Emergency wound care is one of the primary building blocks of survival. Do you know how to treat a sprain, a fracture, an open wound, or a severe burn? These are things we believe everyone–not just those interested in survivalism–should know. Here are some tips for some of the most common types of emergency wound […]
This week in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast Lisa and I talked about some of the pros and cons of antibiotics for preppers. Antibiotics are a big concern for people in the preparedness community because some sicknesses and infections are impossible to cure without them.
Infections were a major cause of death before the advent of antibiotics. Diseases that were prevalent in the past are virtually nonexistent because of antibiotics, the problem is that bacteria are becoming resistant to them. Bacterial resistance is inevitable, because bacteria will always change in order to survive.
With the widespread overuse of antibiotics from inappropriate prescriptions and extensive agricultural use, antibiotics are quickly becoming ineffective. It is estimated that in just a couple generations, we will be in the “post antibiotic age”.
With that being said, antibiotics will still be useful for preppers in any sort of post collapse scenario where medical help is limited, or nonexistent. It is up to us to understand how to use them, when to use them and learn ways to prevent the need for them in the first place whenever possible.
SPP180 The Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for Preppers
In this week’s show is not only a cautionary show about antibiotics, but also about what antibiotics might be useful if used correctly, and even some fish antibiotic alternatives.
Here are some notes from the show, but for more detail please listen to it. Lisa is an RN and goes into much more detail about antibiotics than I can here.
IMPORTANT: This is not medical advice, these are just our opinions and suggestions on the subject. This advice is for SHTF scenarios when medical help is not available. If at all possible, seek medical advice from professionals.
Why Antibiotics Shouldn’t Be choice #1
Prevention: Like the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Whenever possible we need to understand how to prevent something from escalating to the level where antibiotics are needed. Something as simple as a cut could turn into something bigger if not treated correctly.
Boost Your Immune System: There are things we can do today that will decrease our need for antibiotics. Maintaining a healthy diet, and eating the right foods will boost our immune system, and help us fight some of these bacteria’s.
Research Alternatives to Antibiotics: While some of these alternatives are not the “magic bullet” that antibiotics are, they might be the only alternative available. This article here goes over some herbs and other antibiotic alternative.
Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks: Because you can’t actually “feel” the antibiotics working, there is the misconception that they have no side effects.
In this article here HoneyColony states: “While not all antibiotics have long-lasting side effects, there are some that can actually cause permanent damage to the body. Here is a list of five of the most widely prescribed antibiotics with serious side effects.”
What will Antibiotics Treat
Antibiotics are medicines that only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics won’t treat viral infections because they can’t kill viruses. Antibiotics only work against infections caused by bacteria, fungi and certain parasites.
They don’t work against any infections caused by viruses. Viruses cause colds, the flu and most coughs and sore throats. It is important to note that some viral infections can turn into bacterial infections.
Overuse of Antibiotics Today
We don’t need to take these antibiotics to become immune to them, and we don’t actually become immune, the bacteria does. Because of antibiotic overuse, certain bacteria have become resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available today. Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and one that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.”
Livestock producers routinely give antibiotics to animals to make them grow faster or help them survive crowded, stressful, and unsanitary conditions. Because of this, some bacteria become antibiotic resistant, threatening the future effectiveness of these medicines.
Will Fish Antibiotics Still Be an Option?
Fish antibiotics are a popular subject with preppers because we can get large quantities of these without a prescription, even though they are the same thing as human antibiotics. In any post collapse situation, prescription antibiotics will not be readily available, and fish antibiotics would be a good alternative.
There has been some concern lately about the Veterinary Feed Directive which will go into affect on January 1st 2017. I have read a few conflicting reports about what this means for preppers, and the availability of fish antibiotics. From what I understand this won’t affect fish antibiotics, but they could become more expensive.
3 Likely SHTF Uses for Antibiotics
Uses for Antibiotics http://www.bpac.org.nz/Supplement/2013/July/antibiotics-guide.aspx
Infected Wounds: Penicillin would be your first choice because it is a broad spectrum antibiotic, although some people are allergic to cillin antibiotics. Other alternatives could be Keflex and Bactrim. Fish antibiotic alternative could include Fish Flex and Fish Pen.
Common Illnesses: While antibiotics do nothing for the common cold or viral infections, they would be useful for illnesses such as pneumonia and strep throat. A broad spectrum antibiotic like Bactrim, Amoxicillin would also be useful.Fish antibiotics could include Fish Penn and Fish Mox.
Food Borne Illness: In a SHTF event, the lack of refrigeration, eating expired foods, and improper food preservation could lead to quite a bit of food borne illness. Because there is such a wide range when it comes to food born illnesses we are going to dedicate an entire show to this.
