It is not that easy to categorize the advantage of understanding first aid procedures. It is at some level comparable to doing car repairs, but this time you’re making repairs on humans. This is actually the bodies of your family, friends and even your own. Knowing how to give first aid, give medicine and transport wounded or sick persons will be a great knowledge to have. It could actually save lives.
These skills gets more important when SHTF as there might not be anymore any infrastructure such as hospitals operating. These skills are also important when you are far away from civilization, such as in the middle of great wilderness. Therefore, having the practical understanding of applying first aid in the wilderness is a must have knowledge.
Wilderness First Aid
Firefighters, doctors, and paramedics will not be readily available to take care of emergencies in the wilderness. Perhaps it may be that you are in the company of friends, country skiing or backpacking. It may equally be that a nuclear winter has cut down all emergency services.
Whichever may be the reason, it is most likely that at some point, you will find yourself in situations where knowing medical basics will be most helpful. Even the fundamental and foundational knowledge would make much difference to saving a life. Is a fact that the more proficient you are in this aspect, the better and safer it will be for you and those in your vicinity.
What comes next is a very basic first aid course. You should, however know that this does not replace real first aid course. You will just get a very basic idea about what to do. Here is a lot of information, but it is not sufficient to qualify you as a professional. It is recommended to attend wilderness first aid course, CPR class, an EMT certification or get basic a medical degree.
Safety first – try to avoid need of emergency medicine
This is a compulsory opening statement, but quite important too; the best solution is prevention. By ensuring that both you and those you have around are safe and out of danger, you are avoiding the need to apply any form of medical first aid knowledge. It still remains an important useful addition to your skill, but it is also one you will wish to not have a need to use just like an earthquake insurance or a fire extinguisher. The bottom line is that you should stay safe as much as you can and you’ll reduce the need for medical first aid treatment.
Good way to stay quite safe everywhere is to look around your continuously, be aware of whats going on. Think always what could happen, what could happen in this situation. It could be home made weapon that could explode on your hands, it could be old tree that could collapse over your shelter, it could be snake that can bite or it could be diesel generator that causes monoxide poisoning while sleeping, or it could be group of “zombies” attacking your house. It’s quite easy to develop sixth instinct for dangers, and avoid those.
Unfortunately, the disastrous situations do happen, and occasionally SHTF. in a such situation knowing how to handle the medical emergency situation is the real deal, and could be also a life saver.
Initial observation and patient’s examination
This is an initial step taken to address a medical condition. Observe and examine. When you are faced with an emergency, be it your friend who slipped and broke a wrist or someone you really don’t know who fainted in the forests, you should ensure to check to know if the place is safe. You won’t want to run into danger yourself to assist someone. Be sure that the place is safe before getting near the area. That’s important because if you get injured also, then there might not be anyone nearby to help at all.
Find out what the problem is if possible. What is the cause? Is it a fatal injury? To fully be able to give an answer to this question, you will need to find out which of the 3 major body systems is really affected:
- The Nervous System: How is the level of responsiveness and consciousness? Is there any sign of spinal injury?
- Circulatory System- is there a pulse?
- Respiratory System- how is the breathing? How deeply and quickly?
If you think the injury is fatal, make sure to stabilize the system as well as you can, and go ahead to do an extraction or evacuation or both when possible. If on the other hand, the injury appears not to be life threatening, move over to a secondary examination and evaluate the patient’s blood pressure, pupil dilation and lung sounds.
You should have the ability to differentiate low-risk wounds from high-risk ones. Crushing wounds, wound contamination, open joint spaces and animal bites are instances of the high-risk type of wounds while low-risk wounds can be a scratched finger.
Take an initial step by stopping the bleeding through direct pressure application. Clean up the wound as much as you are able to, removing dirt, and rinsing with clean water. Keeping the pressure, use disinfectants when available and clean bandages to bandage the affected area. Make a replacement of the bandages to avoid infection and to increase the healing process much faster.
