Survival Guide: The Book All Survivalist and Preppers Need ( 3 in 1 ) (2016)
Performing First Aid In The Wild
When you are stranded in the wilderness, anything can happen anytime, and a first aid kit may really come in handy. In all cases, appropriate clothing, cleanliness, and a good diet will reduce your risk of harmful situations.
You can usually avoid infections, diseases, and even insect bites by maintaining a proper diet. It goes without saying that you need to bathe every day, but if this is not an option, make sure that you wash your hands regularly. You can make soap using animal fat or ashes, or by boiling the internal bark of a pine tree. Mash the edge of a green twig to make a toothbrush.
In case of an accident, it will be up to you to take responsibility of the situation. The exact series of events to follow when dealing with such a circumstance is:
*Stay calm to allow quiet and efficient first aid treatment
*Lay down and keep patient warm. Do not move until you’ve determined the extent of your injuries.
*Stop any breathing
*Check for injuries, breaks, fractures, and cuts on the spine, neck, or head
*Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid removing clothing
*Prepare a conducive living area where there is food, heat, and shelter
So how do you move on after an injury? Well, this will depend on the severity of the injury. Let’s discuss this in detail:
#6. Major Injuries
*Lift the wounded region above the heart.
*Apply pressure using sphagnum moss, dried seaweed, clean cloth, or gauze.
*If bleeding does not stop, apply pressure at the pulse area between the heart and the injured area.
*If bleeding persists, apply a tourniquet between the heart and the injury.
*Once you’ve controlled the bleeding, use a disinfectant (if available) to wash the wound and apply bandages and a dressing.
A fracture can be either open (compound) or closed (simple). Signs of a fracture include:
*A grating sound or sensation when the injured area is moved
*Inability to apply pressure on the area without feeling pain
*The area may be deformed
Start treatment as follows:
*If not sure, assume the injury is a fracture
*Immobilize the joints below and above the fracture
*If there’s a risk of the facture penetrating the skin, you may need to apply traction to reverse the deformity
*Make sure you’ve padded your splints, checking the splint ties regularly to ensure they do not prevent circulation
*Use a clean dressing to cover any open wound before splinting
This occurs when the ligaments close to a joint break, allowing the bone to move from its socket. Unless you’re a trained professional, it is ill-advised to treat a dislocation as it may lead to permanent damage. Just use a sling or other tool to support the affected extremity, and control the pain using aspiring or other similar drugs.
These are usually followed by an outflow of watery blood from the ears or nose, as well as vomiting, headache, and convulsions. Keep the patient warm, give a painkiller on a regular basis, and give the body some time to rest and heal.
Apply water on the affected area for the first day, and then let it stay for a day when the swelling has decreased. You should splint the sprain and immobilize it until all the pain has disappeared.
This is very common when there’s insufficient water. The body becomes salt-depleted and dehydrated, leading to a weak and rapid pulse, faintness, nausea, and cold & clammy skin in some cases. Treatment involves salt & liquid tablets, and plenty of rest.
This usually occurs because of too much sun exposure. The body becomes inflamed, providing excessive blood to your circulatory system. This can lead to dizziness, headache, rapid pulse, and hot, flushed face. Heat stroke inhibits the natural ability of the body to cool itself, and can cause death if not addressed quickly.
Get the patient under a shade, and remove any restrictive clothes to facilitate evaporation. Find water to pour on the body, even if it is contaminated, and allow it to evaporate from the skin. You can also fan the victim to speed up the cooling process. The victim should then take water in small amounts after every few minutes, as large amounts can cause vomiting.
These occur when muscle accumulates too much lactid acid, or loses salt through perspiration. You can treat by stretching, deep breathing, and resting, and restoring the salt balance right away.
These are usually accompanied by shock. Provide a pain reliever instantly – cover gauze with Vaseline and apply on the affected area. Bandage, and provide the patient with more drinking water than usual.
These are common, and are usually caused by ill-fitting footwear. Remove your socks and boots, and cover the affected area with an adhesive tape. If you have to open a blister, wash the region thoroughly first before injecting the edge of the blister with a sterilized needle. Apply disinfectant and secure with a bandage.
These are common in the mountains, and can occur when you take large amounts of water without ingesting salt tablets, your brain tissue swells after sweating excessively for a few days, experience “water intoxication” or constipation, tension in the neck, and have insufficient eye protection. You can also use aspirin to alleviate the pain, although you should determine the source of the headache to avoid further discomfort.
This happens when the tissues of a region, usually the face, finger, or toes, are frozen from either high wind or direct contact with the elements. When dealing with first degree frostbite, the area can turn numb, white, and cold. When heated, it turns red and appears like a first-degree burn.
Second degree frost bites, on the other hand, form a blister after warming.
Third degree is associated with a loss of some tissues and skin, as well as gangrene and dark skin.
Fourth degree frostbite leads to irreparable damage. The part can remain lifeless and cold, and cause a part of the affected area to tear off.
You can easily avoid frostbite by wearing adequate clothing. You can treat superficial frostbite by cupping your hands and blowing against the affected part.
Start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation immediately. With the patient on his or her back, proceed with the following steps:
*Lift his/her neck to open the airway and tilt head backwards
* Pinch the nostrils to stop air leakage
*Put your mouth fully around the patient’s mouth, and start blowing as you watch out for chest expansion
*Remove your mouth, and listen for air exiting the victim’s lungs. Wait for the chest to fall, and if it doesn’t, look for an airway blockage.
Do these steps repeatedly for about twelve to fifteen times per minute.