Next week we will go into much more detail about preventing food borne illness, and what to do if you happen to get sick from eating something tainted with E. coli or salmonella.
For more information on fish antibiotics in general, here is an article from The Modern Survival Blog that goes into detail about the different types of fish antibiotics.
Also From the Show…
Contest Ends Tonight: As we mentioned in the podcast, the Christmas Contest ends tonight at midnight. Click here to get your entries while you can.
Academy Christmas Pricing: We also have a special going on at the Survivalist Prepper Academy until January 1st where you can join at half price. Click here to find out more.
BOB First Aid Kit Discount: We also talked about getting $10 off our Bug Out Bag First Aid Kits when you use the promo code “bob” (without quotes) at the SHTFShop.com
Hollywood and Dr. Google have made everyday people into self-proclaimed medical experts. People with no experience in the medical field know terms like “tension pneumothorax ” because they heard it on television. They know just how to fix it, too. Just jab a pen or a straw into a person’s chest, right? Then there are […]
The post 13 First Aid Myths That Could Get Someone Hurt (Or Worse) appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
Many people are intimidated by first aid treatment methods. Because it’s associated with doctors, who are some of the most intelligent people in the world, people assume first aid must be very complicated. As a result, many people tend to shy away from first aid skills. And now it’s gotten to where most people don’t […]
After a major disaster, your survival is going to hinge on your skill set. While having a cache of food, water, and other supplies will certainly be helpful, knowledge is the real necessity. Especially when it comes to first aid. All the medical supplies in the world are useless if you don’t know what to […]
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In this week’s Survivalist Prepper Podcast we did a segment called Ask the Rescue Ninja (Ask the R.N.) where Lisa answered some listener questions. Here are some of the show notes for those questions, and you can listen to the show here.
How about when/ when not to suture a wound after SHTF
In my opinion, the only time I would ever suture a wound is if I had made a surgical incision. If I did not, I would not suture it. The main reason to suture a wound is to help it heal faster, however you run the risk of infection if you suture a dirty wound shut.
You can put in a drain, and then suture the wound closed, but you are still leaving an opening, which bacteria can get in, so I am of the mind set to leave it open, and do dressing changes. As an example, when my horse cut open his leg we tried 3 times to get it to the point where we could suture it closed, and it just wasn’t happening. But by keeping it covered, it healed and there is only a tiny line scar. Not the fastest way to heal, but it healed, even in a ‘poopy’ environment, literally.
How to take care of poison ivy, oak or sumac after SHTF?
- Steer clear of areas where you know they grow.
- Cover up with closed shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeves, and gloves. Wash any clothes that come in contact with poisonous plants as soon as possible.
- If you get exposed, wash your skin with soap and warm water right away to get the plant’s oils off your skin. Some experts say that washing within the first hour may help limit the rash.
- Use a cold compress, calamine lotion, non-prescription hydrocortisone cream, or an antihistamine to ease itching.
How to make the decision whether to use antibiotics or not
If you fear an infection, and it seems to be spreading, I would use an antibiotic. Signs of a spreading infection are:
- Smelly discharge, or increasing drainage of a wound
- Pain that is not relieved by medication
If I were not able to distinguish what the bacteria was, I would probably use 2 antibiotics to get the widest possible coverage. So I would grab my nursing drug guide book, and find antibiotics that had the broadest spectrum of killing bacteria. Bactrim (Sulfa drug) and Augmentin (Cillin based antibiotic) would have the largest spectrum of coverage. But, you also need to know if the patient has any allergies to penicillin, or sulfa drugs, and if they do, you can’t use them.
You also have to be careful, because once you start treating an invading bacteria, you will also destroy the beneficial bacteria, and you may need to take steps to replenish that beneficial bacteria, with probiotics, etc. Fish antibiotics are a good alternative in a SHTF scenario.
What can be used for pain when a wound needs to be sewed up?
You can buy lidocaine gel, and you could put that on some 4×4 gauze, and apply it to the area to help numb it before you cleaned it, or sutured it closed. However, if there is infection present, no amount of numbing medication is going to help, it will still hurt, which is a good indicator you should NOT be suturing the wound closed. Also, unless the trauma just occurred, and if the wound has been open for over 4 hours, you should not suture it closed.
Also, as a side note, the fascination with suturing a wound closed seems to be a HUGE topic of interest. If you are thinking you should be suturing a wound, get the training first, or, you can always use butterflies, or steri-strips, as this will bring the edges of the wound together, and allow the wound to heal without suturing the wound closed.
