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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About First Aid for Your Eyes March 21, 2017

There probably isn’t any part of your body that is more sensitive, exposed, or crucial to your survival than your eyeballs. You use these soft, delicate organs during every waking moment and for just about every task, but unfortunately the only thing that protects them are a few eyelashes and 1mm thick eyelids. Evolution is cruel like that.

So given the vulnerability of our eyes, it would be wise to brush up on the first aid measures that should be taken in an emergency to protect them. Below are the most common eye injures and the protective procedures that you need to take to prevent further damage, at least until you can see a doctor:

Chemical Exposure

If a caustic chemical ever gets splashed into your eyes, your first knee jerk response will probably be to close them. In this instance however, that’s a bad idea. You want to keep your eyes open so that the chemical doesn’t get trapped under your eyelids. Find a source of water and rinse them out for 15-20 minutes while keeping your eyes open the whole time, and seek medical attention.

Foreign Debris

We’ve all had some kind of debris in our eyes at one point or another. It’s a situation that your eyes are normally capable of correcting themselves by tearing up and washing the debris away. But if the condition persists, refrain from rubbing your eyes. It’ll only irritate them more. Pull your upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If that doesn’t work, you need to pull open both eyelids and roll your eye around before rinsing it out. You can repeat that process a few times if it doesn’t work right away.

Embedded Foreign Object

If you have a foreign object embedded in your eye, the measures you need to take aren’t what you might expect. Unlike the previously mentioned first aid procedures, you’re not supposed to wash out your eyes (this also applies to any cut or puncture wounds to the eye). You’re also not supposed to remove the object. Find something that you can place over the eye without applying too mush pressure to it, such as large, loose-fitting goggles or a plastic cup; then seek medical attention.

Blunt Force Trauma

The most important thing to do if you suffer a blow to the eye, is to reduce the swelling. Apply a cold compress or ice to the eye for 5 or 10 minute intervals. You can also take ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. After a 24 hour period, begin using a warm compress instead. You need to look out for any bleeding or vision problems. Or if it hurts to move your eyes, there may be damage to the eye socket. In those cases, you need to find a doctor.

Welder’s Flash

You probably already know that the light from a welding arc can hurt your eyes. This is called “welder’s flash”, and it’s why every welder has to wear a mask with tinted glass. However, there’s a good reason why this condition goes by many names, including “snow blindness” and “corneal flash burn.” It can be caused by any overexposure to ultraviolet light. Sunlight that reflects off of snow, sand, or water can also cause the condition.

The symptoms may include eye pain, severe light sensitivity, bloodshot eyes, blurry vision, and a gritty sensation under the eyelids. To treat the condition, you need to stay indoors in a dark room and wear sunglasses as much as possible for 1 or 2 days. You should also be applying artificial tears on a regular basis. If you wear contact lenses, remove them until your eyes heal. Most victim’s of welder’s flash find that a cold compress helps alleviate the symptoms. If your symptoms continue for more than a couple of days or worsen after 1 day, then you should see a doctor.

 

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/first-aid/eye-care#blows-to-the-eye

http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/eye-injuries-treatment

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/snowblind.htm

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 21st, 2017
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The Prepared Home: 50 Essential Items to Put in Your Ultimate Survival Medical Kit February 28, 2017

Would you have the supplies you needed to stop a severe bleed? Do you know what household items you could use if someone was suffering from dehydration? What will you do if someone in the home has shortness of breath?

Short-term disasters can bring on a myriad of medical situations and they can occur very quickly. Because of the disaster, roads may be impassable, or in some cases, the hospitals may be at capacity and cannot take in any more patients. With that in mind, it is important to know what the most common medical emergencies are and prepare accordingly for them. In 2006, The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) released a 2006 Emergency Department Summary that gathered statistics of emergency department use, including the most common reasons adults and children sought medical care and treatment. Having medical supplies that could assist in these common medical emergencies would be proactive on your part.

    •  Children fever
    • Childhood earache
    • Various injuries such as sprains, strains, broken bones
    • Chest pain
    • Abdominal pain
    • Back pain
    • Shortness of breath

In short-term disasters, prepare for water-related illnesses. This will be very common given the close proximity to contaminated water sources. In The Prepper’s Blueprint, it states, “The relationship between communicable diseases and disasters exist and merits special attention. When there is a short-term emergency, there is an increased number of hospital visits and admissions from common diarrhea-related  diseases, acute respiratory infections, dermatitis, and other causes. These type of medical issues are due to those coming in direct contact with flood waters contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. These contamination factors will cause irritation to skin and a host of other medical conditions.”

In longer-term disasters, burns, cuts, rashes and secondary infections will also be very common medical emergencies to prepare for. Folks, these are the disasters you will likely face and it is imperative that you prepare for this with proper medical supplies and knowledge.

