ruin a person’s quality of life.

Normally, an area called the “lower esophageal sphincter” (LES) is what separates the contents of the very acidic stomach from entering the esophagus. In G.E.R.D., the LES allows food to enter the stomach but fails to close tightly enough to keep juices from going back up, causing what we call “heartburn” and other symptoms.

Up to 20 per cent of the U.S. population suffers from some form of G.E.R.D., which means that it’s likely that the medic will eventually encounter this issue in a remote setting or survival scenario. Off the grid, we won’t have the stress that goes with the modern rat race, but there will be more basic issues just as concerning like “where’s my next meal coming from?”.

hiatal hernia

Hiatal Hernia

G.E.R.D. may occur in those with a “hiatal hernia”. This condition occurs when the top of the stomach moves up through a weak area in the diaphragm (the muscle that separates chest from abdomen and helps you breathe). As such, acid can more easily leave the stomach.

Although the stomach has a lining that can handle acidic environments, the esophagus becomes inflamed when exposed to too much. The lining becomes weakened and can erode, a condition known as an “ulcer”. Ulcers can occur in the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.

To make the diagnosis of ulcer or acid reflux disease as opposed to, say, chest pain from heart issues, the timing of the discomfort is important. Ulcer and acid reflux discomfort occurs soon after eating but is sometimes seen several hours after a meal. It can be differentiated from other causes of chest pain in another way: it gets better by drinking milk or taking antacids. As you can imagine, this wouldn’t do much for heart problems. Also, it often worsens when lying down or eating acidic foods. In the worse cases, such as with ulcers, blackish stools may be seen or vomiting may occur that looks like coffee grounds. This is a sign of bleeding high up in the GI tract.

ulcers

ulcers

Certain lifestyle changes are often helpful for people with G.E.R.D. Eating smaller meals (say, 5 a day) and avoiding acidic foods before bedtime may help prevent reflux. Give your stomach at least 3 hours to empty before you lie down or add a pillow or two behind your shoulders, head, and neck.

You would think chewing gum would increase stomach acid; chewing gum, however, produces saliva: Saliva acts to buffer acid.  Also, you swallow the saliva, which might force some of that acid further down the esophagus.

Spicy foods may worsen G.E.R.D.

Spicy foods may worsen G.E.R.D. (image by pixabay)

Your patient may benefit from avoiding certain foods. These commonly include:

  • Acidic fruit (for example, oranges or other citrus)
  • Fatty food
  • Coffee
  • Certain teas
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Peppermint
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods

Medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and others may also cause stomach issues. As well, smoking is thought to worsen G.E.R.D.

One thing about milk: although it may be helpful as a treatment, avoid regular milk intake and stick with low-fat, as high levels of fat ingestion may actually increase stomach acid. Obese individuals seem to suffer more from this problem:  Excess abdominal fat can press against the stomach, forcing acids up into the esophagus. Weight loss may help, something that’s likely in survival scenarios.

Medications that commonly relieve acid reflux include calcium, magnesium, aluminum, and bismuth antacids such as Tums, Maalox, Mylanta or Pepto-Bismol, as well as other medications such as Ranitidine (Zantac), Cimetidine (Tagamet), and Omeprazole (Prilosec). These medications are available in non-prescription strength and are easy to accumulate in quantity.

In modern times, G.E.R.D. can be definitively identified by procedures such as upper G.I. endoscopy, X-ray tests like an upper GI series, and other high technology. Of course, off the grid, these aren’t an option.

There are many alternative remedies reported to be helpful to deal with G.E.R.D. Home remedies for acid reflux include:

Organic apple cider vinegar: Mix one tablespoon in four ounces of water, drink before each meal.

Aloe Vera juice: Mix one ounce in two ounces of water before a meal.

Baking soda: Mix one tablespoon in a glass of water and drink right away when you begin to feel heartburn

Glutamine: An amino acid that has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces acid reflux. It can be found in milk and eggs.

Melatonin might be useful  for some (more study is needed on this one).

I’m sure you have some home remedies of your own.

Off the grid, many stoic individuals in the preparedness community may be unlikely to tell the medic about something they consider trivial, like heartburn. Someone in pain, however, loses sleep and work efficiency. Always question these people to find out what their symptoms are. You might be able to help.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Find out more about G.E.R.D. and 150 medical issues in tough times by checking out the 2017 Book Excellence Award winner in medicine “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way”.

Influenza On And Off The Grid

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Influenza On and Off The Grid

influenza

influenza

Even with modern medical technology, few can avoid the occasional respiratory infection. Viral illnesses like colds and flus are common issues even for those who are in prime physical condition. Human illness involves the respiratory tract more commonly than any other organ system. Influenza is particularly contagious as germ-laden droplets are expelled during coughs and sneezes, entering the nose, mouth, or eyes of others.

You can expect influenza viruses to hit your part of the country anywhere from late fall to early spring, and most people weather their illness just fine. Some folks, however, especially the very old, very young, and those with chronic medical conditions, may not survive. Because of this, influenza-related pneumonia has earned the title “the old man’s friend” (because it ends their suffering).

The flu may not be life-threatening in normal times, and you might (foolishly) not take measures to prevent it. Survival scenarios, though, are a different story. 100 years ago, a flu epidemic ran rampant throughout the world, killing 50-100 million people. In a survival setting, we’ll be thrown back medically at least that far back.

Without strict adherence to hand washing and respiratory hygiene, it would be very easy for your entire community to become ill, and the physical stress associated with activities of daily survival might lead a weakened respiratory system to allow secondary infections like pneumonia to cause major trouble. At the very least, influenza can affect work efficiency at a time when everyone must be at one hundred per cent. If you’ve had the flu, you know what I mean.

influenza came lead to pneumonia

influenza came lead to pneumonia

Influenzas are usually caused by Influenza type A (the most common) and Type B viruses. They are classified according to the proteins that exist on their surface. These are called Hemagglutinins (HA) and Neuraminidases (NA). There are more and more different HA and NA subtypes discovered every year. The Swine flu, for example, is H1 N1. The flu this year is thought to be H3N2.

Symptoms of influenza begin anywhere from one to four days after exposure. They  include:

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Severe fatigue
  • Severe muscle aches

Colds will resolve themselves over a week or so, but influenzas may last longer. The flu could weaken you enough that secondary bacterial infections will set in. Indeed, these secondary infections are the most probable causes of death related to flu cases. If this happens, you’ll notice that you are getting worse, not better, over time despite the usual treatments.

The old man's friend?

The old man’s friend?

These include medications like ibuprofen for muscles aches and fever, decongestants for nasal congestion, expectorants to thin out phlegm, cough suppressants (although they should be used only when there is difficulty breathing or sleeping) and others. As the flu is a viral illness, it’s important to know that antibiotics will be ineffective.

There are, however, a few anti-viral flu medications such as Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or Zanamivir (Relenza). These drugs will shorten the course of the infection if taken in the first 48 hours after symptoms appear. After the first 48 hours, there’s less medicinal effect.

Therefore, you might consider asking your doctor in normal times for a Tamiflu prescription at the beginning of every flu season, since it might be hard to get an appointment on short notice. For a caregiver with a number of flu patients to treat, taking a half dose daily for five days may decrease your chances of catching it.

The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age, but it’s important to know that the effectiveness of the vaccine may be less in years when the current virus is different from the previous years. Therefore, it’s important to take measures to prevent the flu and to isolate those who are infected from those that are healthy.

face masks may help decrease contagion

face masks may help decrease contagion

Other actions you can take to decrease the chance of getting or spreading the flu are:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper arm, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects, like doorknobs, that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • Establish an effective “survival sick room” that will decrease the chances of spread throughout the entire family or group
  • Use face masks when sick or around others who are.
  • Wait 24 hours after the last episode of fever before exposing yourself to others.

The flu may be a bump on the road in your survival journey, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the road.

We’ll talk about natural remedies in the near future.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton, MD

Learn more about respiratory infections and 150 other medical issues in the 2017 Book Excellence Award winner in medicine “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way”. And fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net

FDA Tries Again To Ban Natural Pain Herb

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FDA Tries Again To Ban Kratom

Kratom plant

Kratom plant

Last year, I wrote about the Food and Drug Administration’s campaign to ban the Asian herb Kratom, a non-opiate option for those with chronic pain, anxiety, and drug dependency issues.

As someone interested in medical strategies for disaster or remote settings, I was considering the herb as an option in circumstances when modern medicine isn’t available. The FDA, however, set a date for late 2016 to rule Kratom a Schedule I drug (the same category as heroin) and eliminate its access to the average citizen.

Then an extraordinary thing happened: A public outcry from tens of thousands of citizens that also included dozens of members of Congress. In response to the pressure, the proposed ban was cancelled. Now, a persistent FDA is once again pushing to prevent the sale and use of Kratom in the U.S.

Kratom (scientific name Mitragyna speciosa) has long been used in Southeast Asia for various medicinal purposes, including pain, anxiety, and depression. The chemical compounds in Kratom, (scientific name Mitragyna speciosa) are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These substances act on opioid receptors in the brain, just like heroin and morphine do, to eliminate pain. Despite this, Kratom is not an opioid; It’s actually a member of the coffee family. Therefore, using it doesn’t cause respiratory depression, which is how most opioid overdoses die.

A non-opioid alternative to Heroin? Sounds like a reasonable option to pursue, but FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says: “At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning.”

I can understand not wanting it to be an adjunct (medical-speak for adding Kratom to your drug intake), but not even as an alternative to Heroin? I think almost anything would be a welcome substitute for Heroin or prescription opioid abuse.

In the U.S., Kratom has received many testimonials as to its success in helping those addicted to opioids “kick the habit”.  On the other side of the coin, however, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb claims there is no hard data for Kratom’s effectiveness and that there is a “deadly risk” to using the herb. Indeed, some states, and even some countries, have outlawed its sale or export.

The FDA uses several hundred reported cases of Kratom “poisoning” and 36 deaths “involving” Kratom over the past few years as reason enough to deny access to it. But Kratom is rarely the only drug found in the systems of these cases; some mix it with OxyContin and other drugs. In the meantime, the number of deaths from Heroin overdose in 2015 alone was more than 13,000, with 15,000 prescription opioid deaths in the same year.

Given those numbers, you would think that the government would want to do further research on Kratom before dismissing it as Heroin-class dangerous. Some of the research, reported in Scientific American as well as by Columbia and other universities, favors further evaluation before placing Kratom on the list with the bad-guy drugs.

Columbia University pharmacologist Andrew Kruegel says keeping Kratom legal may help develop better pain meds: “Those compounds alone may already be superior to codeine and oxycodone. At a minimum, if you can get rid of respiratory [problems] then you can save thousands of lives…if the research were able to legally continue.”

However, the FDA was stung by the pressure to reverse its decision last year, so it persists in its mission. Is it so certain, however, that it won’t drive Kratom users to more clearly dangerous drugs by banning it? Perhaps the devil you know (Heroin, prescription opioids) is better than the devil you don’t (Kratom), but in this case, I doubt it. Don’t act hastily to prohibit Kratom.

Here’s a sobering video by Navy veteran Andrew Turner, who uses Kratom to deal with a nerve condition called Meige’s syndrome, as well as his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and pain issues. You see him both before and after taking the herb:

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net!

A loaded first aid kit with medical supplies for trauma,burns, sprains and strains and other medical issues

Stomp Supreme First Aid Kit

Disaster Supplies

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DISASTER SUPPLIES

Disaster Supplies

Disaster Supplies

A natural disaster can disrupt the lives of average citizens, and having the right supplies when it hits can mean the difference between life and death. Assembling these supplies in advance is the key to success.

 

If you’ve ever lived in a community that was in the path of a hurricane, you’ve seen the empty shelves and crowds at local supermarkets.  Panic buying is a poor alternative to an organized plan of action, with many supplies unavailable by the time you get to the store.

 

But where to start? Lists of recommended items are long and sometimes so detailed that you mind just explodes at the thought of gathering it all. You can’t finish if you don’t start, however; begin to accumulate a few items each month and you’ll be much more likely to weather the storm.

 

I split my personal supplies into three types: short-, medium-, and long-term. A typical short-term event would be, say, a blizzard or other event that takes you off the grid for just a few days or not at all. A medium-term event could be the aftermath of a major hurricane, where weeks may go by without electricity. A classic long-term event would be an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), where years may go by without power.

 

Preparing for any emergency involves knowing who you will be responsible for. If you have family with special needs, consider extra supplies tailored for them. Infants and children require even more thought when gathering supplies, like formula and diapers. Older members of your family may need items to keep them safe and healthy, like extra medications, adult diapers, or walkers.

 

The categories of items you’ll need (called “preps”) don’t really change with the length of time off the grid, but the quantities and variety do. The amount you stockpile depend upon what event your community is most at risk to experience.

 

Just the mere fact of not having enough drinkable or “potable” water puts you and your family in danger. Knowing how to turn unsafe water into drinkable water may save your life. Knowledge is the greatest power, but having supplies will make that knowledge work much better.

A way to disinfect water is imperative

A way to disinfect water is imperative

If you need to leave your house, consider making “go bags” for each member of the family, including pets. Keep them lightweight and easily carried. Look for compact items, like energy bars and small water filters (Lifestraw and Mini Sawyers are examples).

 

 

Here’s a list of useful items grouped by category:

 

  1. Water: Just the mere fact of not having enough drinkable or “potable” water puts you and your family in danger. Knowing how to turn unsafe water into drinkable water may save your life

 

To avoid dehydration, have at least 1 gallon of drinkable water per person, per day. Have a way to store water and methods to make water safe to drink through filtration, and purification. You can use plain, non-scented, household bleach, at 12-16 drops per gallon, to help purify water (filter first if needed). Be sure to wait 30 min for the bleach to take effect, then shake to aerate which makes it taste better.

 

  1. Food: Most municipalities recommend you have at least 3 days of food. This is somewhat arbitrary; I suggest at least 7-10 days, as loss of power can easily last longer. Get non-perishable food and have a manual can-opener. Some freeze-dried foods come in packets that last for 15-30 years and only require boiling water to prepare.

 

  1. Warmth and Shelter: Have ways to start fires (outside only) to stay warm, cook food, and boil water. Get tents, tarps, rope and paracord. Learn how to make shelters and seal off roof or window leaks. Have extra plywood for doors and windows in case of a hurricane; taping windows is no longer recommended.
three compact first aid kits great for hiking and camping made by Amy Alton of store.doomandbloom.net

medical kits

  1. First Aid: Have at least a basic first aid kit and OTC medicines to deal with common injuries and illnesses seen in the aftermath of disasters, such as cuts, bleeding, sprains and strains, diarrhea, pains and aches, colds and flus, etc. Don’t forget prescription medications for those with chronic medical issues.

 

  1. Hygiene: In order to stay healthy, you must keep your family clean. Get extra toilet paper, paper towels, buckets for washing, moist towelettes, feminine supplies, and supplies for waste disposal (like garbage bags and ties).

 

  1. Lighting: Have ways to light up the night. Get flashlights, of course extra batteries (rechargeable are better), solar lights, crank powered lights (power discussed later). The medic should consider a head lamp to keep both hands free.

 

  1. Whistle or Loud Sound Producing item: Have a method to make a loud noise to alert emergency response personnel to your whereabouts.
useful multitool

useful multitool

  1. Tools: Get multiuse tools, like the Swiss army knife and Leatherman. Have a wrench to turn off utilities, some duct tape, an axe, and a saw. If you are in a flood zone, place the axe and saw in your roof space to aid you in escaping to the roof.

 

An escape ladder may be necessary if you are getting out of a roof or higher than a 1-story building. Make sure you know where the fire extinguishers are and that they are not expired.

 

  1. Communication: Text messages will be delivered easier than voice in some circumstances. A CB radio, Ham radio (you need a license), and two-way radios are good to have. To keep updated on the news and emergency bulletins, have a battery and hand-crank radio with NOAA Weather tone alerts. Don’t forget the extra batteries.

 

  1. Power: If the electricity is out, you will need a way to recharge batteries and other items. Solar panels along with a solar storage “battery” can help. There are several on the market. Small solar charged battery storage products are lightweight and can recharge a cellphone or power a radio. These may be best for your “go bag”.

 

Generators that use gasoline must be outside and far away from open doors and windows, to avoid being overcome by fumes.

 

  1. ID and Important Document Storage: Back-up all computers on external hard drives (more than one). Put important scanned documents on an icloud account (which you can then access anywhere later), and on memory USB sticks (several).

 

Place them in different locations like a water/fire-proof safe, in a bank safety deposit box and mail to a trusted relative). Store documents in small waterproof containers for your “go bag”. Include insurance policies, driver licenses, passports, birth certificates, and photos of every room of your house (for insurance purposes).

 

You can also email these scanned documents to yourself for later printing. Don’t forget ID and passwords for accounts, I write mine in a way only I can interpret (for safety).

 

  1. Money: When we talk about a power outage, there may be another loss of power: purchasing power. If the electricity is out stores will not be able to process credit cards or make change. Have cash on hand in small denominations. Keep small bills and coins in a waterproof case/bag, and consider a little silver as well.

 

  1. Evacuation: Your GPS may not function, so have maps and a compass to help guide your escape. You may end up in an area you are not familiar with.

 

Plan routes of escape for fires and flooding and make sure each family member practices drills and has a specific meeting point. As mentioned earlier, each person should also have their own personal “go” bag with appropriate items, including the kids and pets.

 

  1. Writing Tools: You may want to document events or communicate with others, so having pens, pencils (and a sharpener) and notebooks should be considered.

 

  1. Distractions and Fun: Stress is not good for people long-term. Get some playing cards and a book with rules for lots of different ways to play games. Put an extra toy or favorite stuffed animal in your child’s “go bag”. Get some board games, puzzles and hobby craft supplies. (Don’t focus on the disaster and all the horrible details with your children; keep it light if you can.)
Consider the needs of kids and pets

Consider the needs of kids and pets

  1. Pets: Have extra pet supplies including food and medications. Have a way to get them out of the house safely if needed. Few people know that hotels cannot refuse to rent you a room during officially-declared states of emergency just because you have a (small) pet, but don’t expect them to let your family goat or chicken in the room. Have a plan for larger pets if possible.

 

Knowledge is power, but having supplies will make that knowledge work much better! Have a survival library in print books (not digital) with the knowledge you don’t have right now; A flashlight or fire is all you will need to read them in the dark.

Amy Alton, ARNP

Amy Alton ARNP

Amy Alton ARNP

Find lists of medical items you should have, and a lot  more information, in the 2017 Winner of the Book Excellence Award in Medicine “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way”.

Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

 

Video: Using a SteriPen

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the SteriPen

the SteriPen

Learning how to make water safe to drink is important in any backcountry or disaster scenario. One method that is gaining popularity is using an ultraviolet light handheld water purifier. Outdoor activities, like hiking, can make having a portable water purifier a lifesaver. In this video hosted by Amy Alton, ARNP of https://www.doomandbloom.net/ , she demonstrates the item and its use in the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

How does it work? Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate bacteria and parasites by disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform the functions needed to survive.

To watch, click below…

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy Alton MD

Amy Alton

Amy Alton

Hey, fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

Award-Winning Survival Medicine Handbook (third edition)

Award-Winning Survival Medicine Handbook (third edition)

Survival Medicine Hour: Disaster Supplies, Vehicular Terror, Pain Relief

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Survival Medicine Hour #362

vehicular terror

vehicular terror

The NYC attack, which occurred very close to our daughter’s workplace, killed 8 and injured a dozen more. More and more, terriorists are using vehicles to cause mayhem. What are some ways that you might be able to use rapid action to avoid losing your life in such an incident. Joe and Amy Alton discuss some options that might save some lives in these uncertain times.

Also, disasters seem to always be in the news, but are people spending enough time getting supplies to get through tough times? Some important tips from Nurse Amy on what you need to have in your storage closet or “GO” bag before a disaster occurs.

pain relief

pain relief

Plus, our hosts discussed the mechanisms of pain last week, but what should you have in your survival medicine cabinet to deal with the inevitable pain and inflammation that goes with the activities of daily survival? Some pharmaceutical AND natural options to deal with discomfort off the grid.

All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/11/03/survival-medicine-hour-vehicular-terror-disaster-supplies-pain-relief

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad…

Hey, follow us on twitter @preppershow, YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy, and FB at Doom and Bloom. Plus, don’t forget to get a copy of the third edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook, 2017 Book Excellence Award winner in Medicine!

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

We’re pleased to announce that our third edition of “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way” is the 2017 winner of the Book Excellence Award in Medicine!

Video: Disaster Supply List

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disaster items

disaster supplies

In this video with Nurse Amy, she goes over some of the most important items that should be in your storage and GO bag in times of trouble. Having supplies is key to survival, but the right ones with greater increase your chances of success, even when everything else fails. Amy goes over various categories and demonstrates some of her favorites. Water, Food, Medical, and much more are covered.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy Alton ARNP

Amy Alton

Amy Alton ARNP

Be sure to fill those holes in your medical storage with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s entire line at store.doomandbloom.net.

Survival Medicine Hour: Plague, Hepatitis, Pain Issues

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #361

Plague Doctor

Plague Doctor

An outbreak of plague in Madagascar has killed 124 people and infected 1200. Although not an uncommon occurrence in the rural areas, this epidemic has hit the larger cities in the island nation, and is the deadlier version called “pneumonic plague“. Pneumonic plague can be cured if found very early but if not, invariably results in death. Dr. Alton tells you all about bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic plague and what the off-grid medic could do to prevent this terrible infectious disease from running rampant.

ascites

hepatitis damage

Also, inflammation of the liver, called “hepatitis“, is caused by various viruses which are harder to cure than a bacteria like what causes the plague. There are several types of hepatitis, and it’s important to know what to do to avoid becoming a victim of it. Symptoms, diagnosis, and prevention are discussed by our hosts Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP.

Plus, we start a series on pain issues, discussing different types of pain and also the government’s categorization of drugs into “schedules” from 1-5.

All this and more in the latest episode of The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/10/27/survival-medicine-hour-plague-hepatitis-pain-issues

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow/Facebook: Doom and Bloom/YouTube: DrBones NurseAmy Channel

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s entire line at store.doomandbloom.net!

We’re pleased to announce that the Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook has been named the 2017 winner of the Book Excellence Award in Medicine!

Survival Medicine Hour: Mudlslides, OTC Drugs, More

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR PODCAST #360

A loaded first aid kit with medical supplies for trauma,burns, sprains and strains and other medical issues

Your medic kit should contain various OTC meds

Your survival medicine cabinet should have plenty of different meds that can handle pain, inflammation, fever, respiratory infections, stomach upset, diarrhea, and many more of the common issues that the survival medic will confront off the grid. Here’s a good list and explanation of why you should have these medicines in your storage.

mudslide

mudslide

Plus, Living in a cliffhanging home on Ski Mountain in Gatlinburg, TN, gateway to the Smokies, puts ol’ Dr. Bones and the lovely Nurse Amy at risk for a mudslide, especially since the 2016 wildfire, destroyed so many trees that were preventing erosion in the area. What are warning signs of future mudslides and what can you do to prevent becoming a victim?

All this and more in the Latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/10/20/survival-medicine-hour-mudslides-otc-drugs-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

We’re pleased to announce that the Survival Medicine Handbook’s 700 page Third Edition has won the 2017 Book Excellence Award in the category of medicine. Earlier editions are out there, so make sure get the latest edition!

Survival Medicine Hour: Labor and Delivery, Wildfire, More

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off grid labor and delivery

off grid labor and delivery

In any long-term survival situation involving a group or community, eventually the issue of pregnancy and childbirth arises. The medic for the group should know basics about pregnancy and childbirth. Childbirth is a natural process that usually doesn’t require a doctor or even a midwife to manage, as long as some simple steps are followed. Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, take you through a typical labor and delivery process.

Calilfornia wildfires

Calilfornia wildfires

Also, wildfires are raging through Northern California, with 40 killed and hundreds unaccounted for. What should you do to prepare for wildfires from both a personal and a property perspective? Dr. Alton gives you some common sense recommendations that could save life, limb, and location in a conflagration.

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP!

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/10/13/survival-medicine-hour-labor-and-delivery-wildfires-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

the Altons

the Altons

Find out more about wildfire safety and much more with the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, 2017 winner of the Book Excellence Award in the medical category.

Plus, don’t forget to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

8 Health Benefits of Cloves

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Health Benefits of Clove

Dried Clove Buds

Dried Clove Buds

Our readers often ask us to comment on various natural remedies. Face it, medics can stockpile all the drugs they can, but if a disaster event lasts long enough, medicine and supplies will be expended. Unless society restabilizes pretty darn quickly, commercial medical items and drugs will be hard to find unless your retreat is the local hospital.

That leaves you with whatever’s in your back yard that might have medicinal benefits. Therefore, you’d be smart to start planting an herb garden in normal times. Once you get over the learning curve, you’ll figure out what plants do well in your grow zone. These plants will comprise your survival medicine cabinet.  Once you get through a good season, you can experiment a little with teas, tinctures, or other ways that plants are processed into medicines. Your ancestors did just that, and had this plant or that plant in the garden not because it was food necessarily, but to treat illnesses and injuries.

Many medicinal plants are herbs that are mostly used in cooking, but also have uses for the medic. Today, let’s talk about cloves.

Clove Tree

Clove Tree

Cloves, (syzygium aromaticum) are one of the spices native to Asia. You can find them in places like the Maluku islands in Indonesia, where it might have originated, but also in India, Pakistan, and even areas of East Africa. They are a popular spice used in a variety of ways in Asian cuisine. In fact, cloves form the basis of a lot of the food in a number of different nations.

Cloves have an interesting history. During the 13th and 14th centuries, they were transported all the way from Indonesia to pretty much all over the known world. I would think Marco Polo shipped some cloves to Italy and other European nations. During this time, cloves were very expensive, so much so that they were the subject of wars for monopoly over their production, distribution, and the islands where they came from. Dutch traders emerged victorious and held the Maluku islands for some time.

When we talk about natural plants, we usually talk about using leaves, roots or flowers, but with cloves, it’s the flower buds that are used as a spice and for most of its medicinal purposes. These look like miniature nails from your tool box. They are processed in a number of ways; for example, we use the essential oil in some of our kits.

Clove bud

Clove bud

Cloves are antioxidant powerhouses. Minerals in cloves include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The vitamins found in them include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K. They are also a source of Omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind).

Cloves are reported to have many health benefits, some of which include providing aid in digestion, having antimicrobial properties, fighting against cancer, protecting the liver, boosting the immune system, controlling diabetes, preserving bone quality, as well as fighting against oral diseases and headaches, while also, at least the Chinese say, displaying aphrodisiac properties. Which takes me to, how do I know if cloves are effective against this problem or that problem? I’ll admit that hard scientific data is hard to come by, so you have to understand that the reports aren’t always proof, and effects may be very individual, some may receive these health benefits in full, others, not so much.

What makes Clove buds a useful part of your off-grid medicine cabinet? The health benefits include beneficial effects on pain and inflammation, but also a negative effect on bacterial, viruses, fungi, and more. Like many herbs, Clove have a number of different compounds that may have medical uses, but the most well-known is called “Eugenol”.

Here are eight benefits that cloves may impart to your off-grid patients:

  1. Pain relief: We supply clove oil in all our dental kits because of its anesthetic and antiseptic effect in damaged teeth. Mixing 2 drops of clove oil with some zinc oxide powder can produce improvised temporary cement, useful for lost fillings and other oral issues. It may also relieve gum discomfort, but beware of using too much or too often; it can cause irritation.
  2. Breath issues: It may be hard to distill oil, but teas are easy to make right from the garden (and after drying in many cases). Gargling some tea made with cloves is thought to be a great way to eliminate bad breath.
  3. Respiratory ailments: Clove in its various forms is reported to be helpful for respiratory system complaints due to antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant effects. It’s been used for colds, sore throat, bronchitis, sinusitis, and more. Warm tea is a good way to access these benefits but better, perhaps, is adding clove oil to hot water and inhale steam.
  4. GI problems: Nausea and vomiting might be improved with direct inhalation of clove oil in a cloth. Mix some powdered clove buds with honey to decrease gas. It’s possible that cloves improve the production of digestive enzymes and help relax irritated intestinal lining, which might help stomach ache, diarrhea, and other GI discomforts.
  5. Ear infections: Clove has anesthetic and antimicrobial oral properties, but these also pertain to the ear canal. A combination of clove oil and sesame oil soaked in a cotton ball (best if warm) can relieve earache and treat infection. Alternatively, make an infusion with crushed cloves and olive oil, let sit for an hour, strain well, and put a few warm drops in the affected ear.
  6. Skin blemishes: Acne may be improved with Cloves due to its antibacterial effect. Mix clove oil with coconut oil (ratio 1:10) and apply to affected skin with a Q-tip two or three times daily until improved.
  7. Headaches: Due to it pain-relieving properties, massaging Clove oil mixed with coconut oil into the forehead or other area can relieve headache discomfort. Alternatively, place a few drops of clove oil on a warm cloth and apply to where the pain is.
  8. Joint Pain: Massaging aching joints with the above mixtures may work the same way on joint pain. Alternatively, a warm clove compress to the joints may be helpful.

It should be noted that clove oil is pretty strong stuff, and must be used sparingly. It can cause irritation, as mentioned above, but also has ill effects on the body’s cells when used excessively. It may also slow blood clotting, and, hence, not used prior to surgery. Having said that, used correctly in small amounts by diluting with carrier oils or liquids, clove oil is generally considered to be safe. You can expect whole dried clove buds to last 3-4 years if stored properly.

With clove oil and other natural plant oils, teas, tinctures, infusions, and balms, the quality of the product and medicinal benefits may vary due to a number of reasons. Soil conditions, seasonal temperatures, rainfall, and time of harvest are just some of the factors involved in determining the end product when it comes to herbal products. Many of these remedies also vary from individual to individual.

The off-grid or homestead medic should have a stockpile of commercial medicines, but also a sustainable supply of plants with medicinal properties for use in good times or bad. Use all the tools in the woodshed and you’ll be a more effective caregiver in austere settings.

Joe Alton

Dr. Alton

Joe Alton MD

Find out more about cloves, other natural remedies, and much more with the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, 2017 winner of the Book Excellence Award in the medical category.

Plus, don’t forget to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

You’ll be glad you did!

 

The Effective Survival Medic

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THE EFFECTIVE SURVIVAL MEDIC

 

Amy Alton ARNP

Nurse Amy

(This article first appeared in American Survival Guide, a great magazine for backcountry, short-term, or long-term survival. Each issue is so packed with great information, I can’t bear to let go of them!)

 

After water, food, and shelter, many consider personal defense to be the most important priority in a long-term disaster. They’ve got the beans and bullets, but what many of these rugged survivalists don’t realize, however, is this: You can have all the beans and bullets there are, but it won’t mean a hill of beans, and you’ll just shoot yourself in the foot, unless you have the bandages.

Few in your group will be accustomed to performing activities of daily survival like, say, chopping wood for fuel. This fact will lead to injuries, burns, infections, and other medical issues that must be treated. Someone, therefore, has to assume the role of survival medic. This person might have to be you, an average citizen with little formal medical training. In a circumstance where the ambulance is no longer just around the corner, you may be the only medical asset left to your family or group.

When you become the end of the line, medically, for your people, how can you be certain that you’ll be an effective caregiver? This is a question that I’m often asked as I travel the country speaking on disaster medical preparedness. The success of the survival medic depends on the accumulation of three things: knowledge, training, and supplies. These can be obtained, over time, with effort and dedication.

One thing that isn’t easy for an inexperienced medic to obtain is the ability to avoid feeling squeamish at the sight of blood. A response similar to the “fight or flight” mechanism, it’s a natural fear reaction that causes blood vessels to dilate, blood pressure to drop, and slowing of the heartbeat, all leading to lightheadedness and nausea.

Of course, repeated exposure to blood is one way to become accustomed to it. One medical center director says that his students learn to compartmentalize fear reactions by repeating words or numbers in their head, rocking side to side, tensing and relaxing leg muscles, or even drinking a sugary caffeinated beverage to raise blood pressure, stay hydrated, and avoid low glucose levels (called “hypoglycemia”) that make them feel faint.

(As an aside, coffee is commonly thought to be dehydrating, but it doesn’t cause you to lose more fluids than you ingest in the drink.)

The designated medic must assume a number of roles besides that of chief medical officer. These include sanitation supervisor, dental technician, medical quartermaster, counselor, and archivist.

As sanitation supervisor, it is your duty to ensure that water is purified, food is prepared properly, and human waste is disposed of appropriately. Failure to, for example, construct an effective latrine could cause infectious disease to run rampant among your people.

If you are worried about a week without power due to a storm, you won’t have to deal with a lot of dental issues. In long-term survival, however, people start having dental issues like broken teeth, abscesses, and toothache that threaten their work efficiency, if not their life. Dental supplies become as important as medical supplies in this scenario.

Let’s say you’ve prepared and have a lot of medical supplies. Who determines when these precious items, many of which will be scarce after a disaster, are dispensed? Who gets the last course of antibiotics? That decision must be clearly defined as yours to make.

In the aftermath of a life-changing catastrophe, anxiety and depression will be more likely to be daily issues than gunfights at the OK corral (I hope). You must be a calm, understanding, confidential presence to keep your people focused on staying alive and productive.

Finally, you must be the archivist for the group. It’s your job to know the history of those for whom you are medically responsible: their illnesses, medications taken, past hospitalizations, allergies, and more. If you anticipate the likely problems you will confront as medic, you can stockpile supplies accordingly.

Speaking of supplies, you will need more than you have currently. How can I know this, not having seen your kit? Because you will responsible for more people that you think. You may be preparing to care for the number of people in your mutual assistance group, but be certain that they will bring relatives or that you will find additional survivors that have skills that would increase your chances for survival. These folks may be useful but will cause additional strain on your medical resources.

Lack of enough supplies for the number of people in your group is the biggest mistake made by the survival medic. You can never have enough; any extras would be valuable barter items. Be wary of kits that claim to be sufficient for 25 or 50 people, as they are often advertised: Just one major hemorrhage can take up the entirety of the bandages in these products. If you doubt this, empty a liter or two of fluid onto the floor and see how many bandages are needed to absorb it.

Although I suggest that medical supplies may be useful for barter purposes, I believe it is best to conserve them while freely offering to help all who are in need of medical help. Once it is known that you have skills, supplies, and a willingness to help, you’ll become so valuable to others in your community that they will expend resources to protect you.

Another mistake made by the medic is preparing for traumatic injuries while ignoring the lesser issues that can affect work efficiency. Toothaches, foot fungus, and hemorrhoids are just some of the problems that can plague group members and make them less productive.

Still another is the failure of the medic to know what plants and other natural substances in their area might have medicinal benefits. Aloe plants can be helpful for burn care. The green underbark of willow trees and others contain Salicin, the original ingredient in the first aspirins. Eventually, commercial products will be expended; it’s important to learn what’s in your own backyard that can help you keep your people healthy. Use all the tools in the medical woodshed.

It’s important to realize that, as the survival medic, you may not have the luxury of stabilization and evacuation to modern medical facilities. That means that you are responsible for wound care and infectious illness from beginning to end, something even experienced paramedics may not be ready to handle. You must enter the mindset that you are the highest medical resource left, and must deal with issues without the hope of transport for the foreseeable future. It’s important to set up a reasonable sick room or hospital tent to care for your patients.

What medical conditions will the medic be most likely to confront in long-term survival? Here are some you can expect:

Trauma

  • Minor Musculoskeletal injuries (sprains and strains)
  • Minor trauma (lacerations, abrasions, etc.)
  • Major traumatic injury (fractures, occasional knife and/or gunshot wounds)
  • Burn injuries

Infections

  • Respiratory infections (pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza, common colds)
  • Diarrheal disease (sometimes a community-wide outbreak)
  • Infected wounds
  • Minor infections (for example, urinary infections, “pinkeye”)
  • Lice, Ticks, Mosquitoes, and the diseases they carry

Allergic reactions

  • Minor (bees, bed bugs, or other insect bites and stings)
  • Major (anaphylactic shock)

Dental

  • Toothaches
  • Broken or knocked-out teeth
  • Lost fillings
  • Loose crowns or other dental work

Women’s issues

  • Pregnancy and delivery
  • Miscarriage
  • Birth control

Your environment will also factor into your effectiveness as a medic. At various times of the year, issues such as heat stroke or exhaustion, hypothermia, and dehydration may be encountered. If you don’t take into account the environment, you have made it your enemy, and it’s a formidable one.

All of the issues I mention here can quickly take up everything you have stored to help you function as the medic. Therefore, it just makes common sense to consider preventative measures to avoid headaches and, perhaps, heartaches. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that old saying is never more true than in survival.

It’s important to enforce the use of protective gloves, boots, and eyewear in any situation where injuries might occur. Clothes should be appropriate for the climate at your location. You might not consider these items to be medical supplies, but they can prevent a lot of problems that will take up your time and resources.

Personnel that carry firearms and knives must be trained in their safe use. Prevention extends not only to injuries, but also to infectious disease. When you suspect a group member of being ill, you must make sure that they are isolated from those that are healthy. These concepts may seem obvious to you, but you’ll be surprised (unpleasantly) at how many will forget to take precautions to avoid injuries and infection.