Another thing that is a lot easier and quicker would be to use staples. This is super-fast, easy, and no knot tying, just boom, boom, boom, done! Just be sure to have a staple remover, so you will be able to remove the staples once the wound has healed.
The post The Survivalist Prepper Podcast: Ask the Rescue Ninja appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.
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In the event of any number different of disasters, our access to medical help could be severely reduced, or even nonexistent. In these SHTF scenarios it also means that our public services will be affected as well. No running water, no trash man, no electricity and no grocery stores.
In events like these, we will need to have the ability to treat wounds until we can get further assistance (hopefully) and make sure we reduce the risk of secondary infections, and prevent illness caused by unclean conditions, or unclean supplies.
When things are not as easy as walking into a hospital to get your wounds treated, and we are going to have to make some sacrifices when it comes to the way we expect things to be done. With our state of the art medical services and facility’s in the U.S. it is an expectation that everything is clean and sterile when we visit any medical professional.
When we become the only “medical professional” available, we need to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure everything is clean and sterile as possible to prevent secondary infection. This is easier said than done, because if there are no hospitals (or they are overcrowded) that means something major has happened, and we will be affected as well.
Without power, without running water and without waste removal, conditions can (and will) become unsanitary very quickly. While we can’t control what other people do, we can make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent illness, and reduce the risk of secondary infections.
SPP156 SHTF Wound Care: Safety & Sanitation
Most Common SHTF Illnesses
The book Survival and Austere Medicine gives you a perspective of what may be possible in a long term catastrophic disaster or when working in an austere or remote environment without access to organized or trained medical care.
This book was written in 2005, but covers quite a few first aid topics from medical supplies, to alternative medicine. Click her to download the PDF.
One part of the book that stuck out to me was what some of the common illnesses might be, and how as preppers we might be too focused on the wrong things.
“A recent Internet survey asking about medical risk assessments in a major disaster came up with the following results:
“What do you see as the most likely common source of medical problems?
- Battlefield injuries 5 %
- Lack of surgical care 36 %
- Environmental related 8 %
- Infectious disease (naturally occurring) 64 %
- Infectious disease (biological warfare) 20 %
- Nuclear conflict (radiation, blast, burns) 4 %
What you may have to deal with will depend on what happens. Obviously a nuclear war will produce a different set of problems than a pandemic. However, regardless of whatever the initial triggering event after the initial wave of injuries or illness associated with it the majority of medical problems that happen will be common, and mundane, and not nearly as interesting as the above survey results suggests.”
Secondary Infection & The Civil War
During the Civil War secondary infection resulting from injury’s killed more people than the injury itself. There was a 28% mortality rate for amputations, but a 52% mortality rate from the amputation itself. While we have made great advancements in medicine since 1860, the conditions and supplies could be similar in an SHTF scenario.
Hopefully we won’t need to be amputating any legs, but there are a number of smaller injuries that could turn into bigger injuries if we don’t treat them properly in the first place.
Cleaning, Treatment & Protection For Wounds
If we find ourselves in the position that we need to be the person administering first aid, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of secondary infection. Just because something looks clean doesn’t not mean it’s sterile, and ongoing care might be necessary for some wounds.
Clean vs Sterile: An item is sterile when it is made completely free of measurable levels of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungal spores) by a chemical or physical process of sterilization, and clean is the absence of dirt and visible debris.
In the show Lisa and I talked about the 3 stages of wound care and some things we can do to not only help a wound heal quicker, but reduce the risk of infection.
Wound Cleaning: The first step is the most important, you will need to focus on removing the dirt and debris that may have entered the wound. This could be as easy as rinsing off a smaller injury with saline, or getting a little more “down and dirty” with larger wounds.
In the show we talked about instruments to clean out larger wounds, some antiseptics and some of the things we need to understand before we even attempt it.
Wound Treatment: Proper wound treatment starts with cleaning, and then an antiseptic. As anyone who listens to the show knows, Lisa advises you use Silvasorb Jel for preventing bacterial growth that may still be around the wound. Silvasorb is a little more expensive than Neosporin, but well worth it.
Wound Protection: One of the best ways to ensure you have proper wound healing is to use a dressing to cover it completely until it is healed. This will not only help with the healing process, but it will easily protect the wound from contamination, which is essentially one of the greatest dangers it will face.
We went into much more detail about these 3 steps in the show, so for more information on these make sure and listen.
SHTF Sanitation & Prevention
In the show we also talked about how our living conditions can affect our health is a SHTF scenario, and how there are some things we won’t have control over…like what our neighbors do.