I realize that there are a lot of medical conditions to think about. The best approach is to look at the basics and prepare for those. Many medical items can be used for multiple disasters, so take comfort in this and prepare accordingly.

Build the Ultimate 1 Year Medical Supply with These First Aid Basics

Experts suggest that each home have a basic medical supply that is unique to your family’s needs. Therefore, keep any preexisting conditions and allergies any family members may have, as well as the above list of the most common medical conditions that hospitals see. It is within your best interest to ensure that you have any and all necessary medications that require prescriptions before an emergency happens.We all have our fair share of band-aids and antibiotic ointment, but do you have medical supplies that can help with true medical emergencies? The following list is your basic medical preparations broken into sections of need to help in your organization.


Hygiene

  • Liquid antibacterial hand soap – 20
  • Disposable hand wipes – 20
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer – 20
  • Feminine items – 12 packages
  • Extra baby needs (diapers, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, medicine, etc.) – in quantity
  • Exam gloves – 5 boxes

Essential Medical Tools

  • Trauma shears
  • Pen light or small flash light
  • Scalpel with extra blades
  • Stethoscope
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Foam splint – 2 per family member
  • Thermometer

Over-the-Counter Products

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever (for adults and children) – 5 bottles
  • Stool softener – 5 bottles
  • Electrolyte powder – 3 boxes
  • Cold/flu medications – 2 boxes per family member
  • Expectorant/decongestants – 3 per family member
  • Hydrocortisone – 3
  • Miconazole/anti-fungal – 3
  • Syrup of Ipecac and activated charcoal – 2
  • Eye care (e.g., contact lens case, cleansing solution, eye moisture drops) – 3 per family member

Natural Supplements

Wound Care

  • Disinfectant (Betadine, isopropyl alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) – 2 per family member
  • Band-aids – 3 large boxes in assorted sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment – 5
  • Instant cold and hot packs – 10
  • 1 week of prescription medications – as many as you are able to get with your prescription
  • Ace bandages – 10
  • Non- stick gauze pads in assorted sizes (3×3 and 4×4) – 10 boxes
  • Sterile roller bandages – 5
  • Surgical sponges – 5
  • Adhesive tape or duct tape – 5
  • Steri-strips – 5
  • Moleskin – 3
  • Respirator masks – 4
  • CPR microshield – 1 per family member
  • Suture kit – 3 per family member
  • QuikClot® compression bandages – 2 per family member
  • Tourniquet – 2
  • Thermal Mylar blanket – 1 per family member
  • Antibiotics

*These are your minimum quantities. If you are able to do so, prepare for more.


Customize Your Supplies

Many believe that a basic store-bought medical kit will provide for all of  their medical needs, but these kits tend to be overloaded with unneeded items (i.e., 500 band aids). Buying your own medical supplies allows you to customize your kit to fit your family’s unique needs and is more economical. In fact, you can purchase many of these items at your local Dollar Store to save money.  Customizing your family’s medical supply gives your family members the best chance at being cared for when a medical emergency arises. Further, take your preparedness a step further and organize your medical preps and create medical response packs for quick acting.

Storing Medical Supplies

How you store your first aid supplies is every bit as important as having the supplies in the first place.

Medicines can lose potency or spoil if they are subject to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and light.  For example, aspirin begins to break down when it is exposed to a slight amount of moisture.

Unless the instructions indicate otherwise, store medications in a cool, dark place that is out of the reach of children.   However, you still want to store the medical supplies in a place that is easily accessible to adults, who may need to respond very quickly in the event of a medical crisis.

Check expiration dates periodically to ensure the medicines are still good to use.  While most medicines lose potency once they’re past the expiration date, there are a few that will actually make a person extremely ill if taken after it spoils.  For example, tetracycline antibiotics that have spoiled can cause a severe, sometimes deadly, kidney ailment.

Signs of Expired Medicines

Although there is data that states most medicines can last longer than their expiration dates, it is important to understand that using medicine years past its expiration date can lose effectiveness and in some cases, change its chemical makeup. If you are in a survival situation where your life depended on an outdated drug, then it is wise to follow the cliché “better safe than sorry”.

Knowing the signs of expired medicine can help indicate when new items are needed.

  • Creams or ointments which are discolored or have changed in texture.
  • Creams or ointments which have cracked or separated.
  • The medicines smell has changed since it was opened.
  • Tablets are broken or chipped and have changed color.

Source – www.generalmedicine.suite101.com

Bear in mind, there are some medications that should never be used after their expiration and could have severe consequences for patients. These include:

  • Anticonvulsants – narrow therapeutic index
  • Dilantin, phenobarbital – very quickly lose potency
  • Nitroglycerin – very quickly lose potency
  • Warfarin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Procan SR – sustained release procainamide
  • Theophylline – very quickly lose potency
  • Digoxin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Thyroid preparations
  • Paraldehyde
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Epinephrine – very quickly lose potency
  • Insulin – very quickly lose potency
  • Eye drops – eyes are particularly sensitive to any bacteria that might grow in a solution once a preservative degrades.