There is one last essential characteristic of the successful survival medic: a strong instinct for self-preservation. Although you might want to rush to the aid of the sick and injured, even in the face of hostile fire, you must realize that you are an indispensable asset to your group. If you frequently place yourself in harm’s way, you will eventually find yourself as the patient more often than you or anyone else would like. Always determine first if you can care for a victim without placing yourself at undue risk. You must abolish all threats; if someone has a gunshot wound, it stands to reason that there’s a guy with a gun out there. Don’t become the next casualty.

The Survival Library

For more resources on becoming an effective caregiver, consider these books for your survival library:

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way: Now in its 700 page third edition, our book covers 150 different medical issues that you might face after a disaster eliminates the option of modern medical care. Includes lists of recommended medical supplies and a guide to veterinary antibiotics in post-disaster settings.

(As an aside, The Survival Medicine Handbook’s Third Edition won the medical category of the 2017 Book Excellence Awards)

The Physician’s Desk Reference (Amazon Link): No longer available in print form, this guide to drugs, their uses, dosages, and side effects is still around on Ebay and elsewhere. Includes pictures of individual drugs to help identify unknown meds. Find an edition that’s a year or two old for your survival library.

Where There Is No Doctor and Where There Is No Dentist (Amazon Links): Guides for medical and dental care in underdeveloped countries.

Gray’s Anatomy (Amazon Link): The classic textbook of human anatomy

The Merck Manual (Amazon Link): Classic handbook for diagnosis and treatment

Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine: Standard medical textbook

This is, by no means, a complete list of every book that might be useful in survival situations, but it’s a good start.

DISCLAIMER: Be aware that, where there is an existing modern medical system, the practice of medicine or dentistry without a license is illegal and punishable by law. If modern medical professionals and facilities exist, seek them out.

Joe Alton MD

joe alton md

joe alton md

While you’re checking out American Survival Guide don’t forget to get the 2017 Gear Guide, where we’re privileged to have a number of our medical kits featured. For all Nurse Amy’s kits and individual supplies, check out her store at store.doomandbloom.net.

 

Survival Medicine Hour: Off-Grid Pregnancy Care, Cloves, Bleeding Kits

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The Survival Medicine Hour Podcast #357

off-grid pregnancy care

off-grid pregnancy care

What if you had to care for a pregnancy off the grid? Would you identify it as early as you should without pregnancy tests and ultrasounds? How can you assure the well-being of mother and baby during the pregnancy. Joe Alton MD and nurse-midwife Amy Alton, ARNP discuss how to keep an eye on that pregnant lady in your group from beginning all the way to 9 months (labor and delivery coming next time).

Amy's multi-person bleeding kit

Amy’s multi-person bleeding kit

Also, what would be the items you’d want in a kit for a public venue where a gunman could cause multiple casualties? Nurse Amy discusses what’s in her multi-person kit specifically meant for bleeding wounds at schools, churches, workplaces, etc.,  and how it could be a lifesaver in active shooting incidents and other disaster settings.

Plus, natural remedies are important in good or bad times, but especially when modern medicines aren’t being produced, such as in survival scenarios. Joe Alton MD discusses the health benefits of cloves and why you should have some in your survival medicine cabinet.

All this and more in the latest episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/10/06/survival-medicine-hour-pregnancy-management-cloves-bleeding-kits

all the best,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

We’re pleased to announce that the third edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way has won its category (medical) in the 2017 Book Excellence Awards! Thanks to all for their support.

Why Do Active Shooters Succeed?

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Why Do Active Shooters “Succeed”?

location of vegas shooter and targets

location of vegas shooter and targets

You might associate armed attacks with wars or survival scenarios, but they can occur in normal times as well. The recent mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is a reminder that, in these toxic times, no one is safe from those with bad intentions.

It’s hard to read the news without seeing reports of the latest mass shooting by terrorists, the deranged, the disgruntled, and in the shooting in Las Vegas, people with no apparent motivation at all. Few believe that they could possibly wind up in the crosshairs of a gunman’s sight, but it can happen anytime and anywhere. Why do they seem to “succeed” so often and what would be your response to the “active shooter”?

Many of the concert-goers in Las Vegas were victims of what we call “normalcy bias”: That’s the tendency for people to believe everything follows a pattern and that the day will proceed normally because, well, it usually does. It’s a natural response for most, and is reinforced by the rarity of mass casualty incidents.

But when a shooter event breaks that pattern, the unprepared brain takes time to process the situation. People think that the sound of gunfire is, instead, a burst of firecrackers, a blown tire, or anything less threatening than an assassin out to kill them. This pause leads to a type of paralysis than was worsened in Las Vegas by the ready availability of alcohol. By the time good judgment came into play, many were already victims.

Given the circumstances, the rapid action of Las Vegas law enforcement is to be commended. Remarkable, in fact. Police were receiving multiple false reports that made it appear that there were multiple shooter events in a half-dozen casinos. There was even a car with wires sticking out of the trunk at New York New York casino’s valet that was thought to represent a bomb. Listening to police radio communications during the event, it’s amazing that such a coherent response was possible.

(Note: You might be interested to hear what was said on the radio. If so, you’ll find a partial transcript of the first hour or so of the event at the very bottom of this page)

mandalay bay

The shooter was at Mandalay Bay, but reports of shooters also came in from several other casinos (all false)

Most citizens, indeed, believe that the good people of law enforcement and homeland security are always right there. While these agencies do the best they can to counter situations like this, most mass shooting events end so quickly (the Orlando nightclub shooting is an exception) that the chances are slim that help will be immediately at hand. It took just one 31 second period for the Las Vegas gunman to shoot 280 rounds, and possibly just 9-11 minutes (according to Las Vegas Police) before he ended his own life.

Without a plan of action, the average person follows the herd. If fifty people around you (or in Las Vegas, 22,000) drop to the floor, your natural tendency is to do the same. Cowering in fear in plain view of the shooter, however, is a recipe for a very bad outcome. By having a plan before a shooting event occurs, you’ll have a better chance of getting out of there in one piece.

These are things you should be thinking about, calmly and rationally, whenever you’re in a crowd. It may seem extreme to have to consider such options, but the headlines suggest otherwise. This relaxed vigilance is called “situational awareness“, a concept first put forth by a military pilot to pertain to dogfights but which has special importance today for the average citizen.

The standard recommendation, in order, by the Department of Homeland Security is “Run, Hide, Fight“. In the case of the Mandalay Bay shooter, the distance between the shooter and his targets effectively precluded the ability to fight, so running away from the kill zone and/or hiding in buildings and vehicles saved lives. Situationally-aware concert-goers were saved by a high index of suspicion and, hopefully, a low blood alcohol level when the bullets started flying.

If you’re inside, know where the exits are. If you’re outside, know the nearest route away from the area or reasonable nearby shelters. Know who near you appears nervous or suspicious. If you’re in a crowd, stay in the periphery, not center stage. Assume that the sounds of gunshots are gunshots, not firecrackers. Know the direction the gunshots are coming from and head the other way. Primed for a possible emergency, you’ll decrease the chance of becoming a victim.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But in this era of people immersed in their smartphones, few are situationally aware. In the old days, this might result in a bump on the head from walking into a lamp post. Today, the results can be tragic.

Don’t be the soft target that assassins look for. Remain situationally aware at all times, and decide how important it is for you to be in the midst of large crowds. Perhaps it was once paranoia, but in these uncertain times, it’s more like common sense.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

Learn more about situational awareness, disaster medical preparedness, and much more in the 700 page third edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, 2017 winner of the Book Excellence Award in the category “medical”. Also, Nurse Amy has designed two kits specifically meant to stop bleeding in one or several victims after a disaster such as occurred in Las Vegas. You’ll find them at store.doomandbloom.net.

AS PROMISED: THE RADIO TRANSCRIPT OF THE ACTIVE SHOOTER EVENT IN LAS VEGAS (as best  as I could hear and understand it, call signs omitted):

We got shots fired! Sounds like an automatic firearm.

Anyone have eyes on the shooter?

It’s coming from up there. It’s coming from Mandalay Bay. I see shots coming from Mandalay Bay, halfway up!

We have multiple 415 (assault/battery with a gun)… do we have surge?

We have an active shooter! We have an active shooter inside the fairgrounds!

Just advising, there are people down on stage left.

Dispatch: We now have an open line with a female saying there is a shooting.

Control, that is correct, shots fired from Mandalay Bay. There’s many people down, stage left, just be advised.

If anyone covering southwest corner between Mandalay Bay and the venue…

I need eyes. Somebody in the CP, can you tell me where it’s coming from?

Dispatch: We’re hearing it’s from Mandalay Bay!

I’m at Mandalay Bay and the boulevard. I need five officers on me.
We have multiple casualties, GSWs in the medical tent! Multiple casualties!

Be advised, shots are coming from Gate 7.

We have a rifle deployed, we’re in front of Mandalay Bay. We’re trying to see where shots are coming from. If anyone can advise if they’re coming from Mandalay…

Dispatch: It sounds like it’s either Mandalay, or Luxor, we cannot tell…

We need the boulevard shut down at Russell northbound right now.

I’ll shut it down, I’m coming back that way

It’s coming from, like, the 50th or 60th floor, north of the Mandalay Bay. Coming out of a window.

Seeing multiple flashes in the middle of Mandalay Bay on the north side. Kind of a, on the west tower, towards the center of the casino. Like one of the middle floors.

Multiple GSWs, on the east side…

On the 31st floor, I can hear automatic fire coming from one floor ahead.

Be advised, it is automatic fire, fully automatic fire from an elevated position. Take cover.

That’s correct, it is full automatic fire.

Multiple GSWs to the chest, legs, femoral arteries, at the medical tent, (Gate) 4A, off of Giles south of Reno!

Flashing coming up from a third of the way up center tower of Mandalay Bay!

All units stop coming northbound on Las Vegas Boulevard, because he’s shooting this way, horrible cover spot.

I have a gunshot victim at gate 4, in the leg.

I got one down, gunshot wound to the leg, Reno and Giles, I also have another female gunshot in the mouth.

We need to send medical when you can over to Reno and Giles, expedited, please.

Dispatch: They’re being advised.

Just be advised, we’re pinned down on the east side las vegas boulevard. We’re gonna be north of Mandalay Bay drive, we’re about 40 or 50 people pinned against this wall. We’re taking gunfire. It’s going right over our heads. There’s debris coming over our heads. So we’re pinned down here with civilians.

I have a gunshot victim at gate 4. Gunshot to the leg.

Hey, we can’t worry about victims. We need to stop the shooter before we have more victims.

Officer shot…

We have multiple, multiple victims shot. Get the medical kit, we got a victim shot in the leg.

Hey, officers please stay calm, just relax, we’re trying to get this set up, just stay calm.

I’m running out of blankets here…

Shut down the elevators, take the stairs.

South Central, make the CP (command post) south central
Lots of people with wounds…

32nd floor

He’s still firing. There’s just the two of us

Hey guys, we got a female with a gunshot wound to the head
I’ve got a gunshot officer

Shut down the 15 for medical, officers going to the hospital
Does anybody have eyes on the shooter

Do we have Mandalay Bay shut down

Get people out and start covering the walls

I got two victims at gate 6, chest and head. We need immediate medical

Be advised: we are taking fire from a very high floor, we believe coming from The Mandalay Bay

Any officers that respond here, gonna be in plain sight.

Any officer coming will be in plain sight

Dispatch: Do not go on the boulevard

Strobe light coming from the east side of Mandalay Bay
I need a lieutenant to set up another command post on las vegas and Tropicana

All units need to start staging so we come from Tropicana
We’re getting from civilians that there might be three shooters.
Set up a perimeter, Tropicana and Russell, and lock a good outer perimeter down. We need a perimeter now.

Arriving, I’ll establish a command post now.

I’m here on the 32nd floor, room 135, I need the SWAT.

UNC Trauma, shoulder wound

We can’t worry about the wounded right now, we have to eliminate the threat

A white car going the wrong way down las vegas boulevard
Multiple GS victims over here on the east side of this building. I got numerous victims, got a five man team to provide cover

We need multiple medical evacs on the south stage

We also have a security officer shot in the leg on the 32nd floor. He’s standing right be the elevator

He shot down the hallway and hit the security guard

We have a four man team up here and another element coming to us

We’ve got at least two shooters, 29th and 32nd floor

Shut the lights down in the venue

Please be advised have all units have vehicles locked. People trying to get in there trying to grab shotguns

Put the CP at South Central, we have logistics

I need a unit to establish command. I’m pinned down with another officer, I need radio instructions

Dispatch: Is there a unit that can establish command
Stuck in traffic on the boulevard

Multiple casualties on the concert floor, stage right

We need the northbound boulevard shut down

Please take all EMS personnel to gate 2B, no sorry, gate 4A, gate 5 for evac

We’re gonna need a medical triage set up close to the CP when we get evacs. If we can get a medical liaison there, start setting that up

Setting up a temporary triage area at the boulevard and Tropicana at the southwest corner

I’ve got an officer with a gunshot wound to the neck just north of the venue

Multiple people running across the runway

I have multiple resources here, we are setting up IC here, is that what we want to do?

Just be advised, there are multiple trucks loading people to send to the hospital. Just let them know.

Black possible Chevy truck ripping out of here, several people confirmed, just keep an eye out

All officers, do not respond to the east side of the boulevard north of the Mandalay drive. This is not a secure position. We will be pinned down.

At the convention center entrance, we are moving into the casino
We have an eight man element clearing casino floor, moving up to the 32nd floor

Be advised, we have a medical tent

SWAT: Has anyone from the outside heard any further shots?

That’s negative, for about 15 minutes we have not heard any shots

(whispering) In the hallway on the 32nd floor

We are clearing the left wing now.

We have two more strike teams making their way to Mandalay Bay by foot

We’re trying to clear the event, pushing everyone to the east
We have a white RV with an older white male in fatigues and a black bag. Came from that area of the shooting. Went into the motor home. Need additional units.

I had a civilian take a patrol car. Need somebody be over here at Giles. I need medical.

Need some more units over here. I’m being overrun by citizens trying to take patrol cars.

We have several thousand people making their way from Gate 5
Giles and Ali Baba. Several, several casualties

(whispering) We believe it’s the northernmost room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay

I need a couple of officers to come help me push citizens off of the main stage

We have a lot of 419s (dead bodies) on the main stage inside the concert area

Probably about 20 419s around here

Confirming that I have casualties at Ali Baba and Giles east of the Catholic shrine as well as in the Mandalay Bay so we have two scenes.

They’re trying to send medical, send over all of them

Whoever with the maintenance guy at the Mandalay Bay, we need the key for the elevator at the main bank of elevators. We have a whole bunch of us waiting to go up.

I need to know if I have that floor evacuated other than our suspects. We got snipers going up so I need to know that’s evacuated.

That’s gonna be a negative.

We’re still clearing floors. We got two on floor 32 in the hallway
We’re doing evacuations down the hallway

SWAT: we’re coming up the stairwell

We have several 419s on the main stage. I need a couple more officers to help me clear this area.

Confirming that Mandalay Bay and Giles and Alibaba are the two shooting locations. Is there a third?

SWAT: We need to be careful of booby traps. On the stairwell, talk to y’all later

Be aware there’s an officer coming down the stairwell

We have a 12 man element coming into the Mandalay Bay. Strike team.

Is it confirmed that there were no shots from the Luxor?

Do you need more resources up there or you good?

We have the hallway contained.

I have three critical patients in my vehicle, I’m taking them to sunrise. Is there any available vehicles to assist me to get the traffic out of my way?

We have a ton of rescues that are available.

We need to roll now!

Go ahead and go.

Please be advised I’m now transporting five critical to Sunrise.

Please call and let them know I have five in route.

We are going to start establishing certain roles. First, we’re going to have a casualty collection point at Tropicana and the boulevard. I will get someone to liaison that in a moment. We’re going to contain around Mandalay Bay. I will get you a lieutenant for that in just a moment.

I am at Tropicana, I can fill that role for you.

SWAT: We are right outside the door.

Medics are asking if they can proceed to four seasons and Las Vegas boulevard or if they can have officers drive the vehicles that are there with injured civilians down to a safe area.

I have strike teams available, I need to know where to deploy them.

Medics are saying if there’s any reports of civilians in vehicles on four seasons and the boulevard. They can’t get to them safely, but if officers can drive those vehicles to a safe area, they can service them.

We are near the sports book at Mandalay Bay, we have one male WMA wearing a maroon or black shirt near the entrance.

Possible suspect at Circus Circus, we need an ETL on that.

We’re going to have a lot of people transporting in pickup trucks en route to the hospital. Please advise the hospital.

Please be advised we have the singer and citizens on the bus and the manager is adamant that they do not want to exit the bus.

We’re going to develop a route for them to exit.

UNC is at capacity. All units be advised do not transport unless it is life threatening. They need to go to Valley.

We have possible reports of shots fired inside New York New York…

Dispatch: We are getting reports there is a possible 415 at the front desk, New York New York

Black Audi with a possible 445 at the Luxor valet.

SWAT: We are at the end of the hallway, there are officers to acknowledge so we don’t have a crossfire.

We acknowledge, go ahead.

SWAT’s in place.

We have another GSW at the Motel 6.

Do we have a 415A at New York New York?

It originally came in to say many subjects were down.

Two shots were fired inside New York New York, we have approximately 150 people sheltered in place in the kitchen. Two shots were fired inside casino floor, And there are several subjects down at New York New York “Zumanity”.

No answer from security.

In Valet, waiting on a strike team to arrive. Everything seems quiet here.

I need someone to get in through the cameras to see if this is a diversion. I have three metro SWAT basically assembled, two are going up the tower, one is heading over to New York New York so we don’t completely split our forces.

Dispatch: Ok, now I’m getting information on an active shooter at Tropicana.

Please advise bomb squad to deal with the issue over there at Luxor. The 445 device.

Dispatch: Please be advised, there is an active shooter at Tropicana. There is an active shooter at Tropicana. Please be advised, we’re getting multiple reports of shooters at multiple locations. May or may not be diversion.

Entering New York New York with a SWAT team.

I’m outside Tropicana, not hearing any 434s (illegal shooting). This could be a diversion.

Dispatch: Be advised, 70 civilians at the stand aviation hunkered down. We’re getting calls from people sheltered in place, they’re not injured. Do you have any instructions for remaining sheltered in place? Please assign someone in there to keep track of people who have injured calling in.

We have a bunch of ambulance on Tropicana. Do they have Force Pro with them if there’s a e a 415A at the Trop?

Dispatch: Please be advised, we have a hispanic male, dark skin with an afro and dark clothing with a backpack at the Hooters squatting in the driveway. Looks like a suspect.