In the show we also went over some ideas for removing human waste and trash, and how issues like these that we take for granted could not only be a real pain, but dangerous to our health as well.
Also From the Show
Ask The Rescue Ninja: This week in the show we did a segment called “Ask the Rescue Ninja” (The RN) where Lisa answered some questions our audience had for her. She answered questions about Suturing wounds, poison ivy and using antibiotics. I put these answers on a separate page, and you can view those here. Again, for more detailed answers you can listen to the show.
MeWe Social Media: A member of the Facebook group brought this social media website to our attention, and they boast more privacy than the other big social media sites. You can read more about their privacy here, and sign up for our private group here.
Contest: This month’s contest will be over next week, so make sure and get your entries while you can. This month we are giving away a trauma kit, 2 Tac-Bar ammo cans and 3 PakLite flashlights. Click here to enter the contest.
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Having a good first aid kit is critical to becoming prepared, but for some injuries a 2 x 2 gauze pad and some antiseptic are not going to cut it. Although we hope we never need it, having an individual trauma kit, or a larger trauma kit (and knowing how to use it) might literally become a life saver.
Depending on our situation as preppers and civilians, I don’t see most of us having to handle mass casualty’s, I think the Most Likely Situations could be on a smaller scale. However, something large scale is not out of the realm of possibility.
We are most likely to use our trauma kits for treating gunshot wounds or knife wounds because we needed to defend our home or ourselves.
It’s not always about a SHTF situation either. Natural disasters can cause extreme physical damage if we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Burns, breaks and lacerations need to be considered as well.
You might find that a trauma kit is even useful today. Accidents happen all the time around the home, or you might be the first on the scene of an automobile accident. If you have a trauma kit (and know how to use it) you can help until professional help is available.
IMPORTANT: I’ve said “Know what you are doing” a couple of times now, this is because even if we have the best intentions, we can do more harm than good.
Leave it to the professionals if at all possible. The purpose of a trauma kit is to help until real help arrives. EMT’s, medical professionals and military personnel have been trained for this, just because we have watched a few videos doesn’t make us qualified.
With that being said, in situations where there is no help coming, we need to have a trauma kit ready. It could be an individual trauma kit for hiking or putting in the car, or a larger trauma kit for the family.
SPp152 Trauma Kit Supplies for Preppers
Buying Medical Supplies Online
It can be a little tricky when you buy these supplies online because some people are trying to unload expired, or close to expired products.
If you are looking for something to test out, you can get a good deal of first aid supplies this way, but if you are looking for something to put in your trauma kit, make sure it states the expiration date.
Example: I used eBay links in this article, when I searched for Quick Clot I searched for “Quick Clot 2020” to refine the results.
Preppers Trauma Kit Contents
Here are a few of the supplies you want in a trauma kit that we talked about in the show. This is not a complete list, but it is the main components of a trauma kit.
Bolin or Halo Chest Seal
A Bolin chest seal has one way valves that allow air and liquid to escape, but not enter the wound. A Halo chest seal has a tab you pull to burp the wound and also comes with 2 seals for entry and exit wounds.
Israeli Battle Dressing
An Israeli bandage is basically a compression dressing on steroids, it has multiple uses, and is much more convenient as long as you know how to use it. This video shows you how it works.
Olaes Modular Bandage
These Olaes Bandages are a little like the Israeli battle dressing with a few differences. It’s not necessary to have both in your trauma kit, but if you have the room, why not?
Tourniquet (TK4 or Other)
A tourniquet is pretty self-explanatory, and even a belt will work in a pinch. The TK4 tourniquet is nice because it can be used one handed.
These are used to immobilize an injury. Sam Splints are great if someone breaks an arm or leg immobilizing it will not only relieve some of the pain, but reduce the risk of further injury.
Compressed Gauze Roll(s)
Compressed gauze has quite a few uses from packing a wound to using it as a bandage. Kerlix gauze is a little more expensive, but is more absorbent and larger.
If you are just packing a wound though, there is no reason to use the expensive stuff, have a little of each…or a lot.
Quick Clot vs Celox
In the show we talked about how Quick Clot gauze and Celox gauze are only to be used If a tourniquet is not viable or can no longer be used, or the blood loos can’t be controlled. There is much debate about which is better, but to me Celox seems a little safer.
This is a tube that you stick down the nose (naso) and into the throat (pharengeal)
A Nasopharyngeal airway is used to keep an airway open, used by emt’s, paramedics, and trained medical professionals. There are certain instances when you would not insert a tube into the nose, which is why you really should get the training to do it before attempting it.