Source

Don’t limit first aid supplies to your home

Store a first aid kit in the car (being careful with heat sensitive items) and also tuck some medical supplies into your 72-hour bag. This way, you can be ready to deal with medical emergencies wherever they happen to occur.

To conclude, there will always be the threat of completely unanticipated disasters, but your overall preparedness should enable you to effectively deal with those situations when they arise. This year supply of first aid items will enable you to prepare for medical emergencies when the hospitals aren’t an option.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 28th, 2017
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Emergency Wound Care: When All You Have is in Your Pantry February 14, 2017

Without access to hospitals and emergency medical care during off-grid emergencies, a simply infection from wounds can become life-threatening. Having knowledge of alternative medical treatments using natural wound therapies could save a life.

 

Years ago, the Mrs. and I made a major move.  We had a specific timetable to adhere to, and as we were moving ourselves, efficiency was the word that exemplified our overall goals.  About an hour before we were going to batten down the hatches and hit the road, she slipped and slammed her shin on the edge of the moving van’s bumper: a combination of a laceration and abrasion, as well as potential for a broken bone.

What to do on something such as this?  Well, we certainly had enough antibiotics and (if it was broken) the hospital was close by.  She/we decided on some ice, a bandage, and (so as not to go into our antibiotics) herbal aids.  Oregano is one of the best herbs to have on hand for natural medicine and an astringent can  be made from oregano tincture to wipe down the abrasion.


Oregano Tincture

  • Add handfuls of oregano flower and leaves to a pint-size jar and cover them with 80-proof alcohol, such as vodka.
  • Allow the jar to sit for 3-6 weeks out of sunlight.
  • Strain the mixture and transfer to a tincture bottle, or proceed to make a double-strength infusion.

For oral dosage: The standard adult dose is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day, as needed. Children usually get 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult dose.

To make astringent: Add 1 tablespoon oregano tincture to 1 cup of distilled water.

Learn more ways to disinfect wounds using pantry staples


Wound Care Made with Sugar and Honey

Once we applied the astringent to the wound, we made up a sugar formula that was common during the Napoleonic era:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Mix sugar and honey together and pack the laceration with it, spreading it liberally upon the abrasion and dressing it.

Monitor and change dressing daily.


Why Sugar and Honey Is Great For Natural Wound Care

We’re talking about plain white sugar, here: the same kind vilified for the diet is actually very beneficial with regard to wound therapy.  The sugar promotes tissue repair, while fostering an antimicrobial, anaerobic environment regarding the wound.  The sugar can be mixed with honey or glycerin (honey is cheaper and easier to get a hold of).  On some kind of laceration, you can pack it with the mixture after cleaning out the laceration with clean water and/or a mild astringent (such as the one I first mentioned).

The dressing needs to be changed once every day, and the packed laceration monitored for signs of swelling and tenderness.  Also, put fresh mixture to cover the overall wound, and then redress it with a fresh dressing and bandage.  The sugar will also reduce the amount of scarring and enable the wound to heal at a faster rate.

Sugar can also be used as an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), in combination with table salt.  Take a one-quart bottle (remember how I advised to save those empty Gatorade and Power-Ade bottles, the 32-ouncers?  This is why.), and fill it up with water, leaving a little space.  Put ½ cup of your sugar into it, and about ½ tsp of salt.  Voila!  You have effectively made your own field-expedient “Gatorade,” minus the potassium.  The reason this is good is that the sugar will provide quick sugar to the bloodstream, while the salt will help to replace what you have either lost from sweating or from trauma.

Your sugars and honeys (yes, honey is a form of sugar) can be used to sweeten up a tincture that you might have to take in water.  If you have ever had Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), it is one of the worst-tasting substances you can imagine.  We adults can grin and bear it, but when you’re administering a tincture to a kid, it is a big help to make it taste not quite so bad.

Honey For Wound Care

Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed.  For the wound-packing mixture I advised above?  Honey is the medium that keeps the sugar from falling out of the wound and congeals it to keep the dressing viable longer.

The reason these should be kept in mind: when the SHTF they are easily found.  You’re much more likely to find either of these two (sugar and/or honey) in a gas station or convenience store out in the middle of nowhere than a Cephalosporin such as Keflex (Cephalexin, if you prefer) for a soft tissue injury.  That’s what this is all about: winning with the weapons you have and tailor-making things you can rely on.  Practice with them sometime for something minor.  You’ll see results and build confidence in what you do.  That’s the way!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 14th, 2017
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