Do we need more strike teams, we have other agencies calling.
Dispatch: If we have other Tac teams, if we have bodies available, have them come in to our staging area, south central command.
We’re gonna need a roll call of those in Mandalay and the strike teams.

SWAT: I’m at the suspect’s door. I need everyone to be aware of the hallway and get back. I need to pop this to see if we can any response from this guy, see if he’s in here or if he’s moved somewhere else.

Dispatch: SWAT has explosive breach, all units move back, move back.

SWAT: (whispering) breach breach breach

(explosion heard)

We’re in this room, one suspect down.

One suspect down in room 135, 32nd floor Mandalay Bay

SWAT: Preparing to breach adjoining room, floor 32. Explosive breach.

(breach)

SWAT: We got the east room secure, one suspect down, multiple firearms. This is definitely where he was firing into the crowd.

I’m getting reports that medics are getting shot at, at the Tropicana.

We have made contact inside Tropicana, no shots fired.
We are at Tropicana. No shots fired.

Security at New York New York says no shots fired.
Do we have an update on the possible 445 at Luxor?
We have it locked down.

Clear the area, do nothing else for the time being.

Now we’re getting shots fired at Caesar’s and the Bellagio…..

Survival Medicine Hour: Earthquake, Birthing Supplies, Hemorrhage, More

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Survival Medicine Hour #355

earthquake damage

earthquake damage

What would you have done if you were in Mexico City during the recent earthquakes? Is there anything that might have increased your chances of survival? In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, hosts Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP talk about earhtquakes in general and give you safety tips that could save a life.

birthing supplies

birthing supplies

Plus, what supplies would you need for delivering a baby and caring for a pregnancy in tough times? Nurse Amy put on her Expert Council hat from Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast to answer a listener’s question. In addition, one of our readers sends us an entertaining story about her son’s hornet sting and some natural remedies she uses for her allergy-prone family.

Direct Pressure on Bleeding Wound

Bleeding wound

Lastly, is it time to add a 4th R to Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic in school curriculums? Should Reduce hemorrhage classes be talk in view of the risk of injury during natural disasters, shooter events, even car crashes? Sounds crazy, but would it save a life?

All this and more in the latest episode of The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy! To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/09/22/survival-medicine-hour-earthquakes-first-aid-hornets-birthing-supplies

 

BTW, you can follow us at twitter @preppershow, YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy channel, and Facebook at our Doom and Bloom page or our survival medicine group “survival medicine dr bones nurse amy”

Thanks!

Don’t forget to check our medical kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net, plus our latest edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon and on this website.

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

Survival Medicine Hour: Post-Irma, Floods, Shoulder Dislocation

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Survival Medicine Hour #354

wildfire

close shave #1: Gatlinburg, Nov. 2106

This Survival Medicine Hour 9/15: Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc on Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and our hosts Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy have now had two different homes survive destruction in a year: Their place in Gatlinburg on Ski Mountain, where 100 homes burned to the foundation last November as part of a huge human-set wildfire, and now their home in South Florida from Hurricane  Irma’s winds. We’ll talk about flood survival and give you some tips on what to do in the aftermath of storms like Harvey and Irma.

hurricane winds

close shave #2: Irma

Also, your shoulder is the most flexible of your joints, but also the least stable and most likely to be dislocated by trauma. Find out more about how to recognize and treat this painful but common wilderness and off-grid injury.

shoulder joint: most flexible, least stable

shoulder joint: most flexible, least stable

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/09/15/survival-medicine-hour-irma-floods-shoulder-dislocation

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

We’d like to announce that we’ll be holding an 8 hour class on 10/21 near Knoxville, TN, where they’ll impart a lot of knowledge and teach a lot of hands-on skills! Check doomandbloom.net’s classes page to find out more!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom(TM), and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy!

Video: How To Apply A SOFT-T Tourniquet

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Direct Pressure on Bleeding Wound

Bleeding wound

The Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet (SOFT-T) is one of the most popular tourniquets made, with many selecting it as their item of choice to control severe extremity bleeding. The SOFT-T is reliable, sturdy, and easy to apply, especially when only one hand is available to the casualty. The US Army Institute of Surgical Research reports a 100% effectiveness rate in stopping hemorrhage.

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Tourniquets like the SOFT-T are used in a life-threatening situation, and its ease of application is a major advantage when no time is available for training purposes. Having said that, it’s important to become acquainted with the use of every item in your medical kit.

The SOFT-T particularly shines during transport, with a screw that that can be fastened to prevent accidental release during the jostling that can occur during evacuation to a modern medical facility or, in a survival scenario, to your sick room or hospital tent.

Here’s Nurse Amy to show you the method of application of the SOFT-T.

For 10 critical principles of tourniquet use, check out her video on the subject here:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/1zI5j5a1VL8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy and Joe Alton

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

 

For a review of several popular tourniquets (and much more), check out the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

Just some of our kits and supplies

Just some of our kits and supplies

Learn how to stop bleeding in emergencies

Hurricane Preparedness Tips: What You Need To Know

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hurricane image by pixabay

hurricane image by pixabay

Hurricane Irma, already a powerful storm, is steaming its way towards the Caribbean and the U.S. East Coast. With Texas and Louisiana still reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it’s just one more reason to always be prepared for disasters.

 

You only have to read the news to know that hurricanes are dangerous, but they don’t have to be life-threatening for those who prepare.  Unlike tornadoes, which can pop up suddenly, hurricanes are first identified when they are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.  We can watch their development and have a good idea of how bad the situation might become and how much time we have to get ready.

 

Even before it’s clear that your area is in danger of being hit by the storm, you should have considered factors like food, water, power, and shelter. Here are a few (actually, 28!) tips to help those preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best:

 

GETTING OUT OF DODGE

hurricane winds

hurricane winds

Make a G.O.O.D. (Get Out Of Dodge) decision: Rugged individualists may want to ride out the storm, but as we learned from Harvey, coastal residents would be best served by hitting the road. When the authorities say it’s time to evacuate, you should be ready to go. Don’t forget to turn off the power, gas, and water before you leave.

 

Head Inland: Hurricanes gain their strength over warm ocean waters, and lose strength quickly as they get further into the interior. Therefore, the further inland you go, the safer you’ll be.

 

Have a “GO” bag: Always have a set of supplies ready to take with you on short notice. Non-perishable food, bottled water, extra clothing, flashlights and batteries, a NOAA weather radio, medicines, and a first aid kit are just a few of the items you should have ready at all times.

 

(you might see recommendations online to have a 72-hour supply, but this figure is arbitrary. A week’s worth would be even better.)

 

Have a portable cell phone charger: Communication is important, so have a car charger or other mobile method to power up the phone. Consider a small solar charger kit, like Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit.

 

Have cash on hand: One power shortage you don’t want to experience is the loss of purchasing power. Power for credit card verification could be down after a hurricane; keep some cash on hand. Have small bills to prevent needing cash back that the store may not have available.

 

Let’s say you haven’t received an evacuation order, and you’re going to ride out the storm in place. Here are some considerations you want to take into account:

 

SHELTER

tent

Not a good choice for a hurricane shelter

Without shelter, you’re at greater risk for a bad outcome in a hurricane. If you can’t leave the area, find a sturdy haven from the storm. Most buildings are required to withstand at least 90 mph winds (125 mph in South Florida), but for the strongest hurricanes, it’s best to find the nearest municipal shelter. f there isn’t time, most coastal municipalities will have designated a sturdy building as a hurricane shelter.

 

Put Up The Shutters:  If you have hurricane shutters, put them up at least 24 hours before hurricane landfall. It’s no fun to have to stand on a ladder in gale force winds and pouring rain to install them. Been there, done that.

 

Move Furniture/Plants Inside: Move the patio furniture and potted plants indoors. If you can’t, chain them together against an outer wall downwind from the direction of the storm.

 

Prune Trees: Prune all trees near your home so that wind can easily flow through the crowns. Otherwise, expect some to be downed by the storm. Branches, fruit (in South Florida, coconuts!), and other debris can act as missiles in high winds.

 

Pick a “Safe Room”: If you have a basement, good for you. If not, choose a room in the interior of the home, preferably one without windows. Get the storm supplies into this area for safe keeping. Put a sharp axe in this room in case you must get out through the roof in a severe flooding.

 

Place candles in pans: Candles are handy, but they can be knocked over by winds and cause fires. If you must use them, stick them in a pan with shiny sides that would be deep enough to cover the flame.

 

Have Tarps at the Ready: Large tarps can be used to cover windows and, after the storm, to cover any areas of the roof that might have been damaged. Keep extra rolls of plastic sheeting and duct tape to secure broken windows or doors.

 

Come to the local municipal shelter with a full stomach, blankets, and a favorite pillow: Meals and other comforts may be limited in supply. Supplies for that infant or toddler, like diapers and formula, will likely be scarce. Also, inquire as to whether the county shelter accepts and has supplies for pets.

 

FOOD

Keep food cold

Keep food cold

 

Keep it Cold: Have the refrigerator and freezer down to their coldest settings so that food will stay fresh longer. Go shopping as early as possible and get non-perishable food items as staples for long-term.

 

Collect Ice: Collect ice in plastic bags or empty plastic containers and place them among refrigerated foods to prolong freshness. Empty plastic soda bottles/milk jugs will do in a pinch. The fuller the fridge is with ice, the longer the items in it will stay cool.

 

Wrap It in Foil: Wrap food items in aluminum foil, eliminating air pockets, and cram the foil packs together as closely as possible.

 

Cook ‘Em and Freeze ‘Em: Cook meats before the hurricane gets close and freeze them. As cooking requires fuel, have some full propane tanks or charcoal briquettes in your supplies for when the power goes out.

 

Eat the Perishables Now: Eat the perishable food first, canned foods later. Make sure to have a manual can opener, paper plates, cups and plastic utensils. Have a plan so you can cook food and boil water after the storm and the electricity is out. Fuel (as mentioned above), a small portable stove or grill and appropriate pans will be needed.

 

Keep It Closed: Don’t leave the refrigerator door open while deciding what food to take out. Visualize where a particular item is and then open the door. Close it as quickly as possible.

 

WATER

Flood waters won't be this clean

Flood waters won’t be this clean

 

Water, Water everywhere: Have a stockpile of 5-gallon bottles of water or a plentiful supply of smaller bottles. After the storm, don’t expect that flood waters will be clean enough to drink.

 

Fill the Tub: Fill all bathtubs with water. You might think this is overkill, but every member of your family needs 1 gallon of water per day. It goes fast, even faster if you use it to keep clean.

 

Drink the Melted Ice: As the ice you refrigerated in containers melts, don’t waste it. Use it as an additional source of drinking water.

 

Hot Water Heaters Hold…Water!: Hot water heaters have gallons and gallons of drinkable water; don’t hesitate to raid them if you get low. First, turn off the electricity or gas. Attach a hose to the drain valve and release the vacuum in the tank by opening a hot water faucet. There might be some sediment at the bottom that should be filtered or drained out first.

 

Purify It: Have some household bleach available to purify questionable water (like from the water heater). 12-16 drops per gallon should do the job. It takes a while, so wait 30 minutes before drinking, shaking the water container to aerate will make the water taste better.

 

Have A Water Filter: Handheld filters like the Lifestraw or Sawyer Mini, or larger ones like the Berkey can be useful to deal with cloudy water. Using a cotton cloth will help get out the dirt and debris before using the commercial filter.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

 

The Kids: Have board games, toys, and books to keep the children’s minds off scary winds. If you’re evacuating, let kids bring their favorite stuffed animals, blanket, or pillow to keep them calm. Give each child their own flashlight to use.

 

Your Other Kids: Don’t forget to take into account the needs of your pets. Have food, water, and their favorite toy available, whether you leave or stay at home.

 

Your Other, Other Kid: Make sure your car is in good working order and filled with gas. Already, there’s a run on gas at South Florida gas stations in advance of Hurricane Irma. An extra supply in gas cans will be useful in case of a shortage at the pumps, and can be used to run generators (although never inside).

 

Important Documents: Place important papers like birth certificates, passports, insurance documents, and others in waterproof containers. Scan them and send them in an email to yourself and keep a few memory sticks in waterproof bags in different areas of the house, a safe and/or on yourself.

 

Keep The Radio On: A NOAA weather radio, battery-powered, solar powered or hand-cranked, will be an important source of information on the progress of the storm, and for community updates. Have solar or battery powered flashlights (and extra batteries) and lanterns (inflatable ones are very safe).

 

No Outside Selfies During The Storm! A number of preventable deaths occur during or in the early aftermath of a hurricane due to foolish choices. Flood waters, downed power lines, and high winds are just some of the ways that lives end unnecessarily.

Here is our Flood Safety Article: https://www.doomandbloom.net/13-flood-safety-tips/

flooding water in a neighborhood

Beware of flood waters

Being prepared for a hurricane can make sure that a hurricane is just a bump in the road, and not the end of the road for you and your family. Have a plan of action, get some supplies, use your common sense, and you’ll weather the storm.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Find out more about disasters (natural and man-made) with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

Doom and Bloom Kits

Doom and Bloom Medical

Herbal Teas from Medicinal Gardens

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HERBAL TEAS IN AUSTERE SETTINGS

medicinal herbs

Herbal Products as Medicine

In long-term disaster settings, even prepared medics may end up using their entire supply of commercially-made medicines. As such, caregivers should consider the medicinal benefits of the plants in their own backyard as additional tools in the medical woodshed.

 

Due to their longevity, essential oils are probably some of the best natural products the medic can stockpile. Producing them, however, requires knowledge, experience, and equipment. In addition, you’ll need a lot of plant material. It takes 250 pounds of lavender flowers to make 1 kilogram of essential oil, and that’s if you have the right variety, soil conditions, weather conditions, and other factors in place.

lavender field

It takes a lot of lavender to make a little essential oil

In the long haul, a more realistic option for sustainable herbal medicines is using fresh or dried plant materials in teas. These require little more than a garden and some knowledge regarding each herb, the parts of the plant used, and the medicinal effect.

 

It should be noted that the term “tea” is incorrect: The word actually refers to various drinks made from the leaves of one species, Camellia sinensis. Indeed, green, black, white, and oolong teas are made from the same plant; only the processing differs. The proper term for a drink made by steeping herbs in hot water would be an “herbal infusion” or “tisane“. For simplicity’s sake, though, we’ll call them teas.

 

Standard teas from Camellia Sinensis, like green, black, white, and oolong, are high in antioxidants with many health benefits ascribed to them. These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver dysfunction, and more.

 

Making Teas

making tea

It’s easy to make tea

Making a tea is one of the simplest ways to prepare medicinal herbs. If you can boil water, you can brew tea. You just:

 

  • Bring some water to a roiling boil in a pot or other container.
  • Crush leaves, flowers, and/or roots, depending on the plant.
  • Pour the boiled water over 1 teaspoon of herbs and let steep for about five or ten minutes.
  • Keep a cover on while steeping.
  • Place a strainer over a cup and pour (alternatively, use a tea bag or “bob”).
  • Use honey or lemon to add flavor if desired.

 

A tea doesn’t always have to be ingested to be of benefit; some may be used as an eye wash, an irrigation solution for wounds, or in cold or warm compresses.

 

There are many herbs that can be made into a tea. Although some of the information below lacks hard scientific data, these teas were used by your ancestors for their medicinal benefits:

 

Alfalfa: The seeds and leaves contain vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, phosphorous, iron, and potassium. It has been used as a diuretic to help urine flow and for upset stomachs. There are claims that it helps arthritis pain and may lower cholesterol. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves, steeped in 1 cup of boiling water, for 10-20 minutes.

 

Burdock: The dried root has been used in teas to help clear acne and to treat psoriasis. Use 2 tablespoons of fresh grated root or 1 tablespoon of well-dried root in 3 cups of boiling water.

catnip

catnip

Catnip: Leaves and flowers are used to treat intestinal cramping, indigestion, diarrhea, and other stomach ailments. Also thought to treat respiratory infections like the common cold. A substance in catnip called nepetalactone is thought to produce a mild sedative effect. Use 1 teaspoon of dried leaves or 1 tablespoon of fresh leaves per cup.

 

Chamomile: A favorite tea of many, it contains the amino acid Tryptophan, which gives it a sedative and relaxing effect. As such, it may help treat anxiety and insomnia. Antioxidants in chamomile may help slow down progression of visual, kidney, and nerve damage in diabetics.  Use 2-3 teaspoons of dried flowers per cup.

 

Chicory: When supplies of coffee ran out, soldiers in the Civil War used the root of this common plant as a substitute. It lacks caffeine, though, and has more of a sedative than stimulant effect in large amounts. Chicory root has an effect against intestinal worms, and has been shown in animal studies to improve calcium absorption and bone mineral density. Scrape the bark off the root before drying; use 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water. Tea made from leaves has a laxative effect.

 

Dandelion: You might be surprised to know that the common dandelion contains vitamins and minerals. Indeed, it’s thought to have more beta-carotene than a similar serving of carrots. Young flowers and leaves make a good tea for constipation (steep for 20 minutes). Roasting the roots produces a coffee-like drink; use 2 teaspoons dried chopped root in 1 cup of water.

echinacea

echinacea

Echinacea: Well-known to decrease the duration of colds and flus, Echinacea boosts the immune system and may have some antiviral activity. Steep 1-2 teaspoons of leaf, flower, or ½ teaspoon of root to 1 cup of boiling water

 

Elder: Elderberry flowers make a tea that is used for many upper respiratory infections such as sinusitis, colds, flus, and laryngitis. Applied in a compress, the tea may be helpful for wound healing and some skin conditions.

 

The blue or purple berries are high in antioxidants and may be made into a juice or syrup: Put two pounds of elderberries and four cups of water and bring to a boil, then simmer for a half hour. Use a fine mesh strainer to press out the juice. Sugar may be added under medium heat to make a syrup.

 

Eucalyptus: Tea made from eucalyptus leaves offers relief from asthma as well as respiratory infections, mostly by opening airways and loosening thick mucus. It may have antibacterial and antiviral effects. Steep ½ teaspoon of dried or fresh leaves in 1-2 cups of water.

 

Ginger: The underground stems, or rhizomes, of Ginger are used to treat nausea of all types from morning sickness to motion sickness. Slice one inch of the rhizome into small pieces and simmer in two cups of water on low heat for 15 minutes. Then strain. ¼ – ½ teaspoon of ginger powder is another option.

ginseng root

ginseng root

Ginseng: Both Asian and American Ginseng root can be made into herbal teas that are thought to lower blood sugar levels, a useful benefit for those with diabetes. Simmer three to six teaspoons of the root for 45 minutes in three or four cups of water, then strain.

 

Lavender: Used in aromatherapy, lavender may improve nausea and other digestive symptoms when drunk as a tea. It’s thought to decrease migraine headaches and possibly limit convulsions and muscle spasms. Use 1 tablespoon of dried herb in 1 cup of water.