There are a few different models of CPR masks available, but the uses are basically the same. A CPR mask is used to keep you safe, and less apprehensive about sucking face (for lack of a better term) with someone who is in critical condition.
The image above is the higher quality CPR mask, while the video shows the lower cost alternative.
Closing a wound with stitches is one of those procedures that you need to know what you are doing, and know when it is necessary. This is something that should be left to the professionals whenever possible, but we are planning for an event where that isn’t an option right?
You could probably use any pair of scissors, or even a knife to remove restrictive clothing or remove bandages, but EMT shears have a tongue (or flat spot) at the end to prevent you from cutting the patient.
As I said in the podcast, Steri Strips are the poormans stitches, if Steri Strips can be used, they should be used. These allow “stuff” to escape the wound, and can be replaced easily when necessary.
You might not need the smaller “Boo Boo” Band-Aids in your trauma kit, but then again you might. These take up so little room that it’s better to be safe than sorry. You will also want some larger Band-Aids because sometimes the patient might have multiple smaller wounds.
We have said this a few times before, but nitrile gloves are much better than latex gloves no questions asked. There are some people who are allergic to Latex products, so why take the risk when the quality is the same.
Betadine vs alcohol vs Iodine Swabs
Betadine and iodine are similar, chlorhexidine swabs work really well, and have antibacterial properties that will continue to offer protection for up to 72 hours after it has been applied.
There is less risk of allergic reaction to chlorhexidine than to betadine or iodine. It is also interesting to note, people who have an allergy to iodine tend to be at a higher risk to having an allergic reaction to Xeroform gauze, so keep that in mind in your first aid kit.
I cannot stress this enough, any time you are working on a person, you need to stay as clean as possible, especially if there is a break in the skin, otherwise you WILL introduce bacteria into the body. Before doing any type of treatment, always always always wash your hands, and use hand sanitizer.
Anything that has to go onto an open area must be sterile, to prevent infection, which is secondary to the original injury, but is more likely to cause damage, even death to the patient.
Personalizing Your Trauma Kit
These are just the major components of a preppers trauma kit, but there are many more items you can (and should) add to your kit like, eye wash, an ice pack, ammonia inhalants etc.
Here is huge list of trauma kit supplies and discussion from the American Preppers Network Forums.
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When it comes to prepping, the old adage two is one and one is none comes to mind. This is extremely accurate, with maybe one exception when it comes to first aid supplies that you should have when preparing for the unknown.
When you think you have enough medical and first aid supplies, multiply that by about 10 and you should be good for an unexpected emergency. If you think you have everything you could possible need, and have never had an emergency to use it for, trust me, you will need more.
Unfortunately for me, I actually had a medical emergency recently that I had to put my emergency medical kit into use. Now it was not a human medical emergency, but it was an emergency nonetheless.
I know most of you don’t have horses, but the reason I am writing this is because of the lessons I learned, and how it applies to an emergency situation for humans as well.
If we need to deal with a major injury in a SHTF scenario, this is a good lesson learned. This even applies today if we need to bandage them up until medical help is available.
SPP 144 First Aid Supplies, How Much is Too Much?
For those of you who don’t know, we have two horses. And of these two horses, one is always getting himself into mischief. So he has earned the nickname Dennis the Menace. He is always getting into trouble. And about a week ago he got into the worst trouble yet.
I am not sure what happened, he got spooked somehow and put his back leg through the back of his stall. The back of his stall was metal, and he kicked clean through it. I was awake at the time (thank god) and I heard a ruckus coming from outside. I quickly grabbed my headlamp and went outside to investigate what was happening.
I pointed the light at the horses, and Ethan (aka Dennis) had blood gushing down his back leg. Somehow I kept my witts about me, got his halter on and tied him to a hitching post. I grabbed my equine first aid kit out of the barn, and proceeded to use EVERYTHING in the kit to create a compression dressing to stop the bleeding.
I went through three rolls of vet wrap, three abd pads, and a roll of duct tape, and there was still blood coming through the dressing. I grabbed more duct tape and created a tourniquet as best I could to cease the blood flow. Thankfully I have a vet who is available 24-7, and about 45 minutes later, he got to us.
The horse managed to gash his leg and cut through his saphenous vein, which is why there was such a large amount of blood. This is a little gross, but the bold was actually squirting out every time his heart pumped.
The good news is horses have a lot more blood than humans. Since I got to it right away, he did not lose enough blood to be in danger of bleeding out, however the amount of blood lost, that I witnessed, was incredibly scary, and all I could think of was getting it to stop bleeding.
He is recovering from his injury now, and as long as I can keep the laceration clean, and infection free, he should recover well, and no permanent damage done.