This is when all your body processes become depressed, and can be associated with any injury, no matter how small. Shock can be intensified by such factors as pain, cold, and hemorrhage. When in shock, you may feel weak, and eventually faint. Your skin becomes clammy and cold, and your pulse rapid and weak. In fact, the shock can be more threatening than the actual injury. Here’s how to prevent and manage shock:
*If there are any injuries: stop bleeding, restore breathing, and treat fractures and breaks
*If there are no chest or head injuries, lie the patient on his or her back with the legs higher than the chest and head to facilitate blood circulation to the lungs, heart, brain, and other significant organs.
*Lift the upper body if there are any severe chest and head injuries. For chest injuries, let the injured side stay elevated on the side to help the uninjured lung function properly.
*If the patient loses consciousness, lie him or her face down on the floor to prevent chocking on the tongue, vomit, or blood.
*Keep patient warm and sheltered
#9.Animal related injuries
In case you encounter a snake, you should ease back slowly. It is very rare for a snake bite to cause death, and you can actually stay for up to 8 hours untreated. After an attack:
*Keep the victim calm, and reassure him/her that the bite can be treated effectively. Restrict movement, keeping the affected part right below heart level to limit the flow of the venom. Movement only makes the venom to circulate faster.
*Clean the area where the there is a bite to remove any venom that may have been left on the surface.
*Take off any constricting items such as rings because the bitten area may swell. Construct a light splint to minimize mobility of the area.
*In case the affected area starts to change color or swell, the snake was likely poisonous.
*Monitor vital signs – blood pressure, breathing rate, pulse, temperature. In case of shock, lay the person flat on the ground, lift their feet up, and cover them with a blanket
*If you cannot get medical attention within 30 minutes, wrap a bandage tightly 2-4 inches above the bite (towards the heart) to reduce the flow of venom. Ensure to wind around and move up then down over the bite and then past it as you move towards the hand or foot. The idea here is to make it tight enough to allow minimal blood flow. You don’t want it too tight to cause tissue damage when you cut off circulation. Besides, if the bandage is too tight, the patient will tend to move the limb reflexively and this is likely to move the venom around, something which you are trying to avoid. You can immobilize the limb using a sling or splint to ensure that there is minimal movement.
In addition, keep the patient on bed rest while the bite site is lower than the heart for about 24-48 hours.
Tip: Draw a circle around the affected area if possible. The idea here is to help you to track improvement or worsening of the site clearly.
If you had a snake bite kit in your survival bag, simply place the suction device over the bite to help draw venom out of the wound. Ensure to leave it on for about 10 minutes. If you do this fast enough, you can remove up to 30% of the venom.
Only use this if absolutely necessary:
Make an incision (which is no longer than six millimeters and not deeper than three millimeters) over each puncture ensuring to cut deep enough to enlarge the fang opening. As you do this, be careful not to go past the second layer of the skin. Then place a suction cup over the bite so that you can have a good vacuum seal. Try to suction the bite site for about 3-4 times. If suction device is not available, you can use your mouth but ensure that you don’t have open sores (venom is transferred through blood and open tissues and not the digestive tract). Ensure to spit the envenomed blood out then rinse your mouth with water.
Note: Ensure to move quickly (within a minute) to administer some of venom removal strategies above if you really want to get as much venom out as possible.
Unless you have a severe allergy, bee stings are relatively harmless. Just remove the stinger and apply disinfectant. You can usually remove the stinger by scraping up & down from the affected area using a knife blade or fingernail.
Being stung by a scorpion or spider is more serious, and there is little you can do for treatment, unless you have an antivenin by chance. In any case, watch out for anaphylaxis, and then clean and dress the affected area. In addition, treat yourself or the victim for diarrhea, vomiting, and shock, should they appear. Spider bites cause ulcerated areas that are stubborn to heal. Cover the ulcers to avoid infection.
When your body’s temperature falls down to such a level that your vital organs are unable to function, this is known as exposure sickness or hypothermia. Hypothermia usually develops rapidly, and is brought about by cold, windy/wet weather that chills your body at a faster rate than it can generate heat. Lack of proper clothing and energy producing food will increase the rate at which you’ll be affected by hypothermia. Always make a point of packing extra clothing, if possible. Symptoms include:
*Uncontrollable numbness and shivering
*Rigorous shivers. Your mind slows down and begins to wander
*Rigorous shivering stops and muscles start to stiffen and become uncoordinated
*Respiration and pulse slows down
*Victim stops responding and loses consciousness
*The part of your brain that controls the lungs and heart stops functioning
Treatment should be quick and proficient:
*Move victim away from the elements, and into a sheltered area
*Replace wet clothes with dry ones
*Bind warm rocks, and put them near the victim
*Make sure the victim does not lose consciousness
*Give him/her a warm drink (non-alcoholic)
*Exhale warm air close to the victim’s nose and mouth
This occurs when your body becomes overheated because of increased air temperature, reflected or solar radiation, excess bulk or a low fitness level, or poorly ventilated clothing.
*Presence of heat cramps, which should be treated by transferring the patient to a sheltered area and providing water & salt tablets
*Heat exhaustion, which is accompanied by such symptoms as vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, clammy skin, fainting, dizziness, and headache. Treatment is similar to heat cramps.
*Heat stroke, in which the patient’s perspiration will be significantly diminished, become aggressive or apathetic, have full pulse, and a hot & flushed face. For this, cool the patient as quickly as you can, being particularly mindful of the chest, neck, and head. If the body’s temperature continues rising, it may lead to convulsions, delirium, unconsciousness, and eventually death.
You can avoid hyperthermia by steering away from strenuous activity during hot days, wearing a hat and loose clothing, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking salt tablets.