 

Lemon Balm: An herb with antiviral effects, it’s a member of the mint family. A tea made from lemon balm leaves and flowers was used in the past to treat mouth, throat, and dental infections like gingivitis and herpes sores. Also thought to decrease anxiety and aid sleep. Lemon balm may help improve intestinal spasms and nausea. 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 5-6 fresh leaves to one cup of boiling water makes a fine tea.

 

Licorice: Better known as an ingredient in candy, its coating properties may help with sore throats, coughs, and heartburn. Licorice can, however, raise blood pressure and should be avoided during pregnancy. Add 1-2 teaspoons of chopped root to 2 cups of boiling water to make a decoction. Drink ½ cup at a time.

 

Passionflower: Tea made from passionflower has a beneficial effect on anxiety and may serve as a sleep aid if taken regularly. Boil 1-2 teaspoons of herb (avoid the root) in 2 cups of water for 5-10 minutes.

 

Peppermint: A long-standing herbal remedy, tea made from peppermint calms the stomach and helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but can worsen heartburn. The tea helps thin respiratory mucus and relieves nasal congestion. Put 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 6-8 fresh leaves over 1 cup of boiling water.

 

Rose: Rose “hips” make a tea with vitamin C, as well as calcium, selenium, zinc, manganese, and others. It boosts the immune system and is thought to be beneficial for the adrenal gland, responsible for the stress hormone cortisol. Boil 1 teaspoon of dried rose hips in water and steep for 20 minutes.

Sage leaves

Sage leaves

 

Sage: Sage leaf tea is a time-honored remedy for sore throat as well as the common cold as a tea or gargle. It may also aid digestion and decrease cramping, and may even improve memory. Steep 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in one cup of water.

 

Stinging Nettle: Stinging nettle root is thought to have benefits as a diuretic to improve urine flow, even in those with enlarged prostates. The leaves may decrease the pain of arthritis in joints. Use 1 teaspoon dried leaves in 1 cup boiling water or boil 5 grams of dried root in 2 cups of water for 5-10 minutes.

 

St. John’s Wort: One of the few herbs that has known activity against minor depression, leading it to be called “herbal Prozac”. Beware of interactions with prescription drugs, however. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon herb.

 

Thyme: Teas made from thyme will loosen thick phlegm and may help coughs. It’s known to inhibit bacteria, viruses, and fungi, including many that cause respiratory infections. Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried leaves in 1 cup of water.

 

Turmeric: This herb contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that may treat Crohn’s disease and other digestive tract issues. As well, it may have beneficial effects on joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders.

 

Valerian: The dried roots of this plant have been utilized for centuries to deal with anxiety and insomnia. It may even decrease the frequency of seizures in patients with epilepsy. Its mild sedative effect eases pain and promotes sleep. Avoid alcohol or sedative drugs.

 

Willow Bark: The green underbark of willow trees contain salicin, the original ingredient used to produce aspirin in the late 19th century. It is especially useful for muscle aches and joint pain. Simmer 1 teaspoon of bark in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes.

 

There is much research to be done to scientifically confirm all of the effects of these plants, and there may be other benefits not mentioned or yet discovered. As well, many other plants have medicinal effects other than the ones in the list above; you might know of some yourself. The herbs above, however, are easily made into teas that can be produced even while on the move.

 

In any case, learning the use of natural substances for their medicinal benefits will make the off-grid medic an effective provider even in the most remote settings.

 

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

 

Find out more about disasters (natural and man-made) with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

stomp supreme

The Stomp Supreme Medical Kit, ideal for large groups, camps, outfitters, and much more (available in various colors)

Survival Medicine Hour: Skin Issues, Instruments, Sterile vs. Clean

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Survival Medicine Hour #354

Keeping Instruments Clean

Keeping Instruments Clean

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, our hosts discuss the difficulties in achieving sterility off the grid when it comes to techniques for procedures and for the proper cleaning and maintenance of important instruments. Plus, skin conditions that the medic will likely have to treat after a disaster, including contact dermatitis, psoriasis, stasis dermatitis, shingles, and much, much more.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/08/24/survival-medicine-hour-skin-conditions-sterile-vs-clean-instruments

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Amy and Joe Alton

Amy and Joe Alton

Hey, do us a huge favor and follow our YouTube channel at Drbones Nurseamy, Twitter @preppershow, and our Facebook page at Doom and Bloom ™! Also, join our survival

Fill those holes in your medical storage by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net

Shoulder Dislocations

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SHOULDER DISLOCATIONS

Anterior shoulder dislocation accounts for 95-97% of cases

Of all the joints in your body, the shoulder has the greatest range of motion. This flexibility comes at the cost of low joint stability. 50% of all major joint dislocations seen in U.S. emergency rooms involve the shoulder joint.

A dislocation is an injury in which a bone is pulled out of its joint by some type of trauma. Dislocations commonly occur in shoulders, fingers, and elbows, but knees, ankles, and hips may also be affected.  The joint involved looks visibly abnormal and is unusable.  Bruising and pain often accompany the injury.

If the dislocation is momentary and the bone slips back into its joint on its own, it is called a subluxation. Subluxations can be treated the same way that sprains are, using the R.I.C.E.S. method.  It should be noted that the traditional medical definition of subluxation is somewhat different from the chiropractic one.

SHOULDER ANATOMY

Detailed shoulder anatomy (wiki)

First, a short anatomy lesson. Unlike the kids’ song, there is no “shoulder bone” connected to the “arm bone”. The shoulder actually consists of three bones: the upper arm bone (known as the “humerus“), the shoulder blade or “scapula“, and the collarbone, also called the “clavicle“. The head of the humerus fits into a socket in the scapula. This socket (the “glenoid cavity“) is stabilized by ligaments, strong connective tissues that keep the humerus centered in the socket. These connective tissues, along with muscles and tendons, form a capsule that keeps the joint stable. Significant weakening of the capsule can cause the humerus to be dislocated.

The patient with a shoulder dislocation will come, usually holding their forearm for support, with complaints of pain and an arm that will appear obviously out of place. Swelling is not unusual. You might notice that the shoulder appears “lower” than on the uninjured side.

Of course, if there is medical care readily available, the patient with a shoulder dislocation should go directly to the local hospital. Indeed, some dislocations may only be reduced surgically under general anesthesia. In an off-grid setting, however, you are on your own and will probably have to correct the dislocation yourself.  This is known as performing a “reduction”.

HOW TO REDUCE SHOULDER DISLOCATIONS

Reduction is easiest to perform soon after the dislocation, before muscles spasm and the inevitable swelling occurs.  Not only does reducing the dislocation decrease the pain experienced by the victim, but it will lessen the damage to all the blood vessels and nerves that run along the line of the injury.  The faster the reduction is performed, the less likely there will be permanent damage. Unfortunately, a joint that experienced a dislocation may have a tendency to go out of place again in the future.

If help is not forthcoming, expect significant pain on the part of the patient during the actual reduction procedure. Giving some pain relievers like ibuprofen or stronger might be useful before the procedure to decrease discomfort.  Prescription muscle relaxers such as Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) are also helpful.

The use of traction will greatly aid your attempt to fix the problem. Traction is the act of pulling the dislocated bone away from the joint in such a fashion as to give room for it to slip back into place. This goal can be accomplished in various ways, depending on the type of dislocation.

The following procedures for reducing a shoulder dislocation are just some of the techniques used in this excellent video from Larry Mellick, MD of the Medical College of Georgia:

Method 1: Have the patient lie face down on a surface high enough that the arm (including the shoulder joint) dangles without hitting the ground. Place the patient’s arm into position slowly for the least discomfort.

Wrap a 15-20 pound weight around the forearm and wrist (again, not hitting the ground). Although they could hold the weight in their hand, this may tense the muscles, and you need them to relax. Once the muscles are relaxed enough (maybe 10 minutes or so), the arm should pop back into place.

Method 2: Have the patient lie on their back. With their elbow at a 90-degree angle, slowly rotate the arm outward with the palm facing the sky. This should be a slow movement, and pain should be a sign to slow down.

Now, raise the arm so that the hand is behind their head, as if they were scratching the back of their neck. The action is similar to a baseball pitcher about to throw a ball. Once their hand is behind their head, slowly help them reach for the opposite shoulder. This motion should move the arm back into place.

Method 3: If you are alone with your patient, place your foot against the side of the patient’s chest and apply slow traction by pulling the arm while holding the wrist with the palm facing up. This, again, must be done slowly and gradually until the arm pops back into place.

If you’re fortunate enough to have an assistant, wrap a towel or sheet around the upper chest of the patient and have the assistant pull in the opposite direction to provide counter-traction. This avoids having to use your foot for that purpose.

If these procedures are successful, pain and movement should be immediately improved, although it is normal to have some continued discomfort in the injured shoulder. Your patient may benefit from the placement of ice packs to reduce swelling and a sling to immobilize the joint while it heals.

Full recovery will take about 4-12 weeks, depending on the age and physical condition of the patient. should be noted that the dislocation itself or the reduction procedure could possibly disrupt blood vessels or nerves, leading to circulation issues as well as effects to sensation and motor function.

Orthopedic injuries will be common in any austere setting. The medic has to be ready to take the initiative when the ambulance is not on the way if full use of an injured extremity is to be recovered.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

 

Find out more about orthopedic injuries in remote settings (and much more) with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

Grab and Go Deluxe First Aid Trauma Kit

Our Grab N Go Medical Kit

Survival Medicine Hour: Survival at Sea, Pt.2, Radiation Sickness, More

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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #352

Burn victim of Hiroshima detonation

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy discuss the recent saber-rattling from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, our responses, and what to do if your area is hit by radiation from an atomic blast (or a nuclear reactor meltdown). Dr. Alton also talks about what to do if you’re lost at sea: How to get food and water, protection from the elements, and even a little about shark attacks!

Solar Still

All this and more on the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/08/11/survival-medicine-hour-survival-at-sea-pt-2-radiation-more

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

Find out more about radiation sickness, survival at sea, and 150 other medical topics with the 700-page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

 

12 Water Safety Tips

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12 WATER SAFETY TIPS

Keep her safe this summer

In warm weather, a lot of outdoor activities will include waterfront areas like the lake or beach. A dunk in the local water feature is refreshing, but puts many, especially children, at risk for injuries; of these, drowning is one of the most tragic.

Among those 14 years old and under, drowning is the second most common cause of injury-related death (car accidents are first). More than 800 kids die due to drowning mishaps every year, and thousands more sustain nonfatal injuries, sometimes involving significant brain damage.

WHAT PUTS YOU AT RISK FOR DROWNING

Keep an eye on the little ones at all times

There are a number of factors which increase the risk of drowning. They include:

Poor swimming ability: Simply put, if you can’t swim, your chances of drowning increase.

Poor supervision: Drowning can happen relatively quickly and without a lot of noise. Even the presence of lifeguards may not save you on the beach, and unsupervised small children could die even in the bathtub.

Location: Although home swimming pools are the most likely places that young children drown, most adult drowning events occur in natural, boating, or wilderness settings.

Lack of Barriers: Pool fences that separate the pool from the yard reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83%.

Lack of Life Jackets: 88% of boating deaths by drowning involve people who weren’t wearing life vests.

Alcohol: The majority of deaths by drowning in adolescents and adults involve impaired judgment and coordination caused by drinking.

Seizure Disorders: Drowning, often in the bathtub, is the most common cause of death by injury for those with a seizure disorder (epilepsy).

 HOW TO RECOGNIZE A DROWNING PERSON

mouth below water level, silent gasping without calling for help may alert you to someone in trouble

The act of drowning if usually associated with non-swimmers screaming and thrashing about. This may, indeed, lead to drowning, but once begun, it’s as likely to be a silent event.

In the early stages, very little water enters the lungs due to a spasm of the windpipe that seals the airway. This prevents passage of water into the lungs, but also air. As a result, the drowning person is unable to call for help. Within a short period, they lose consciousness, leading to a set of reactions in the body that ends in cardiac arrest.

These reactions may appear unremarkable, but are important to recognize. They include:

  • Forward position with the mouth at or below water level
  • Alternatively, supine with head tilted back and mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and open
  • Gasping for air instead of yelling for help
  • Swimming ineffectively
  • Flailing arms and legs in a failed effort to rise out of the water

At this stage, the process may still be reversed with prompt and effective resuscitation. Survival rates depend strongly on the duration of immersion.

REACH, THROW, ROW, GO

Pools and Lakes are common risk areas for drowning

At the beach or in the wilderness, you might encounter a distressed person in the water. Your first response will be to jump in and help. The victim, however, may be panicking and flailing around. To avoid injury and reduce the risk that you’ll become the next victim: Reach, Throw, Row, Go.

  1. Reach out to the person with a stick or oar.
  2. Throw the person a lifeline, life preserver, or other floating object.
  3. Row out to the person in a canoe or other boat if available.
  4. Go into the water only when there is no other option.

THE CHAIN OF DROWNING SURVIVAL

In circumstances where you encounter a person in trouble in the water:

  • Shout for help.
  • Remove the person from the water in a safe manner (Reach, Throw, Row, Go).
  • In normal times, call Emergency Medical Services.
  • Begin CPR, using both chest compression and rescue breathing. Chest compression alone is insufficient for drowning victims.
  • If available, use an automated external defibrillator (AED) and assist in transport to a modern medical facility if possible.

12 TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE IN THE WATER

Here are 12 safety tips to keep your family safe from drowning mishaps:

  • Take Swimming lessons: Don’t go into swimming-depth water if you don’t know how to swim. Swimming lessons are provided by many municipalities throughout the country, even for very young children. So are CPR classes, which are very important when it comes to aiding drowning victims.
  • Keep strict supervision on minors: Children in the water should always be supervised by a responsible, sober adult. For preschool children, the adult should be close enough to touch the child and not involved in any other activity.
  • Utilize the “Buddy System”: Everyone, even adults, should always swim with another person or persons.
  • On the beach, beware rip currents: Know the meaning of flags on supervised beaches. High waves, discolored water, debris, and channels of water moving away from shore are signs of dangerous conditions. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until free, then diagonally towards the beach.
  • Foam “noodles” or inflatable toys don’t take the place of life jackets. Be firm about using the right equipment, even for adults.
  • Pool fencing saves lives: Four-sided fencing 4 feet high with a high latch is the safest way to prevent small children from falling or jumping into the pool and getting into trouble. Don’t leave toys near the pool after swimming.
  • Be aware of the weather: Thundershowers often whip up the water with strong winds, increasing the risk of drowning.
  • Be physically fit: Swimming involves exertion, so make sure you’re up to the challenge.
  • Avoid alcohol: Any water activity is more dangerous if you’re drinking.
  • Don’t hyperventilate: Taking rapid deep breaths to see who can stay underwater longest may cause a blackout.
  • Use the shower, not the bathtub, if you suffer from a seizure disorder. The odds of drowning are much lower if you avoid the tub. Any outdoor swimming activity should be done only with one-on-one supervision.
  • In the wilderness, be wary of river crossings. Fast moving water may knock you off your feet, even if less than a foot deep.

Make that summer trip to the beach or lake memorable (in a good way) by knowing how to recognize and treat near-drownings. You’ll be glad you did.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

 

Find out more about survival medicine with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

Our new motorcyclist medical kit

7 Antiseptics For Your Medical Kit

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Betadine is a Iodophor-type antiseptic

I’ve often said that, in a major disaster, we may be thrown back to a bygone era where modern medicine is not an option. Indeed, we can expect civil war-era statistics with regards to major abdominal and chest trauma outcomes, but we will still be ahead of our ancestors even if we’re thrown off the grid. That’s because of modern knowledge of antisepsic techniques.

The word antiseptic comes from the greek words anti (against) and septikos (putrid or rotten).  Antiseptics are substances with antimicrobial properties applied to living tissue to reduce the possibility of infection. Antiseptics, it should be noted, are not antibiotics. Antibiotics are meant to destroy bacteria within the body. Antiseptics are also different from disinfectants, which destroy germs found on non-living objects. All of these are important supplies for the survival medic.

Infected wound

We have a number of videos on this website that discuss antibiotics and what your options are in a survival scenario. If you haven’t been here before, use the search engine and you’ll find there are more than you think. We haven’t, however, talked a lot about antiseptics. Let’s discuss the most popular types on the market that might be candidates for your survival medical kit.

Iodophors: Iodophors like Betadine contain iodine, a substance that can also be used to purify water, but is combined with a solubilizing agent, povidone, which makes it, unlike pure iodine, relatively nonirritating and nontoxic to living tissue. Iodophors work against a broad array of microorganisms and don’t need to be heavily diluted. I will admit that I do dilute my Betadine if I use it on open wounds for regular dressing changes.  Iodophors are effective in killing microbes within just a few minutes.

Chlorhexidine

Chlorhexidine Gluconate: This substance, perhaps better known by its brand name “Hibiclens”, is helpful  against many types of germs, although it’s not very effective against fungal infections. It’s relatively long-lasting, however, compared to some other antiseptics. For this reason, Hibiclens is popular as a way to prepare areas for surgery and for healthcare providers to scrub their hands before patient encounters.

Alcohol: Ethyl Alcohol (also called ethanol) is another tried and true antiseptic product. It, along with isopropyl alcohol, kills many different types of microbes and is fact acting and inexpensive. The problem is that alcohol has a drying effect on skin, the oral cavity, and vagina. It has a tendency to inhibit the development of new cells, so use it for an initial wound cleaning but not for regular care.

Benzalkonium Chloride: BZK is a mild antiseptic and is easily tolerated by most people. One of the most popular first aid wipes or sprays, some say that it has a special effect against the rabies virus, but there’s little hard data supporting this claim.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is used to clean wounds and reacts with blood to form an impressive foam. This is because blood and most cells contain an enzyme called catalase. Catalase reacts with hydrogen peroxide, converting it into oxygen and water. This effect makes it popular for household first aid in common mishaps like abrasions, but not a great candidate for regular dressing changes due to its drying effect on new cells. It can be used as a mouth rinse in the oral cavity, however, making it a candidate for a survival dental kit.

PCMX (Parachlorometaxylenol or chloro-xylenol for short): Available in more brand names than you can count, this substance is effective against most germs. It’s less potent, though, than chlorhexidine and iodophors, although the antiseptic effect lasts longer. PCMX can be irritating, so don’t use it on mucous membranes like the oral cavity and vagina.

Bleach and baking soda added to just-boiled water in the right proportions can make an effective antiseptic solution

Bleach: Bleach can be found as either a sodium hypochlorite (Clorox) solution or can be improvised with calcium hypochlorite granules, also known as “Pool Shock”. Used more as a disinfectant than an antiseptic, bleach in very dilute solutions (0.5% or less) can make Dakin’s solution, a time-honored method to clean wounds. Be sure to watch our recent two-part video on this website that shows you how to make it easily and affordably.