But now that I have had time to think about this situation, and how I quickly, in one emergency depleted my equine first aid kit, I have determined I was in no way prepared to handle multiple emergencies in a long term situation. So, just how many supplies would I need to have on hand to deal with whatever would come our way?
The answer is; much more than I have right now!
The good news is emergency’s don’t happen on a daily basis. And a lot of the first aid supplies that are a part of a good medical kit have very long expiration dates. So you can keep adding to your kit over time in order to have a lot of supplies.
But once you start accumulating more and more first aid supplies, you will need a storage plan to keep it all. Plastic storage bins are an excellent way to keep your extra first aid supplies together in one place.
If you have livestock, you will need to incorporate their first aid supplies in to your plan as well. So you will need a first aid kit for people as well as your animals. And you may want to plan for longer term, so bulk up your supplies as much as you can, when you can.
You will want to have supplies for every day cuts and scrapes as well as the more life threatening emergencies, such as blood loss, fractures, and infections.
Don’t overlook the everyday things, such as daily maintenance medications for conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In an SHTF scenario there may not be help coming any time soon, so you need to be prepared to deal with the emergency on your own.
To go back to my own emergency that happened, after the shock had worn off (sort of, I’m still on edge honestly) I had to go back and replenish my first aid kit(s), and add extra.
So this is what I added to my pets first aid kit…
- 10 rolls of vet wrap (generic equivalent)
- 5 rolls of kerlix gauze
- 6 velcro closure ace wraps in various sizes
- 6 2 liter bottles of water
- 1 box of nitrile gloves
- 12 rolls of tape (different kinds, medical, elastic, etc.)
- 2 rolls Elastikon medical tape
- 2 rolls of duct tape
- 3 packages of non-sterile 4×4 gauze sponges
- Wonder Dust (equine coagulant)
- Chlorhexidine cream
- Bute powder (this is prescription pain reliever for horses, I got it from my vet)
- 12 track bandages (for leg wraps-knit material)
- 3 packages of wide cotton roll
- Also various antibiotics, these were all acquired from my vet, I prefer the oral type, but unfortunately, now I have injectable antibiotics for horses now too, penicillin and gentamycin. But I have to say, giving a HUGE injection to my horse every day for 5 days proved to be too much for me and the horse, so I was left to use the powdered oral antibiotic, which is a sulfa based drug.
- 2 tubes of silvasorb gel
And then that made me start thinking about my ‘people’ medical supplies, and how much do I have, vs. how much I should have. Granted a large animal is going to require a lot more due to their size. But it is better to have the stuff, and never need to use it, kind of like an insurance policy. So that is how I look at my first aid supplies, and insurance policy for the safety of my family.
This is what I added to my people first aid supply kit:
- 2 boxes nitrile gloves, medium and large
- 10 rolls of cling gauze wrap
- 10 rolls of thick obsorbant kerlix gauze rolls
- 2 rolls of duct tape
- 10 rolls of medical tape
- 2 rolls Elastikon medical tape (my new favorite)
- 3 packages on non-sterile 4×4 gauze sponges
- 2 boxes of Band-Aids, various sizes
- 6 velcro closure ace wraps of various sizes
- 2 tubes of silvasorb gel
- Chlorhexidine swabs
- 1 box of various sized steri-strips
- 4 – 6 inch Israeli battle dressings
- 1 bottle of each of the following: ibuprofen, muccinex, Benadryl liquid, Tylenol, allergy tablets, like Claritin,
- 5 rolls of vet wrap
It may seem like overkill, but as I stated before, this is an insurance policy, and hopefully I will never have to use all of this stuff. But I would rather be prepared and have it, and not need it, than to need it and not have it. I will continue to bulk up all of my medical kits, and will most likely add things that most people will not need, such as needles, and IV start kits, but that is because I have been trained how to use it.
One thing you may have noticed I did not add to any of my first aid kits is suturing equipment. I am of the opinion if I don’t have the training to use something, I am not going to wing it, and when it comes to suturing, I do not have the experience so at this time, it is not a part of my medical kit. However, this may change in the future, but for now I don’t have it. Going back to my horse story, the vet came out three times in attempts to suture the huge gash closed, but the horse would not cooperate, and the window of opportunity passed, so we decided to leave it open, and let it heal by secondary intention (meaning, no sutures). Yes, it will take longer to heal, and yes, there is a risk of infection, but that just means I have to be more diligent in caring for the wound until it matures and heals. This is something I am willing to do in order to have a good outcome.