Watch the video: First Aid How To: Properly Clean And Dress A Wound
Breaks in bones come in diverse shapes and intensities. Some are just too small to notice. Are you aware that people break their toes many times in a year and yet don’t even know it happened? However, others are more felt and may also look totally terrible. In a such situation is important to stay calm. Your first step is determine how serious break is, and try evaluate level of damage.
These following are signs of really serious bone break:
- The bone in question is either the pelvic, femur or the spine.
- You have an open fracture, the bone has bulged out of the skin and is partly visible.
- You are able to physically see unstable bones either hanging, bent or off track.
If the broken bone is stable, the first thing is to strap it and then use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) treatment method.
For unstable bone injuries, gently pull it into position and then tie it up into place. This will prevent the bone from shaking thus enhancing proper healing at the right angle. If your assessment further shows unstable injury, this is the time to evacuate the injured patient when possible.
Watch video: First Aid for Broken Bones
Burns that are deep are the ones you should worry about and not really the shallow ones. You should first assess the extent of burn whether it affects high-risk areas like face and neck, the genitals, and palms or soles of the feet. Reduce the temperature of the burn with ice or cool water and cover it with a clean and wet cool bandage. Continually cool the injured area and replace the bandage when necessary.
Watch video: First Aid Treatment for Burn Injuries
These are the differences to note between severe and mild hypothermia:
- Mild hypothermia symptoms: dizziness, shivering, tiredness, high heart rate, lack of coordination, faster breathing, nausea and speaking troubles.
- Severe Hypothermia symptoms: No shivering, weak pulse, lack of coordination, shallow breath, drowsiness and reduced energy.
Treat patients with mild hypothermia with oral liquids like orange juice, water or tea. Provide food for them to have calories. Also give them protection from the environment by wrapping them in blankets and bring them close to the fireplace. You can also use your own body to transmit some warmth.
Severe hypothermia could be life threatening condition. Wrap patient properly in protection to prevent heat loss. Take care of the patient carefully, and start extraction as quickly as possible because without professional handling, the likelihood of death is high.
Watch video: First Aid Treatment for Hypothermia
In a hot climate, it is common for people to come down with dehydration and heat exhaustion particularly if they are involved in a strenuous activity like hiking. The first thing to do is to give fluids or electrolyte. You can do all possible to cool the person with shade and external fluids. If it worsens to a heat stroke, use aggressive cooling and try to arrange evacuation asap.
Watch video: Basic First Aid Tips : How to Treat a Heat Stroke
They may appear not harmful but can also be fatal. Non-serious and local allergies can easily be taken care of with surface applied allergy cream and cool compression. Treat a mild allergy with medication and if worsened to anaphylaxis, you should treat with epinephrine. Read more about how to give first aid for allergic reactions form here.
First aid set – Do you have first aid kit?
First aid sets are men’s & women’s best companions. I have them in my car, my backpack, in my kitchen in my desk and also on my bug out bag. Not all first aid kit needs to be complete. Kit can just contain the basic items. You can also have first aid kits for specific actions, containing items that are most likely needed. For example you could have different kind of first aid kits for car, boat, camping, hunting, hiking, travelling etc.
Having a really complete first aid kit is also a good. Make sure that aside from the basics of scissors and bandages etc., it includes also your prescription medicine, antibiotics etc.
Get complete first aid kit at reasonable price now!
Below you can find complete ready made first aid kits at very reasonable price. It can save lives. Don’t wait until SHTF happens, then it’s too late – instead be prepared and have a good first aid kit ready.
Unassisted first Aid
We don’t want to find ourselves in a situation where we’ll get into a medical emergency. But with basic medical principles, concepts, and techniques it can be the difference between life and death. Having knowledge of first aid and how to treat injuries and move patients away from dangerous spots is a priceless skill to have.
Hopefully this information was helpful! Make sure that you have at least a one first aid kit always available, and don’t hesitate to leave your questions & comments below!