I’m sure you know of more products that can serve as antiseptics for your survival sick room. Armed with these items, your chances of succeeding when everything else fails, at least as a medic, go up exponentially. Be sure to get the supplies and knowledge that will save lives in times of trouble.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Find out more about stopping hemorrhage and 150 other medical topics in the survival mindset with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net!

Survival Medicine Hour: Poison Plants, Setting a Fracture, More

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various fracture types; note open fracture 2nd from left

SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #349

In the this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, our hosts discuss what you would do with a fractured bone off the grid or after a disaster where modern medicine is just not an option. Dr. Alton’s take on the subject might shock modern medical professionals, but you have to do what you can, with what you have, where you are, in tough times. Topics including placing a cast, open fractures, re-aligning bones (known as “reductions”) and more.

typical rash of poison ivy

Also, the Altons talk about what to do when you’re outdoors and surrounded by poison plants like poison ivy, oak, and sumac. How to identify plants, diagnose and treat the rash, plus natural remedies that might help.

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton! To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/07/28/survival-medicine-hour-poison-plants-setting-a-fracture-more

Hey, do us a big favor and follow us on twitter @preppershow, Facebook: Doom and Bloom or join our group at Survival Medicine Dr Bones Nurse Amy, and YouTube at DrBonesNurseAmy!

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

 

 

Find out more about poisonous plants, fractures, and 150 other medical topics in the survival mindset with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net!

Grab and Go Deluxe First Aid Trauma Kit

Grab N Go Medical Kit

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Others

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POISON IVY AND SIMILAR PLANTS

From Left: Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac, Poisonwood (UFAS)

Whether you’re outdoors due to a major disaster or just on a wilderness hike, it’s possible that you’ll run afoul of poisonous plants. If you live in the continental United States, expect to find poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and others in the environment.  350,000 cases of poison ivy alone are recorded in the United States every year.

POISON IVY AND SIMILAR PLANTS

Poison Ivy

The typical “tri-foliate” appearance of poison ivy and another poisonous plant, poison oak, has led to the saying: “Leaves of three, let it be”. Poison ivy’s leaves appear almond-shaped, while poison oak looks like, well, oak leaves. There are various subtypes: Some are vinelike, others short and shrubby, still others appear as ground cover.

Poison Oak

There are, of course, plants that are perfectly harmless that come in “leaves of three”. Other poisonous plants, like poison sumac, have a different look. Poison sumac has 7-13 pointy leaflets and can grow into a small tree upwards of 20 feet in height. Poisonwood is a relative that prefers subtropical areas like the Florida Keys. It is thought that inhaling smoke from burning sumac and poisonwood can cause life-threatening respiratory distress.

Poison Sumac

WHAT CAUSES POISON IVY RASH

Poison Ivy rash can appear “streaky”

The common factor that makes all of the above plants dangerous is the compound “urushiol”. Urushiol is an oily resin that can be found on just about every part of the plant, including vines, leaves, and roots. The chemical irritant sticks to the skin on contact and causes symptoms in 85% of those exposed.

As poison ivy rash is essentially an allergic reaction, it is not, in and of itself, contagious. However, any clothing or body parts that have urushiol on them can cause symptoms when touched by others.

As an aside, the presence of urushiol in poison ivy and other plants appears not to be a defense mechanism; instead, it serves to help them retain water. Deer, birds, and other wildlife can eat poison ivy without ill effects.

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac rash is caused by the compound “Urushiol”

 

The rash of poison ivy, oak, and sumac causes itching and a red, bumpy rash within a day or two of exposure. The rash continues to spread for a few days and lasts for up to three weeks (more in some cases). Breaks in the skin from itching can cause secondary infections that can become serious.

It’s sometimes difficult to make the diagnosis. Most don’t  realize they were exposed during their time outdoors.   Exposure may also occur indirectly, for example, by petting the fur of a pet that has been outside. The rash might appear in winter and confuse health providers, but even plants that are dormant can cause reactions.

Therefore, a red, bumpy, itchy rash in anyone who has been in the Great Outdoors or near others who have (including pets) should raise your suspicions. Either poison oak, ivy, or sumac exist just about everywhere in North America except perhaps mountaintop and desert environments. As such, it should always be on the list of possibilities in wilderness settings.

Touching kids and pets that have been outside could cause exposure to poison plant toxins

Once you have determined that there has been exposure to poison ivy, it’s important to wash the exposed area and clothing with soap and water as quickly as possible. Urushiol isn’t easy to remove, however, so you might consider soaps that are effective against resins or oil, such as Fels-Naptha or Tecnu.

Common treatments for poison ivy, oak, and sumac rashes include hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, capsaicin cream, and antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Some recommend the use of rubbing alcohol on the exposed areas. Cool compresses may are thought to be soothing.

There are many home remedies that are also thought to be effective to treat poison ivy rash. Here are just a few:

  • Apple cider vinegar (burns at first)
  • Baking soda paste
  • Epsom salt or oatmeal baths.
  • Chamomile tea bag compresses
  • Aloe Vera gel mixed with various essential oils, such as tea tree, lemon, lavender, peppermint, geranium, and chamomile.
  • Jewel weed (mash and apply)

There are many others. Natural or commercial creams and ointments should be dabbed on as opposed to rubbed, which may cause more irritation and slow healing. In the worst cases, prescription medications like Medrol (Methylprednisolone) may be needed to speed recovery and prevent complications.

The good news is that, even if you don’t treat the rash, it will go away by itself over 2-3 weeks in most cases.

PREVENTION

Long pants and sleeves will help prevent contact with poison plants

The best prevention is to avoid getting the toxin on your skin. If you can’t avoid exposure, make sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, work gloves, and boots if you’re doing work in areas known to harbor poison plants.

Some recommend an over-the-counter lotion called IvyX as a preventative. Apply it like you would a sunblock to likely areas of exposure. Theoretically, it prevents the oil from being absorbed by your skin.

The effects of poison ivy, oak, or sumac can make you miserable and even cause secondary infections, something that will decrease your work efficiency in the Great Outdoors. If you know how to identify these plants and be aware of your surroundings, you’ll have less headaches off the grid.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Find out more about poisonous plants and 150 other medical topics in the survival mindset with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net!

Video: Making Dakin’s Solution, Part 2

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Video: Making Dakin’s Solution, Pt. 2

Open wounds are prone to infection

In this video (part 2 of 2), Amy Alton ARNP, aka Nurse Amy, demonstrates how to make Dakin’s solution for the care of open wounds, followed by some comments by Joe Alton MD, aka Dr. Bones, on how to vary the strength from full (5% sodium hypochlorite) down to 1/8 strength, how long it last when stored properly, and some other important things to know about this additional tool for the medical woodshed in survival settings.

To watch, click below:

In case you missed it, here’s Part 1 of the video:

Video: Making Dakin’s Solution, Part 1

https://www.doomandbloom.net/video-making-dak…-solution-part-1/

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

You can make Dakin’s solution with regular household items, but for medical supplies you can’t make on your own, check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual items at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

Survival Medicine Hour: Bears, UTIs, Kratom for Pain?

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Survival Medicine Hour #348

American Black Bear

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, discuss the controversial non-ban of a natural pain reliever, Kratom, the only non-opiate that seems to give major benefits to many, as evidenced by numerous YouTube testimonials. Also, bears love the summer, and they’d love to stay out of your way. If they don’t, however, it can mean trouble for both you and the bear. Here’s some safety tips from Dr. Alton, whose home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is home to many a black bear.

Kratom may help with pain

Also, the medic in survival scenarios may have to deal with gunshot wounds, but he/she’s more likely to deal with common infections, like those that affect the urinary tract. Learn how to identify, treat, and prevent UTIs, which can travel to the kidneys, and eventually become life-threatening if not treated.

All this and more on The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP!

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/07/21/survival-medicine-hour-bears-pain-relief-with-kratom-utis

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

Follow us on twitter @preppershow, Youtube at drbonesnurseamy, and Facebook at Survival Medicine DrBones NurseAmy

Don’t forget to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

All About Urinary Tract Infections

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Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Anatomy

Medics in survival scenarios have to deal with major injuries and serious infections, Sometimes, infections aren’t serious to begin with, but worsen if not treated. Some of these infections involve the urinary tract.

Urine directly from the bladder is generally sterile, but most women have experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) at one point or another.  The areas most commonly contaminated are the bladder, which holds the urine, and the urethra, the tube that drains the bladder.  Although men can also get bladder infections (called “cystitis”), their urethra is much longer and bacteria are much less likely to reach the bladder.

If untreated, bladder infections may ascend to the kidneys via tubes called ureters, causing an infection known as “pyelonephritis”.  Once in the kidneys, it can make its way to the bloodstream and lead to shock or worse.

Symptoms of UTIs

 

Each type of UTI manifests in more or less specific signs and symptoms, depending on which part of the urinary tract is infected.

Inflammation of the urethra (urethritis) may be caused by E.Coli, Gonorrhea, Herpes, and other bacteria and viruses. Sufferers will feel a burning sensation with urination; males may also have a urethral discharge, while women with certain sexually transmitted infections may notice a foul discharge from the vagina.

Bladder infections are characterized by pelvic pressure, lower abdominal pain, and frequency of urination. Some people may feel an urgent need to go without warning (urgency) but notice that the stream of urine is slow to start (hesitancy). The urine itself may be cloudy or red-tinged with blood and have a strong smell.

Kidney Infections signs include one-sided flank pain with fever

Once the infection reaches the kidney (pyelonephritis), other signs and symptoms will become apparent.  Fever and chills are common, with pain on the flank (the side of your back). Normally, it will be noticeable only on one side by tapping the flank lightly at the level of the lowest rib with the side of a closed first. This will elicit no response in a healthy patient, but someone with an infection will grimace and flinch. Kidney stones may be mistaken for a kidney infection, as they also cause tenderness in this region. They are, however, less likely to cause fever.

Treating a UTI

Treatment revolves around the vigorous administration of fluids.  Lots of water will help flush out the infection by decreasing the concentration of bacteria in the affected organs.  Some feel relief with a heating pad or compress in the area of discomfort.

various antibiotics work to treat UTIs

Antibiotics are another standard of therapy. The following are commonly used for UTIs (brand names and veterinary equivalents in parenthesis):

  • Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra, Bird-Sulfa, Fish-Sulfa)
  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Fish-Mox)
  • Ampicillin (Fish-Cillin)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex, Fish-Flex)
  • Azithromycin (Zithromax, Z-Pak, Aquatic Azithromycin)
  • Doxycycline (Vibramycin, Bird-Biotic)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Fish-Flox)

For dosages, days taken, side-effects, and warnings, use the search engine on this website for the particular antibiotic.

To eliminate the pain that occurs with urination in UTIs, stockpile over-the-counter medications like Phenazopyridine (also known as Pyridium, Uristat, Azo, etc.).  Don’t be alarmed if your patient’s urine turns a reddish-orange color; it is an effect of the drug and is only temporary.

Natural Remedies for UTIs

There are a number of natural remedies to treat someone with a urinary infection. Vitamin C supplements, for example, are thought to reduce the concentration of bacteria in the urine.

Others include:

  • Garlic or garlic oil (preferably in capsules).
  • Echinacea extract or tea.
  • Goldenrod tea with vinegar (1 to 2 tablespoons),
  • Uva Ursi (1 tablet).
  • Cranberry tablets (1 to 3 pills).

Take any one of the above remedies three times per day.

Another home remedy is to take one Alka-Seltzer tablet and dissolve it in 2 ounces of warm water. Pour directly over the urethral area.

One more alternative that may be helpful is to perform an external massage over the bladder area with 5 drops of lavender essential oil (mixed with castor oil) for a few minutes. Then, apply a gentle heat source over the area; repeat this 3 to 4 times daily. The combination of lavender/castor oil and warmth may help decrease bladder spasms and pain.

I’m sure you have a tried-and-true strategy of your own. As with many home remedies, however, your experience may vary. In normal times, consult your physician.

Preventing UTIs 

Preventative medicine plays a large role in decreasing the likelihood of urinary tract infections.  Basic hygienic method, such as wiping from front to back after urinating, is important for women.  Also, emptying the bladder right after an episode of sexual intercourse is a wise choice.

Wear cotton undergarments to allow better air circulation in areas that might otherwise encourage bacterial or fungal growth. Adequate fluid intake, especially cranberry juice if available, is also a key to flushing out bacteria and other organisms.  Lastly, never postpone urinating when you feel a strong urge to go.

Off-grid medics may have to deal with gunfights at the OK corral, but it’s how well they handle everyday problems like UTIs that gauges their day-to-day contributions to their community.

Joe Alton, MD

Joe Alton MD

Learn about UTIs and 150 other medical topics in the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

Survival Medicine Hour: Wilderness Safety, Snake Bite, More

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Survival Medicine Hour #347

wilderness safety

In this episode of the The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones, and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Nurse Amy, discusses how to make those summer outdoor outings with your family, as well as off-grid survival scenarios, safer for all involved. To make a wilderness experience memorable (in a good way), you’ll need to know what factors will make the environment friendly or not-so-friendly, with injuries as the end result. Amy and Joe tell you what you need to bring in your medical kit.

Pit vipers!

One thing you might not bring is that old snake bite kit! Dr. Bones talks about current thinking regarding the old standard, and what to do if you have a group member suffer a venomous snake bite when modern facilities are not an option.

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with the Altons! To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/07/14/survival-medicine-hour-wilderness-safety-snake-bites-more

 

Hey, do us a huge favor and….

Follow us on: Twitter @Preppershow      Facebook at DoomandBloom(tm)     YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy     Instagram at DoomandBloomMedical

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

Find out more about snake bites and 150 other medical topics in times of trouble by getting a copy of the 700 page Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook, now available on Amazon! And don’t forget to get a solid medical kit from Nurse Amy’s often-imitated, never-equaled entire line of supplies at store.doomandbloom.net! You’ll be glad you did.

Survival Medicine Hour: Wound Debridement, Shock Treatment, More

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THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #345

Wound Debridement

In this episode of The Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, discuss the Wilderness Medical Society’s special edition on combat casualty care guidelines applied to survival settings, where they coincide and where they diverge. Also, some basics on an important part of wound care, wound debridement, the removal of dead skin from a healing open wound. Studies show that antibiotics are important to prevent and treat wound infections, but debriding dead tissue from a wound is important to aid recovery as well.

People in shock lose heat quickly

Also, more on the different types of shock, and what to do if you have to treat someone deteriorating rapidly from some of the various types. All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD, and Amy Alton ARNP!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/07/07/survival-medicine-hour-shock-wound-debridement-more

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

Hey, fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual items at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget, the 700 page third edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for when Medical Help is Not on the Way is the most comprehensive book you’ll find written on medical care in times of trouble!

Survival Medicine Hour: Dakin’s Sol’n, Shock, HPV, Garlic

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Survival Medicine Hour #344

Direct Pressure on Bleeding Wound

Bleeding wounds need long-term care. Are you ready?

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, tackles a number of tough topics like, what can you put in an open wound to prevent and treat infection if a disaster happens and all you have is household items? Here’s how to use bleach and baking soda to make Dakin’s solution, used for over 100 years to prevent death from infected wounds.

Also, Nurse Amy discusses the uses of garlic, it’s not just for cooking! It’s got great antibiotic properties and more…

garlic

Plus, there are a variety of types of shock, and we’re not talking about the emotional kinds. Dr. Bones discusses hypovolemic, hemorrhagic, and cardiogenic shock in this ongoing series about dealing with a life-threatening event.

Finally, Joe Alton MD answers a question for the Survival Podcast’s expert council about whether the HPV exam is worthwhile to give to preteens. Find out more about this virus and the controversy surrounding it.

All this and more on the Survival Medicine Hour! To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/06/29/survival-medicine-hour-dakins-solution-garlic-shock-hpv-more

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

Hey, fill those holes in your medical storage by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did!

Survival Medicine Hour: Survival Navigation w/Glen Martin, Thyroid Issues

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by Glen Martin

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, welcome Glen Martin, owner and founder of the 50-show strong Preppers Broadcasting Network to talk about his journey and to discuss his new book on Amazon, Prepper’s Survival Navigation. One way to put your health in jeopardy is not knowing where the heck you are, so listen in as Amy finds out secrets on how to stay grounded and pointed in the right direction in the wilderness.

Effects of low thyroid levels on left, normal on right

Also, a question about thyroid problems with the Expert Council with Jack Spirko, with Joe Alton MD answering questions about what to do about thyroid issues in survival scenarios. All this and more on the Survival Medicine Hour!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/06/16/survival-medicine-hour-survival-navigation-with-glen-martin-thyroid-issues

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Amy and Joe Alton

follow us on twitter @preppershow, on YouTube at drbones nurseamy, and Facebook at Doom and Bloom!

Also, don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and items at store.doomandbloom.net!

 

Safe Summer Camping

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SAFE SUMMER CAMPING

 

Camping Safety

 

The kids are out of school, the weather’s great, and families are planning this summer’s camping trip. Camping is a great way to create bonds and memories that will last a lifetime. A poorly planned outdoor vacation, however, becomes memorable in the worst way, especially if someone gets hurt. A little planning will make sure everyone enjoys themselves safely.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Not the best choice for a family camping trip

If you’re not a veteran camper, don’t start by attempting to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan. Start by taking day trips to National Parks or a local lake.  Maybe you could start using that firestarter tool, setting up your tent, and making a campfire in your backyard to get through the learning curve. See how things work out when you don’t have to stay in the woods overnight. If the result is a big thumbs-up, start planning those overnighters.

Whatever type of camping you do, you should always be aware of the capabilities and general health of the people in your party. Children and elderly family members will determine the limits of your activities. The more ambitious you are, the more your plans may be beyond the physical ability of the less fit members of your family. This leads to injuries as the end result.

PLANNING

An important first step to a safe camping trip is knowledge about the weather and local terrain you’ll encounter. Talk with park rangers, consult guidebooks, and check out online sources. Some specific issues you’ll need to know:

  • Temperature Ranges
  • Rain or Snowfall
  • Location and Status of Nearby Trails and Campsites
  • Plant, Insect, and Animal Issues
  • Availability of Clean Water
  • How to Get Help in an Emergency

COMMON MEDICAL RISKS 

hypothermia polar bear club

Probably Not Dressed for Success in the Snow

A very common error campers make is not bringing the right clothing and equipment for the weather and terrain. If you haven’t planned for the environment, you have made it your enemy.