I feel the same way in regard to people. If I didn’t make a surgical cut, the last thing I want to do is seal it up. So yes it will be a more difficult task, and take longer to heal, but sometimes that is the better way, especially if there is something in the wound (like debris, or contaminants) that the body will help to push out. If it is sutured closed, you could potentially be trapping the contaminant inside of the body.
When in doubt, don’t do it. Again, this is my opinion. How you choose to handle a situation like this is up to you.
Another thing to think about, if you have never witnessed an emergency happen, attend some classes and get some training. No it won’t stop emergencies from happening, but you will be more prepared to handle a situation should it occur. Then if something does happen, hopefully your training will kick in, and make it easier to handle the emergency.
Get the training BEFORE something happens. Practice what you have learned. Have drills, and run through a scenario to get your hands in there so you will have a plan of what you would do in an emergency situation.
You will never be prepared for every scenario, but the more you plan and practice and learn, the better prepared you will be if something happens.
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This time of year it seems like everyone is getting sick. Colds and flu are prevalent and very contagious. Just as an example, the office that I work in has had a large majority of the workers ill. Some do the right thing and stay home, but others feel they have to come to work, so they in turn expose everyone who is healthy to their dirty germs.
So if this happens to you, how do you stay healthy? How do you keep the dirty little germs away from you, so you don’t take it home to share with your family? And if you do end up getting sick, how do you ensure that it will not be a long lasting illness?
There are many things you can do to keep yourself healthy, and keep the germs away. First things first, you have to boost your own immune system. How can you do this? It is a process, and will not happen overnight, but if you can keep your immune system functioning at its highest level, your body will be better prepared to fight off invading organisms, whether it is viral, or bacterial.
SPP140 Staying Healthy when Sickness is Everywhere
According to the Harvard Medical School these are:
- Eat a healthy diet with a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Try to stay away from processed foods, and watch out for sugar hidden in the food that you eat.
- Exercise regularly, meaning at least 30 minutes of intentional exercise every day.
- Try to maintain your weight at a healthy level.
- Drink only in moderation, and don’t smoke.
- Get enough sleep.
Wash your hands thoroughly, and try not to touch your face. Do this all the time so it becomes habit. Because of you only practice this when you think you are around sick people, it is too late. In many instances, people are contagious when they show no symptoms. So by making it a habit to wash your hands, and refrain from touching your face on a regular basis, you will help to keep yourself healthy.
So now you know the basics of keeping your immune system fully charged, what can you do to prevent yourself from succumbing to the illness that occur around you on a seemingly daily basis? There are several things you can do at home and work to keep yourself healthy, and hopefully not come into contact, or at least lessen the likelihood of getting sick.
While you are at Work
Wipe down your workstation. You never know who was using your stuff when you were away, so have wipes stored at your desk that you can wipe down everything before you get to work. It may seem daunting, but isn’t a few minutes of cleaning worth it to stay healthy?
Keep hand sanitizer at your desk. This is important for those quick in between moments when you remember to wash or sanitize your hands. Since I work in a doctor’s office, this is easy for me. I have a Costco size bottle of hand sanitizer at my desk for everyone to use, and I put it out as a visual reminder for everyone to sanitize your hands when you are standing at my desk.
Don’t share utensils, food, or anything else with your coworkers. This may gross some people out, but I have seen where co-workers share a soda, drink, snack, or even eating utensils. Please don’t! Personally, I think this is disgusting, because I can picture all of the bugs crawling around on someone’s hands because they didn’t wash their hands after stopping at the bathroom. (eeeeewwwww!) But trust me, it happens. So this means I don’t share my snacks that are in bags, like chips, popcorn, etc. And I definitely don’t let people use my coffee cup or drink from my water bottle. But like I said earlier, I have seen people do it.
Keep hand sanitizer in your vehicle, or purse. When you are getting in your car or waiting at the bust stop to go home, don’t forget to clean your hands before starting your car. Because everything you came into contact with on your way out of the building, door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, hand rails, is now being transferred from your work, to your car and potentially into your home. So take a moment and sanitize your hands before driving off.
Separate pair of shoes for home. This may seem odd, but when you are out and about try and think about all of the places the bottoms of your shoes have seen….the bathroom, kitchen, and not to mention even the sidewalks. Do you know what lives on these surfaces? Me neither, so why take that chance of bringing it home with you? Have a pair of shoes reserved for work, and take them off and put on a different pair once you get home.
While you are in your Home
Keep your home clean. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it something simple you can do on a daily basis. Keep your floors clean, take out the trash, do the laundry, dust, and wipe down walls, door knobs, and wall switches. Keep your refrigerator clean, as well as your food prep areas.
