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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More on medical preparedness

Another point of medical preparedness is having what you need where you need it. Personally, I have several medical kits: my main one, one in my car, one in my “hurricane kit,” one in my pack for camping, a pocket one for hiking, and so on. Have a kit near-by whenever you might need it, but you don’t have to have everything in each kit. Tailor the kits to whatever activity you are doing. My mother is diabetic—she is likely to be in my home and my car, but not in my camping tent and the last time that she went on a hike Regan was president…so where do I keep my sugar tabs? What you place in each kit is up to you, the possible items will reflect your ability and needs. Purchasing a good commercial kit and adding to it is a good place to start. You don’t have to break the bank, start small and work with what you have and can get. By all means, maintain a “medicine cabinet” in your home. That way you are less likely to find that someone has taken all of your bandages from your main medical kit in a few months when you go to check on it, taking instead the Band-Aids™ from the medicine cabinet.

Packaging your kit is important. Imagine this, you have your nice, neat little medical kit stuffed full of goodies. Then you try to use it to care for someone. They are bleeding. There is a lot of blood. They are screaming. To say the least, you are distracted…and all of your dressings and bandages are where in this kit? Try to organize everything so that you can find it quickly.

FYI: a dressing is what you put against a wound. A bandage is what you use to hold the dressing in place.

In combat medicine school we were taught to organize everything with Zip-Lock™ bags. If you have all of your dressings and bandages in one big bag, with different sizes in different bags, finding what you want in a hurry is easier. Keeping everything clean and dry is simpler. Plus, you can use the Zip-Lock™ bags themselves. Everyone knows that you can put ice in one, wrap it with a piece of cloth to make an ice pack, but what about a heating pack? Fill one with a warm liquid (heated water, coffee from a thermos, even freshly voided urine) and you have a heating pack that you can place in someone’s armpits and groin to treat hypothermia. Same with an ice pack, if it is very hot (or cold) don’t put it against bare skin, instead wrap it with a piece of cloth—otherwise you might burn them. Got a bad cut? Fill a Zip-Lock™ bag with potable water (anything clean enough to drink, even if you have to use a purification tablet) zip it closed and poke a hole in it with a safety pin and wash out a wound with the resulting stream. Get creative. Consider wrapping a swath of duct tape around your kit. Duct tape has a million uses, and in survival medicine it is great for holding dressings in place. If a wound has been well cleaned and isn’t bleeding much, small strips of duct tape can be used to pull and hold the wound edges together, in lieu of sutures/stitches. But making sure that the wound is clean and can be closed like this takes a little bit of training, so for next time… Prep on...............................

Monday, January 18, 2010

when Anarchy comes

Hati is a perfect example of what happens when tshtf. I was here in Katrina and when things got desprite & security is lacking, this is the kind of crap that prevails. You must be ready or you are in for a world of hurt.Even if you are ready you may be out numbered or caught off guard ,get a plan of operation for your family.Well you can always wait on uncle Sugar to take care of ya....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Welcome to a new contributor from Louisiana

I would like to welcome Wayne to the blog.He has experience in the Medical field that could be very valuable and will be contributing his thoughts on this blog in the future.(many more I hope) So let's give Wayne a big hello.......................BY the way we might need his services in the Dome today if everything goes good,WHO DAT!!!!!

Ok, a quick bit about myself: I am an RN, I have been an EMT and a paramedic. I was a corpsman in the Navy and have taught many classes, including wilderness medicine. I have been through several hurricanes, earthquakes, prolonged power outages, toxic spills, and so on. I consider preparedness to be both a hobby and a way of life.

Preparedness involves many areas: shelter, food, water, protection, etc. One area that is often touched upon is the need for medical preparedness, but often little is mentioned beyond simple prevention and trauma care. It is important that everyone be able to care for his or herself and loved ones so as to keep them not only safe but also well.

Medical preparedness is a vast subject and can only be touched upon here. Briefly, you have to evaluate your needs, your abilities, your resources, and your possible needs. Figuring out your abilities (what level of training do you have?) and resources (what supplies and medications do you have on hand) should be straight forward, but needs and possible needs? What is the difference?

Your needs are your immediate medical concerns. In today’s society we have many individuals who are dependent upon medications and/or technology in order to maintain health, if not just to live. For many in this category preparation will necessitate extensive foresight and preparation. More on this latter.

Possible needs—not only what you are likely to need but what you dang well might need. Most of us can name a few possible needs, such as being able to care for cuts or a broken bone. But what about hypothermia? Ok, given the weather that we have been experiencing of late probably everybody is at least a little concerned about that, but what about in May and June when you are preparing for hurricane season? Hypothermia in June? In Louisiana? It can happen. Remember, water can carry heat away from the body 25 times faster than air. Get someone wet for a bit, especially if there is a little wind and they will get cold. A friend of mine, a Navy corpsman, told me once of a jungle op he did with a platoon of Marines where he had to treat 5 of them for hypothermia. The temperature was in the 80’s, but it had rained… That was in a Pacific jungle, now imagine if a hurricane comes through and you are trying to clean/patch up afterwards, it is overcast, there is a little rain, you stay outside because you have a lot of work to do…

What I am trying to get at is that when evaluating your possible needs you must consider every likely threat that you may face, though not every possible threat. Being ready to treat a hypothermia victim in Louisiana in June is reasonable, but you are not likely to encounter someone with frostbite (though I have twice, in Louisiana, both in the summer). Look a little ways outside of the box when you are putting your medical kit together, and try to consider things that you might need without over doing it. Got a diabetic family member? Consider keeping some sugar tabs and a spare $30 meter/test strip kit. Severe blisters can be hobbling, but moleskin and blister pads don’t take up too much room…same with a tube of anti-fungal cream. Be creative, brainstorm, but remain realistic. Find a good sturdy box or bag to keep your main kit in, not too large nor too small, and make everything fit in it. If you have stuff spilling out, you have over done it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cold Weather coming

While we are fortunate to dodge terribly cold weather most of the time this weekend will not be one of them.COLD weather is a coming & Fast.After a little rain today we are about to get a taste of what our friends in the North deal with on a regular basis.Better HURRY & make sure your pipes are protected,Animals are squared away & have fresh anti-Freeze in the cars.It wouldn't hurt to have enough food & whatever other supplies you can't do without for a couple of days.If we happen to loose power It will get ugly fast.If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace get your wood together.Make sure you have some gas if you have a generator.this could not only save you some Big bucks from freeze damage but could also save a life.
Good Luck & prep on.......................
Louisiana Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Louisiana Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.