Although Spring and Fall have the most uncertainty with regards to temperatures and weather, storms can occur in any season. Conditions in high elevations lead to wind chill factors that could easily cause hypothermia. Here’s the thing with wind chill: If the temperature is 40 degrees, but the wind chill factor is 20 degrees, you lose heat from your body as if the actual temperature were 20 degrees. Be aware that temperatures at night drop precipitously. Even summer rain can lead to a loss in body temperature if you get soaked.

In cold weather, you’ll want the family clothed in layers. Use clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material for protection against the wind. Wool holds body heat better than cotton does. Some synthetic materials work well, also, such as Gore-Tex.

That’s all well and good in cool temperatures, but if you’re at the seashore or lakefront in the summer, your main problem will be heat exhaustion and burns. Have your family members wear sunscreen, as well as hats and light cotton fabrics. Sunscreen should be placed 15 minutes before entering a sunny area and re-applied to skin that gets wet or after, say, a couple of hours.

If you don’t take the environment into account, you have made it your enemy

In hot weather, plan your strenuous activities for mornings, when it’s cooler. In any type of weather, keep everyone well-hydrated;  dehydration will cause more rapid deterioration in physical condition in any climate.

The most important item of clothing is, perhaps, your shoes. If you’ve got the wrong shoes for the activity, you will most likely regret it. If you’re in the woods, high tops that you can fit into your pant legs will provide protection against snakebite and tick bites. Tick populations are on the rise in the Northeast and Midwest, so beware of signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease. If you choose to go with a lighter shoe in hot weather, Vibram soles are your best bet.

Special Tips: Choosing the right clothing isn’t just for weather protection.  If you have the kids wear bright colors, you’ll have an easier time keeping track of their whereabouts. Long sleeves and pants offer added protection against insect bites and poison ivy.

YOUR CAMPSITE

Real estate agents’ motto is location, location, location and it’s true for camping safety too. Scout prospective campsites by looking for broken glass and other garbage that can pose a hazard.

Look for evidence of animals/insects nearby, such as large droppings or wasp nests/bee hives. If there are berry bushes nearby, you can bet it’s on the menu for bears. Berries that birds and animals can eat are often unsafe for humans to eat. Advise the children to stay away from any animals, even the cute little fuzzy ones. Even some caterpillars are poisonous.

bear poop

Bear Droppings! Camp somewhere else!

Learn to recognize poison ivy, oak, and sumac.  Show your kid pictures of the plants so that they can look out for and avoid them. The old adage is “leaves of three, let it be”. Fels-Naptha soap is especially effective in removing toxic resin if you suspect exposure. The resin can stick to clothes, so cur chips off and use for laundering.

Build your fire in established fire pits and away from dry brush. In drought conditions, consider using a portable stove instead, like the EcoZoom.  In sunny open areas, the Sun Oven will give you a non-fire alternative for cooking. About fires: Children are fascinated by them, so watch them closely or you’ll be dealing with burn injuries. Food (especially cooked food) should be hung in trees in such a way that animals can’t access it. Animals are drawn to food odors, so use re-sealable plastic containers.

If you camp near a water source, realize that even the clearest mountain stream may harbor Giardia, a parasite that causes diarrheal disease and dehydration.  Water purification is basic to any outdoor outing.  There are iodine tablets that serve this purpose, and portable filters like the Lifestraw and the Mini-Sawyer which are light and effective.  Boiling the water first is a good policy in any situation, although time-consuming. Remember to add one minute of boiling for each 1000 feet of elevation above sea level. Water boils at lower temperatures at higher altitudes, and takes longer to kill microbes.

GETTING LOST

Glen Martin’s Book on Navigation

Few people can look back to their childhood and not remember a time when they lost their bearings. Your kids should always be aware of landmarks near the camp or on trails.  A great skill to teach the youngsters is how to use a compass, a skill you can find in Glen Martin’s new book “Prepper’s Survival Navigation“. Besides a compass, make sure children have  a loud whistle that they can blow if you get separated.  Three consecutive blasts is the universal distress signal. If lost, kids should stay put in a secure spot instead of roaming about. Of course, if you have cell phone service….

INSECT BITES

Even if you’ve clothed the kids in protective clothing, they can still wind up with insect bites.  Carry a supply of antihistamines, sting relief pads, and calamine lotion to deal with allergic reactions.  Asking your doctor for a prescription “EpiPen” is a good idea if anyone has ever had a severe reaction to toxins from insect bites or poison ivy.  They’re easy to use and effective, and few doctors would refuse to write a script for it.

Citronella-based products are helpful to repel insects; put it on clothing instead of skin (absorbs too easily) whenever possible. Repellents containing DEET also can be used, but not on children less than 2 years old. Don’t forget to inspect daily for ticks or the bulls-eye pattern rash they often cause.  If you remove the tick in the first 24 hours, you will rarely contract Lyme disease.

YOUR CAMPING FIRST AID KIT

Get a Medical Kit!

Besides appropriate clothes, insect repellants, and a way to sterilize water, you will want to carry a medical kit to deal with common problems.  This should contain:

  • Antiseptics to clean wounds (iodine pads are good)
  • Bandages of different types and sizes: butterfly, roller, pads, moleskin, elastic (Ace wraps)
  • Cold packs to reduce swelling
  • Splints (splints and larger conforming ones)
  • Burn gel and non-stick dressings like Telfa pad
  • Nitrile gloves (some people are allergic to latex)
  • Bandannas or triangular bandages with safety pins to serve as slings
  • A bandage scissors
  • tweezers (to remove splinters and ticks)
  • topical antibiotic cream
  • Medications:

Oral antihistamines (such as Bendadryl)

Pain meds (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, also good for fever)

1% hydrocortisone cream to decrease inflammation

BZK (Benzalkonium Chloride) wipes for animal bites

Your personal kit may require some additional items to handle special problems with members of the family that have chronic medical issues.  Take the above-listed  items and add more to customize the kit for your specific needs. Maybe adding a tourniquet, hemostatic gauze, and an Israeli dressing for more significant injuries? Perhaps some antibiotics for longer backcountry outings?

In an emergency, the most important thing to do is to simply stay calm. If you have the above supplies, you can handle a lot of medical issues in the wilderness. Gain some knowledge to go along with those supplies, and you’ll have the best chance to have a safe and fun outing with your family.

.

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones

AuthorJoe

Joe Alton MD

Are you ready to deal with medical issues when the you-know-what hits the fan? You will be, if you get a copy of our #1 Amazon Bestseller “The Survival Medicine Handbook”.

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

Survival Medicine Hour: Shock, Triage, Mosquito Plants

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Survival Medicine Hour #341

Citronella

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, the topic is shock: What types there are, the stages of shock, the signs and symptoms of shock, and a lot more that you might need to know in times of trouble. Also Dr.Bones discusses some examples of victims you might encounter in a mass casualty incident, plus the 30-2-Can Do paradigm for telling priority of need for immediate care.

People in shock lose heat quickly; make sure to keep them warm!

Also, Nurse Amy spends some time talking about what plants in your garden can give you some relief from disease-transmitting mosquitoes this summer.

All this and more from our show, remotely broadcast this week from Boston, Massachusetts while on the way to the Mother Earth News Fair event in Burlington, Vermont!

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy

Follow us on twitter: @preppershow

YouTube: DrBones NurseAmy

Facebook: Doom and Bloom

And for even more info on how to deal with medical issues in times of trouble, check out our Survival Medicine Handbook, now in its 700 page Third Edition!

Video: Gallbladder Issues in Austere Settings

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Video: Gallbladder Disease

gallstones

In this video, Joe Alton MD, aka Dr. Bones, discusses all you need to know about the gallbladder and the role that stones or buildup plays in disrupting the workings of the GI tract.

The gall bladder is a hollow sac-like organ that is attached to the liver; it stores a thick liquid substance called “bile” that the liver secretes to help you digest fats. After a meal, the gall bladder contracts and bile passes through to the small intestine through tubes called ducts.

Excess bile cholesterol can cause solid deposits inside the gallbladder that range in size from miniscule to, say, the size of a golf ball. These are commonly referred to as “gallstones”.  Gallstones are relatively common; perhaps ten to fifteen per cent of the population has them. That means a large enough group of people in a survival community will likely include someone with the condition. The medic needs to be able to diagnose and treat conditions related to medical problems as well as traumatic injuries.

To watch, click below:

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe Alton MD

Hey, learn more about medical issues, traumatic injury, and  150 other topics as they relate to survival in the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. Also, check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual supplies for the survival medic at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

 

Survival Medicine Hour: Eye Issues, Fractures, TENS units

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THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR: EYE ISSUES, FRACTURES, TENS UNITS

Pink Eye, aka Conjunctivitis

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, discuss how to deal with various eye issues that can confront a medic in an off-grid survival setting, like Pink Eye, foreign objects, styes, and more. Plus, our hosts impart some basics on how to deal with broken bones.

Ouch!

Dr. Bones also answers a question from Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast Expert Council, of which he’s a member, regarding the potential for use in survival scenarios of TENS units. TENS units are battery-powered items that deliver electrical stimulation to muscles and nerves to help with pain relief.

All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour! To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/05/19/survival-medicine-hour-eye-issues-fractures-tens-units

Hey, do ol’ Dr. Bones a big favor and follow us on twitter @preppershow, YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy, and Facebook at Doom and Bloom(tm). You can also join our Facebook group at Survival Medicine DrBones NurseAmy!

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe and Amy Alton

Find out more about survival eye issues, fractures, and much more in the 700 page Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon. Also, check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual supplies for the survival medic at store.doomandbloom.net!

Survival Medicine Hour: Expired EpiPens, Hepatitis C, Rodent Control 2

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Expired EpiPens Still Effective?

This week’s Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, discusses a new study from the California Poison Control System that indicates that EpiPens may be therapeutically effective even years after their expiration dates, welcome news given that a two-pack costs $300, even in generic form. Plus, part 2 of rodent control, this time how to get rid of rats and mice that already infest your retreat.

That’s a lot of rats!

 

Plus, Joe and Amy discuss the increasing epidemic of Hepatitis C in people who are using or abusing opioids like heroin and other drugs. Learn the obstacles to controlling this deadly disease and what might be done to help.

 

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour! To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/05/12/survival-medicine-hour-expired-epipens-hepatitis-c-rodent-elimination

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow, FB at Doom and Bloom ™, and YouTube at DrBonesNurseAmy!

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

dr. bones and nurse amy

Fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual items at store.doomandbloom.net!

Kits by Alton First Aid

Study: Expired EpiPens Still Effective

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Study: Expired EpiPens Still Effective

EpiPen and EpiPen Jr.

An expiration date is defined as the last day that a medicine is warranted to be safe and effective when stored properly. I’ve written for years that this date is often arbitrarily determined, and that the idea all medicines somehow “spoil” very soon after their expiration dates is incorrect.

I’m not alone in this opinion: A new study now reports that an important medical product that prevents deaths from severe allergic reactions (also called”Anaphylaxis“) can still be used effectively years after the expiration date on the package.

The California Poison Control System in San Diego tested 40 unused, expired Epipens and found that all (yes, all) of them retained at least 80% active epinephrine, the main ingredient.  This was true even for Epipens that closed in on the four-year expired mark. The least potent device was found to be at 81 percent 30 months past its expiration date. Most were at 90% or above.

Epipens are expensive items that are sometimes in short supply. F. Lee Cantrell, lead researcher of the California study, concludes that those unable to replace the product should hold onto it for use past the expiration date.

“There’s still a dose that would be therapeutic in there…” Cantrell also said: “if an expired EpiPen is all that I have, I would use it.” He suggests that it might be appropriate for the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and Mylan, the company that distributes Epipen, to consider adjusting the expiration dates. Currently, the drug”expires” 12-18 months from the date of manufacture.

Of course, in normal times, the recommendation is to replace expired EpiPens. This new information, however, if of use to those who cannot afford to replace Epipen often and, also, to those in the preparedness community who store medical items in case of disaster.

The recommendation given by the California Poison Control System is a rare departure from standard conventional medical wisdom, which states that drugs should be disposed of as soon as they become expired. However, even the Department of Defense has determined that many medicines are 100% effective and safe to use even if expired. This data can be found in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

many drugs remain potent after expiration

The “Shelf Life Extension Program” (SLEP), which initially evaluated 122 drugs commonly stored for use in peacetime disasters, determined that most drugs in pill or capsule form were therapeutically effective for 2 to 10 years beyond the written expiration date. This led to the government issuing “emergency use authorizations” for various expired medicines when a shortage occurred. One example is the antiviral drug Tamiflu: During the 2009 Swine Flu epidemic, existing supplies of Tamiflu were authorized for use up to five years after the expiration date.

Drugs in liquid form did not fare as well in SLEP studies, which makes the Epipen (which uses a liquid solution of epinephrine) data so interesting. Granted, 100% potency would have been better, but 80-90% would still have a beneficial effect on an allergic reaction.

Given the 2016 Mylan scandal where the company increased the price from about $100 per two-pack to $600, an extended shelf life would be welcome news. (Mylan recently released a “generic” version for $300 per two-pack).

It should be noted that potency of a drug is affected by storage conditions. Most medicines should be stored in dry, cool, dark conditions. Allowing Epipens to be exposed to high heat or freezing could adversely affect effectiveness.

Many physicians are greeting the study’s findings skeptically, but I consider it more evidence that expiration dates are sometimes artificially determined, and that those storing medications for use in disaster settings might get more longevity out of their supply than expected. Get fresh medicine if available, but think twice before throwing out your last Epipen. Sometimes, something is better than nothing.

Joe Alton, MD

Dr. Alton:

Find out more about expired drugs, anaphylactic shock, and 150 other medical topics in austere settings with the 700 page Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon. (Be aware that the Second Edition can still be found there; be sure to get the latest edition or just order from store.doomandbloom.net.

Survival Medicine Hour: Ticks and Lyme Disease, Foot Fungus, Rodent Proofing

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THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR PODCAST #231

Tinea Pedis, aka Athlete’s Foot

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe Alton,MD and Amy Alton,ARNP discuss what’s behind the increasing population of ticks and the record number of Lyme Disease cases being reported in the United States, plus how to avoid tick bites and recognize and treat Lyme Disease early. Also, how to deal with fungal infections like Athlete’s foot with conventional and natural remedies in austere or remote settings.

Tick Bite

Rats!!! Rats and mice in your retreat will contaminate your survival food stores and transmit disease and otherwise lower your chances of survival in times of trouble. Find out how to rodent-proof a retreat with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/05/05/survival-medicine-hour-lyme-disease-foot-fungus-rodent-proofing

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP

Don’t forget to check out store.doomandbloom.net to fill those holes in your survival medical supplies! Also, The Survival Medicine Handbook is celebrating several years on the Amazon bestseller list in disaster relief, safety/first aid, and survival skills! Check it out at Amazon.com.

 

Survival Medicine Hour: John Steinbaugh of Xstat, Wound Packing, Obesity

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cover celox with roller gauze

Packing a Bleeding Wound

In this episode of The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, we welcome John Steinbaugh of RevmedX to discuss his XStat product (which we previously mentioned was not an ideal product for the preparedness community), plus new products that his company has to help stop hemorrhage in wounds. Learn about the XGauze and Parabelt, plus some realities about TCCC guidelines and the issues that companies go through getting new technology to the public.

obesity fat

extra weight will decrease chances for survival

Plus, a question for Dr. Bones as a member of Jack Spirko’s popular Survival Podcast Expert Council, this time about what to do with obese group members once the trigger event occurs for a SHTF situation.

Lastly, Dr. Alton talks about how to pack wounds effectively, and some recommendations from a doctor-paramedic team’s recent article in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

All this and more in the latest episode of The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton. To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/04/28/survival-medicine-hour-wound-packing-obesity-john-steinbaugh-of-xstat

 

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow

YouTube: DrBonesNurseAmy channel

Facebook: Doom and Bloom

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

AmyandJoePodcast400x200

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Learn more about bleeding wounds and 150 other survival medicine topics in the Third Edition (700 pages!) of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon.

Video: Rodent-Proofing A Shelter

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rodents

heckuva rodent infestation

Sanitation is an important factor in staying healthy in rural homesteads and survival scenarios, and one formidable obstacle for the survival medic is the presence of rodents like rats and mice. When these animals are introduced into new areas, they cause a significant amount of environmental and economic damage. Whether in good times or bad, It makes sense to take measures to prevent rodent infestation in the home and to eliminate those already there.   In this video, Joe Alton, MD discusses rodents and how to prevent them from being unwanted guests in your home, shelter, or retreat.

To watch, click below:

Wish you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

 

JoeAmyLabcoatSMALL300x300

Joe Alton MD        Amy Alton ARNP

 

Find out more about rodents, the disease they cause, and 150 other medical topics in grid-down settings by checking out our Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon. Also, fill those holes in your medical supplies with Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual items at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

Survival Medicine Hour: Black Scout, Pt. 2, Azithromycin, Sick Room Set-Ups

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TentMEDIUM

Setting up a sick room

In this episode of The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP (aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy), we welcome back Jack of Black Scout Survival’s popular YouTube channel, who discusses a wide range of topics in part 2 of his interview with Amy.

Plus, Joe Alton, MD examines Azithromycin as a survival antibiotic. Thomas Labs has released a new bird drug, Bird-Zithro. Is Bird-Zithro a possible candidate for treating sick birds in your aviary after a disaster? Find out all you need to know about this important drug.

bird zithro 30 count azithromycin

Azithromycin for sick birds

Lastly, when an infectious disease epidemic comes to your town, would you be able to set up an effective sick room that will help the infected recover while keeping the healthy from getting sick? Joe and Amy go over what factors will make for an effective area to deal with infectious disease off the grid.

All this and more on The Survival Medicine Hour with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/04/21/survival-medicine-hour-black-scout-pt-2-azithromycin-sick-rooms

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow                YouTube: DrBones NurseAmy Channel                  Facebook: Doom and Bloom

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

AmyandJoePodcast400x200

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Don’t forget to get a copy of the new 700 page third edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The essential guide for when medical help is not on the way, available at Amazon or at www.doomandbloom.net

Video: Sulfa Drugs in Survival

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shutterstock_89589424

Add medicines to your medical kit

Without antibiotics in your medical kit, there will be deaths in survival scenarios that could have been prevented. Using certain veterinary equivalents may be an answer as to how to obtain them. This video discusses the family of antibiotics known as “Sulfonamides”: How they work, What they’re good for, How to use them wisely, and more. Remember that antibiotics aren’t candy, and should be used only when absolutely necessary. We’re in the midst of an epidemic of antibiotic resistance in this country (mostly due to their use in livestock!). Companion video to a recent article.

 

To watch the video, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

JoeAmyLabcoatSMALL300x300

The Altons

Hey, get supplies for your medical kit, plus a copy of the latest edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook (also available at amazon), at Nurse Amy’s store on this website!