Change your bed sheets and pillow cases. Especially when there are germ-ies, but all the time too. Change your sheets weekly, and wash laundry frequently. Don’t wait until there is a mountain of laundry to be done. By staying ahead of the game, and always keeping the dirty laundry in check, you are decreasing the possibility of you coming down with an illness, or spreading it throughout your house.
Air out the home. Although it might be cold, you really should air out your home, even in the winter months. Our homes are so sealed anymore, the air inside of it is basically recirculating, so once a month or so, open the windows, and let in ‘new’ air. Your home will smell better, and it will help to get the stale out of your home.
Change furnace filters monthly. And get the good furnace filters. Filters can function at a antimicrobial level and filter your household air.
Add some humidity. It is easy for viruses to travel if the air is dry, which might account for more illnesses during the dark winter months. But by upping the humidity level in your home, it is harder for the germs to travel. Maybe it weighs them down? Honestly, I have no idea, but I do know that by increasing the humidity in your home does help to keep you healthier. You can use humidifiers, vaporizers, or even boiling water on your stove. But by adding moisture to the air, it will help decrease how easily germs can travel through the air.
But what do you do if you do get sick?
Inevitably, all of your planning and preparing will not be 100% and you will come down with a cold, or get it from a family member. So when it happens, be vigilant to make it a short time of you being down.
Stop the PDA-being in close contact with your spouse or loved one will put you or them at greater risk of getting sick. So even though it is difficult, try and refrain from it. Now in the case of having children, they need the comfort from their parents, especially if they are the ones who are sick. If your babies are sick, hold them and hug them for their comfort, but understand you will probably get sick too. That is unless you have been boosting your immune system, then maybe your body will have a good fighting defense to protect you.
Get plenty of rest. This is not only important to help keep your body functioning well regularly, but it is even more important when you are ill. By resting, or sleeping, your body is busy rebuilding itself, and if you are constantly on the go, your body can’t fight off whatever bug has invaded your system.
Stay hydrated. Warm liquids seem to help a cold, maybe it is the warmth, or the comfort it provides, but the warm liquid also helps to keep everything flowing, this includes when you are congested. Try tea with lemon and honey. You get the added health benefits from the tea itself, and the lemon and honey. But if drinking hot tea is not to your liking, just be sure to drink at least 8 glasses (8oz) of fluid every day, and more when you are fighting a cold. The idea is to flush your body, and increasing the liquids will help you to achieve this. Yes you will be going to the bathroom more, but if it helps to shorten a cold it’s worth it, don’t you think?
Pain relievers. These are important too. They can help to ease the discomfort that often comes along with a cold or flu. Over the counter pain relievers work well, just be sure to follow the instructions on the label. After all, they are medications, and you don’t want to take too much.
Homeopathic Remedies for Sickness
Sometimes you can get incredible relief of cold and flu symptoms with remedies that have been passed down through the generations. For example…
Relieve an earache, heat up salt in a frying pan and put it in an old sock. Hold the hot sock up to your ear (not touching the skin) and the heat will relieve the pressure and pain. The salt holds in a lot of heat, so you get relief for a long period of time.
Rubbing Vicks vapor rub on the soles of your feet. I have no idea of how or why this works, but it really does. It also keeps your feet soft! It may sound silly, and you may doubt that it works, but the next time you get sick give it a try, it won’t hurt anything, and it may make you feel better!
Essential oils are incredible and a wonderful addition to your home remedy cabinet. Do some research though before using them, but you can add them to diffusers, baths, and homemade cleaning products to help keep you healthy as well as shorten the duration of a cold.
Many essential oils have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. My favorites are lavender, lemon, pine, cedar wood, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and thieves (a blend of essential oils). In order to use the correctly though be sure to learn about them before using them so you will get the best benefit of each individual oil.
To give you an example of how I use essential oils, here is a recipe that I use for a general household cleaner especially in the winter months to help keep the germs away.
Thieves All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
What you will need…
- 1 16oz. Spray bottle with sprayer
- 1 cups warm water
- ½ cup vinegar
- ½ cup isopropyl alcohol
- 2 tsp. dish soap
- 25 drops Thieves essential oil
What you will do…
Add all ingredients to the spray bottle and attach the sprayer. Gently shake the bottle and use as you would any spray cleaner.
I use this on door knobs, countertops, hand rails, in the bathroom……well pretty much everywhere. It works great as an all-purpose cleaner that can be used everywhere in your home.
Links From the Show…
Today I want to share another interesting video by The Patriot Nurse. In this one she talks about the 5 most common injuries people will get after the SHTF. This is a very helpful list because if you know what the most common injuries will be, you’ll know […]