Please consider supporting our efforts.
The key to medical preparedness is planning for the possibility that you may not be able to receive professional medical treatment when an injury or illness presents itself. In the present, we simply go to a family doctor, urgent care center, or emergency room when medical assistance is needed. The harsh reality is that these securities can be interrupted rather easily. Mother Nature can disrupt our normalcy bias with little to no warning; Hurricane Katrina (2005), the 2011 Joplin Tornado, and Hurricane Sandy (2012). These storms have proven that traveling to a doctor may not be an option during an emergency situation, especially during the onset of the disaster. Roads could be congested, closed, or blocked, emergency and medical responders could be overwhelmed, or you may have been directed to Shelter in Place. So, what happens if you suffer a major injury during this time period? Do you have the required medical supplies on hand and the knowledge to bridge the gap until you are able to receive proper medical care?
Saline solution has many medical uses, and can be used as a sterile rinse and disinfectant. Saline solution can be purchased commercially, which is the recommended method if you are conducting IV therapy and wound management. However, you can make your own saline solution for basic first aid procedures, using common household items.
The Individual First Aid Kit, or IFAK, has become a “buzz word” of the Preparedness and Survival communities; conduct a simple YouTube search for IFAK to see what I mean. The IFAK is standard issue for every U.S. service member deployed in combat, and given my combat experience as a soldier and defense contractor, I can tell you that IFAK’s save lives daily. Hopefully, that series of events you are preparing for is nothing like what our brave men and women face on foreign battlefields every day. But, if you ever need to treat a major traumatic injury, at a minimum you will need an IFAK.
Right, so you have been designated the "Medical Officer/Doc/Medic" for your group’s retreat/BOL and you need to set up a "clinic area" to deal with any, but hopefully not too many, patients. If you are new to this task, it can be overwhelming. The following article leverages my experiences dealing with outdoor concerts and multi-day events, to come up with a basic list of things to make your clinic function efficiently.
Download the Handout: The Medical Clinic
Airway management can be any number of procedures intended to assist a casualty victim in maintaining a patent (open) airway so that the victim can either breathe on their own or, receive ventilation through mechanical means. Maintaining a victim’s airway can be a very simple, or an extremely complicated procedure, dependent upon any number of factors. As your group’s emergency medical caregiver, you will have to understand these factors in order to assess the victim’s airway condition and then make the most appropriate determination as to how the airway should be best managed. If a victim cannot breathe, irreversible brain damage will result within four to six minutes. Death will not be far behind.
Download the Attachment - Airway Management.
An often overlooked aspect of survival is first aid. Sure, most of us carry a small first aid kit in our Survival Bag or vehicle, but how long would you expect this kit to last? Even if you had a moderate amount of medical supplies stored at your home, you run the risk of exhausting your supply in just a few days. For those that take first aid and medical treatment to the extreme, you understand the importance of long term medical care.