 

(slider image for this article courtesy of pixabay.com)

Setting Up A Survival Sick Room

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medicaltent

A hospital tent

In normal times, we have the luxury of modern medical facilities that can isolate a sick patient from healthy people. In a survival scenario, however, most organized medical care will no longer exist, placing the average citizen into the position of medic for his/her family or community.  

Although we may be thrown back to the 19th century medically by a disaster, we have the benefit of knowing about infections and hygiene.  The knowledge of how contagious diseases are spread and how to sterilize supplies give us a major advantage over medical personnel of bygone eras.

Using this knowledge, it should be possible for a medically prepared person to put together a “sick room” or “hospital tent” that will minimize the chance of infectious disease running rampant through the community. The cornerstone of care is to deal effectively and humanely with the sick while keeping the healthy from becoming infected.

In the face of a looming catastrophe, you must first make the decision to either stay in place or get out of Dodge. If you’re staying in place, choose a room where the sick will be cared for. That room should be separate from common areas, like the kitchen. It must have good ventilation and light, and preferably, a door or other physical barrier to the rest of the retreat.

If the wiser choice is to leave the area, shelter is an issue that may be addressed with, for example, tents. Choose a tent as the sick room and place it on the periphery of the camp. Again, good ventilation is important to allow air circulation.

With sick rooms in a retreat or camp, it is important to designate them before a disaster occurs. For groups where a number of people are living together, procrastinating will cause someone to lose their room or tent for “the greater good”. This invariably breeds resentment at a time when everyone needs to pull together.

Sometimes, you may find that there isn’t a spare room or tent to assign as a sick room. If you only have a common area to work with, raise a makeshift barrier, such as a sheet of plastic, to separate the sick from the healthy. Even if you have a dedicated sick room, keep group members with injuries separate from those with infectious diseases such as influenza. Although wounds will sometimes become infected, they won’t likely be as contagious as epidemic illnesses.

tent joe's kids

The injured should be separate from the infected, if possible

A sick room in a retreat with air conditioning won’t qualify as decent ventilation when the power’s down. In this case, air ducts are actually more a danger than a benefit. Microbes passing through the air ducts in the sick room to other areas may present a risk for transmission of disease. Cover with duct tape. Keep windows or tent flaps open, however, except in particularly bad weather. Screening may be necessary in areas with lots of insects, or netting provided over the beds.

Furnishings should be minimal, with a work surface, an exam area, and bed spaces. In mild weather, some of these bed space can be outside, as long as shade is provided via a canopy or other means. Hard surfaces are preferable to fabric upholstery, as cloth can harbor disease-causing organisms. Even bedding might best be covered in plastic. The more areas that can be disinfected easily, the better.

It’s important to have a way to eliminate waste products of bedridden patients, even if it’s just a 5-gallon bucket and some bleach. Containers with lids should be made available to put used sick room items that need cleaning.

shutterstock_209173573

Keep a basin with soap and water at the entrance to the sick room

A station should be set up near the entrance of the sick room or hospital tent for caregivers’ masks, gloves, gowns, aprons, and other personal protection items (have a good supply of these items). You’ll should also have a basin with water, soap, or other disinfectant. Thermometers should be dipped in alcohol.

Many consider medical supplies to consist of gauze, tourniquets, and battle dressings, but you must also dedicate sets of sheets, towels, pillows, and other items to be used in the sick room. Keep these items separate from the bedding, bathing, and eating materials of the healthy members of your family or group.

Having a lot of these may seem like overkill to you, but there can never be enough dedicated medical supplies. Expect to care for more people that you’ve planned for. There will always be additions that weren’t planned, and medical items will be expended much faster than you’d expect.

Cleaning supplies should also be considered medical preparedness items. You’ll want to clean the sick room thoroughly on a daily basis. Hard surfaces should be regularly cleaned with soap and water, or use other disinfectants such as a 1:10 bleach solution. Don’t forget to disinfect the doorknobs, tables, sinks, toilets, counters, and even toys.

Wash bed sheets and towels frequently; boil them if you have no other way to clean them. As these items may carry disease-causing organisms, wash your hands after use. The same goes for plates, cups, etc. Any equipment brought into the sick room should stay there.

One additional item that will be important to your sick room patients: Give them a whistle or other noisemaker that will allow them to alert you when they need help. This will decrease anxiety and give them confidence that you will know when they are in distress.

The duties of a medic involve more than how to control bleeding or splint an orthopedic injury. Medical problems involving infectious disease may take a heavy toll on your people if the sick aren’t isolated from the healthy. Knowing how to put together an effective sick room will go a long way towards helping the sick get healthy and the healthy stay that way.

 

Joe Alton, MD

AuthorJoe

Joe Alton MD

Find out more about dealing with infectious disease in times of trouble in our 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon or on this website.

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook 2017 Third Edition

Survival Medicine Hour: Jack of Black Scout Surv., Gallstones, Fish Hooks, More

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jack richland black scout

Jack of Black Scout Survival

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour podcast, Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, welcome back Jack of Black Scout Survival‘s popular YouTube channel to talk about his work and other important issues. Plus, Dr. Bones tells you all you need to know about gall bladder stones, a condition that affects 10-15 percent of the populations, and certainly would be an issue for the medic taking care of a large mutual assistance group.

gall bladder stones

Lastly, some ways to remove a fish hook from an outdoor mishap.

fishhookremoval

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

 

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/04/14/survival-medicine-hour-jack-of-black-scout-survival-gallstones-fish-hooks

 

 

Some of the items mentioned in today’s interview with Jack of Black Scout Survival:

Benchmade SOCP

https://www.amazon.com/Benchmade-Dagger-Combo-Sheath-Skelentonized/dp/B008NBBTAS

BENCHMADE SOCP MEDICAL EDITION

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B06XD3J9LR/ref=pd_aw_sbs_200_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=H44CQTRPYXX6XPD852DR&dpPl=1&dpID=51a-lo20aYL

FELLHOELTER TIBOLT PEN

http://fellhoelter.com/shop/

Zebra pen f701

https://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Stainless-Ballpoint-Retractable-29411/dp/B002L6RB80

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

joe and amy radio

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

 

Fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual items at store.doomandbloom.net

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The family medical bag and just some of its conten

Foot Fungus Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

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Tinea Pedis

The medic in austere settings may have to deal with major medical issues; there are minor issues, however, that don’t threaten your patients’ lives, but can seriously affect their quality of life or work efficiency.  In times of trouble, you’ll need your people at 110%, and many issues, such as toothaches or foot infections, can become a nuisance or worse.

One problem that is very common (and will be more so off the grid) is foot and toenail fungus, also called “Athlete’s Foot”.  When your dogs (by that, I mean your feet) are howling because you aren’t able to change socks often, Athlete’s Foot might be the cause.  Expect this to be particularly relevant in scenarios where you’re constantly on the move.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot (also known as “tinea pedis”) is an infection of the skin caused by a type of fungus known as Trychophyton. A fungus is a microscopic organism that likes dark and humid conditions.

This condition may be a chronic issue, lasting for years if not treated. Neglect can lead to its spread from between the toes to hands and groin.

It’s important to know that fungal infections are likely to be contagious. They can be passed by sharing shoes or socks and even from wet surfaces such as shower floors.  Those affected by Athlete’s Foot may also find themselves with other fungal conditions like Ringworm or Jock Itch (“Tinea Cruris”).

What Are Risk Factors For Athlete’s Foot?

 

Any fungal infection is made worse by moist conditions. People who are prone to Athlete’s foot commonly:

  • Spend long hours in closed shoes
  • Keep their feet wet for prolonged periods
  • Have had a tendency to get cuts on feet and hands
  • Perspire a lot
  • Are male
  • Are older or have chronic medical conditions like diabetes

What Does Foot Fungus Look Like?

athletes-foot

typical appearance of tinea pedis

To make a diagnosis, look for whitish flaky skin between the toes or fingers., which often appear red and raw. The nails may be yellowed, thickened, and “crumbly”.  Toenails may even separate from the underlying nail bed. Itching and burning in the affected areas is common and sometimes becomes severe. If the skin has been traumatized by scratching, you might see some fluid drainage.  Often, the damage caused by scratching is worse than the infection itself, leading to secondary bacterial infections like cellulitis.

Although toenails will appear yellowish in Athlete’s Foot, dark spots (brown, blue, or black) under the nail may be just debris or could be related to other issues. After an injury, a collection of blood under the nail (called a “hematoma”) will be dark and, often, painful. Less often, a tumor such as a cancer called “melanoma”, may first present with a dark or mottled appearance.

Treatment of Foot Fungus

If the condition is mild, keeping your feet clean and dry may be enough to allow slow improvement of the condition. Oftentimes, however, topical antifungal ointments or powders such as miconazole or clotrimazole are required for relief.  In the worst cases, oral prescription antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan) or terbinafine (Lamisil) are needed.

Although creams and ointments cover the skin between the toes more thoroughly, don’t use them too often; excessive moisture may delay healing.

In the worse cases, an infected nail may require removal. If so, it may take a year to grow back.

Patience is a virtue when monitoring the healing process, which may take more than a month for a significant case of Athlete’s Foot to resolve. In the meantime, disinfect shoes with antifungal powders on at least a weekly basis.

Home Remedies

vinegar

cloudy vinegar useful for relief

A favorite home remedy for Athlete’s Foot involves placing Tea Tree Oil liberally to a foot bath and soaking for 20 minutes or so.  Dry the feet well and then apply a few drops onto the affected area. Repeat this process twice daily. Try to keep the area as dry as possible otherwise. For prevention of future outbreaks of Athlete’s Foot, apply tea tree oil once a week before putting on socks and shoes.

5% Apple cider vinegar foot soaks (2-4 cups) may work as well. The acid will kill the fungus, as well as soften and break down the skin changes it causes. Use a washcloth to gently scrub the infected areas. If you notice irritation from the bath, dilute with water.

Others recommend soaks with other items, such as black tea, cinnamon, betadine, or Epsom salts.

Long-term therapy with Snakeroot extract may help. Apply every third day for the first month, and once a week thereafter for two to three months. Alternatively, dip a cotton ball in the vinegar and hold to affected areas for several minutes.

Vicks Vap-o-Rub, applied with a swab, shows partial important in more than half of cases.

One method that doesn’t work is urinating on your feet in the shower. Although there is ammonia in urine that might kill germs, it’s not strong enough to kill the Athlete’s foot fungus.

You might have your own home remedy for foot fungus. If so, feel free to post it in the comments section.

 

Joe Alton, MD

AuthorJoe

Joe Alton, MD

Find out more about foot fungus and other minor and major medical issues related to survival, check out a copy of our Third Edition (700 pages) of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at amazon.com and here at store.doomandbloom.net.

Survival Medicine Hour: Sulfa Drugs, Uva Ursi, Quicklime, More

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Sulfa Drugs

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe Alton, MD (Dr. Bones) and Amy Alton, ARNP (Nurse Amy) examine Sulfa drug antibiotics as an option in survival settings. One of the first antibiotics, sulfa has been credited with saving the lives of tens of thousands in WWII, including Winston Churchill himself, and still has applications today in good or bad times.

Also, the herb Uva Ursi may have some use in urinary tract infections, one of the medical issues that sulfa drugs are effective for. Find out more about this herb in Nurse Amy’s segment on natural remedies.

Uva ursi

Uva Ursi

Plus, Dr. Bones discusses what disasters are most responsible for the most deaths in the U.S. over the last 40 years. The answers will definitely surprise you! Plus, some guidelines on disposal of dead bodies in post-apocalyptic times.

All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/04/07/survival-medicine-hour-sulfa-drugs-uva-ursi-quicklime-more

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

joe and amy radio

The Altons

Please follow us on Twitter @ Preppershow, and don’t forget to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits at store.doomandbloom.net!

Survival Medicine Hour: Disaster Deaths, Antibiotics, XStat, More

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ebola1

In this episode of The Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, discuss an antibiotic called Clavamox that’s used in dogs and cats as a possible survival med. Also know as Augmentin, is it exactly the same as the human drug, as  Dr. Alton found was the case years ago with certain fish and bird antibiotics? You might be surprised.

Also, the military may be getting taken for a ride with the expensive prescription product XSTAT, a syringe of hemostatic sponges used for severe hemorrhages. Sounds good, but does it work and what’s behind the recommendations for the government to add this item to military supplies? And does it have any application for survival medics?

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XSTAT hemostatic syringe

Plus, do dead bodies from natural disasters cause epidemics? Amy and Joe explore this possibility and compare it to Ebola in 2014 and other events. Lastly, a young man wants to take his 6 month old son and wife to Belize, currently under a Zika warning from the CDC. What is Dr. Bones’ opinion?

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/03/31/survival-medicine-hour-antibiotics-dead-bodies-and-disasters-more

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

joe and amy radio

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Video: All About Dysentery

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Shigella boydii

Shigella bacteria

In this video, Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones of DoomandBloom.net, discusses the issue of infectious diseases as the main causes of avoidable deaths in survival scenarios. In particular, he talks about dysentery, a disease that is transmitted by bacteria in contaminated food and water. Here’s all you need to know about this killer in past and future times of trouble. Companion video to a previous article on the same topic.

To watch, just click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe Alton, MD

JoeAltonLibrary3

Joe Alton, MD

Find out more about dysentery and 150 more medical issues in the latest 700 page edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: THE Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at store.doomandbloom.net or Amazon.com!

 

The Vehicle as Terror Weapon

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vehicular-terrorism

vehicular terror

 

In these days of Pokemon Go and other smartphone distractions, you’re seeing more and more people oblivious of their surroundings. In the past, this might get you a bump on the head by walking into a lamp post. In today’s world, however, it could cost you your life.

 

As an Anglophile, I have often visited London and walked from my hotel to parliament and other sites via the Westminster bridge. Today, on the anniversary of the terrorist attack in Belgium, someone used a vehicle to mow down pedestrians on the bridge and then, apparently, left the car to continue a rampage that has left a number of casualties in its wake. The British, after some hesitation, have labeled the event a terrorist attack.

 

Vehicular terrorism is not new, with Israel the scene of multiple attacks in past years. It’s becoming more and more common in the West, however, with attacks in Nice, France on Bastille Day and in Berlin at a Christmas market. In the United States, a Somali student used his car to run over several people at Ohio State University and then perpetrated a knife attack on those who, ironically, ran over to see if he was injured. Many similar events rarely make the news.

 

Terror attacks are often associated with bombs, but making a bomb requires some expertise to assemble safely. Guns, the other preferred weapon, are difficult to come by in most countries other than the U.S. Owning or renting a vehicle, however, is easy. Trucks and cars can cause mass casualties if wielded as a weapon; obtaining one isn’t an act that evokes suspicion.

 

Recently, an article titled “Just Terror Tactics” was published by the English-language ISIS magazine “Rumiyah”.  It described which vehicles will cause the most damage and called for attacks on Western crowds. “It is a simple idea and there is not much involved in its preparation,” the article said. “All what is needed is the willingness to give one’s life for Allah.”

 

The article goes on: “Pick your location and timing carefully. Go for the most crowded locations. Narrower spots are also better because it gives less chance for the people to run away. Avoid locations where other vehicles may intercept you…To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control of your vehicle in order to maximize your inertia and be able to strike as many people as possible in your first run.”

 

The writer also suggested attackers weld steel blades onto the front of an SUV: “They do not need to be extra sharp because with the speed of the truck at the time of impact, even a blunter edge would slice through bone very easily. You may raise the level of the blades as high as the headlights. That would make the blades strike your targets at the torso level or higher.”

 

These tactics represents the new blueprint among terrorists for causing mayhem. Few people pay much attention to traffic unless they’re driving a vehicle themselves or crossing the street. The speed at which a vehicle can accelerate and turn into a crowd leaves little reaction time. Therefore, the “success” rate of this type of terror event may surpass even a gunman’s ability to cause deaths and injuries.

 

I advocate for a constant state of “Yellow Alert” when in public spaces. By that, I mean a calm but vigilant observation of what’s happening around you. Look for anomalies in behavior that might warn you of nefarious intentions. For example, hopping up and down and screaming may be normal at a rock concert, but it’s an anomaly at Starbucks.

 

This attitude is useful, but it’s difficult to respond quickly enough to avoid an oncoming car or truck.  When a vehicle moves erratically or leaves the normal pattern of traffic, it’s an anomaly that requires quick action. Mentally noting routes of escape whenever you’re in public will give you the best chance of escaping. Just as knowing the location of exits in a mall or theatre is good policy, a heightened awareness is now important at any public area near roadways.

 

For vehicular terrorists, the target will be crowds of people near the street. Their objective is mass casualties, and those pedestrians nearest the curb will bear the brunt of the attack. Consider walking on the fringe of a crowd away from the road to give yourself the most options. In the center, the masses, not your own good judgment, will dictate your movement.

 

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Bollards

Municipalities can protect their citizens from vehicular terrorism by constructing barriers known as “bollards” which stop vehicles from entering pedestrian areas. These can be seen outside many government buildings and airport terminals. Expanding their use to areas that attract crowds would be an important consideration for the future.

 

I’m not the only one thinking of how to deal with vehicular terror. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a release warning of vehicular terrorism and how to identify an imminent attack. The release acknowledges the time issues in reacting to such events, but includes the following things to look for:

 

  • Unusual modifications to vehicles, such as frontal reinforcement.

  • The purchase or rental of large or heavy-duty vehicles, especially if there is nervousness during the transaction, payment in cash, or lack of familiarity with the vehicle’s operations.

  • Commercial motor vehicles or heavy equipment being operated in unusual locations, such as particularly heavy pedestrian areas.

  • Attempts to approach areas closed to traffic, such as street festivals or farmers’ markets.

  • A vehicle operator’s apparent unfamiliarity with operating a commercial vehicle, such as trouble with gear shifting.

I’ll admit that the likelihood you’ll be in the path of a terrorist using a vehicle, or any other weapon, is very small. Panic isn’t the answer, but these are troubled times; the more situationally aware you are, the safer you’ll be.

 

Joe Alton, MD

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Dr. Alton

 

Find out more strategies for dealing with terror attacks and 150 other topics related to survival in the Third Edtion (700 pages!) of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available on this website or Amazon.

 

 

 

Survival Medicine Hour: Blood Clotters, Wound Closure, More

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stabwound

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy discuss improvised tourniquets and some TCCC guidelines regarding hemorrhage under fire or in normal times. Blood clotting agents are introduced and Quikclot/Celox are compared. Plus, when should a wound be closed and when should it be treated as a open wound from beginning to full recovery?

celox

Celox hemostatic agent

All this and more from a Survival Medicine Hour on the road, this time in Chicago, Illinois!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/03/17/survival-medicine-hour-blood-clotters-wound-closure-more

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy