Prepping and first aid go hand in hand and any good prepper is going to have the basic skills they need to handle almost any minor injury or issue. Imagine how you would feel if your loved one had a life threatening medical emergency and you didn’t have access to an ambulance and had no way to call 911. What would you do? It’s crucial that every prepper master these simple first aid skills. It could be the difference between life and death in an emergency.
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is something that every single person needs to understand and be trained in. Movies make it seem a lot more difficult than it really is. However there are some items you need to be aware of. Before you start performing CPR you need to first check the pulse and breathing of the victim. If there is no pulse and you cannot detect breathing, you then need to tilt the head up and back, raising the chin level. This helps open the airway.
When starting CPR, or chest compressions, you need to have the victim flat and you position yourself over their chest. Find the bottom of the sternum and press here. You will keep your arms straight and press down about 3-5 cm. Compressions should be in the range of 100-120 per minute.
If breathing is not detected then you need to begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This process will require that you open the victim’s mouth, press your mouth onto theirs, and then force air into their lungs. Make sure that the nose of the victim is pinched shut or the air will not enter the lungs. Do not force the air too hard or you could harm the person further. Blow for about 1-3 seconds. You will notice their chest rise and fall with each breath. It is best to rotate chest compressions and mouth to mouth at a 2:1 rate.
- Stings And Bites
The United States is home to many different poisonous snakes and spiders. Bees are also an issue and many people are highly allergic to these critters. Having the skill to handle a situation like this is important. In a prepping situation you are going to be the first line, and in many cases the only line, of defense. Bites from poisonous creatures like snakes and spiders need to be handled quickly. It is best to try and use a tourniquet immediately to slow the spread of the venom into other parts of your body.
Anti-venom is a great thing to have but it is not something that you will have in your first aid kit. Some have suggested that venom can be sucked fro ma wound and this is a viable option to try. Remember, venom is only dangerous when it enters your blood. It will not harm you if it enters your mouth or if you swallow it…although I would recommend NOT swallowing it.
Stings can actually be much more dangerous. Other stings accompany most bee stings. Bees live in packs and when one is threatened they all sting. Hundreds of people die every year because of allergic reactions to stings. The best line of defense is to always have an EpiPen in your first aid kit. Additionally you are going to want to use tweezers to remove any stingers that might still be embedded in the skin. Finally, cover the affected area with a cold compress.
Burns are some of the most dangerous and most painful injuries that a person can have. In the event that you are left to deal with a burn injury you need to stay calm and think clearly. Burns need to be cooled as quickly as possible. It is best to use a cold drinking water for this process.
If you are dealing with a major burn, remember to avoid oils and creams. This will just make the burn worse. Don’t try to remove clothing or fabric that has melted into the skin and never pop blisters!
Burns should only be dressed with proper burn dressing. It is important that you keep the patient calm and that you reassure them as much as possible. If the burn is not too serious and there isn’t an open wound, you could apply aloe or mustard. Mustard is a wonderful option because it is typically very cold and the paste sticks to the skin. However this should only be done for minor burns. It could cause worsening pain or infection in a deep burn.
Blood loss is a serious issue that must be addressed quickly. The first thing you must do is lift the affected area above the head. This makes the bleeding zone higher than the heart and thus it slows the rate of blood loss. If the wound is not mangled and if the damaged area is small enough, apply direct pressure to the wound. It is best to use a sterile cloth but in most cases you are going to be forced to use whatever you have.
Applying pressure is going to be painful so you need to reassure the victim and you need to make sure they can remain still. If you are not alone you might need assistance during this process.
While this is not always recommended, in serious cases where the bleeding will not slow, you might need to apply a tourniquet. Tie off the area using a belt, rope, or fabric to stop blood flow. This is a last resort!
Shock is a very serious issue that typically results form a serious injury. Shock is a medical condition where the oxygen in the blood is not being adequately spread throughout the body. The symptoms of this include a rapid yet weak pulse, pale color, and cool/clammy skin.
If a person is in shock they will eventually lose consciousness and enter a coma like state. To avoid this you need to have the person sit or lie down. They need to be covered with a blanket and warmed as quickly as possible. Raise their legs above their head. You also need to be prepared to perform CPR.
These basic skills are needed to survive in a situation where medical help is not coming. Remember, I am not a doctor. I’m just an ordinary prepper like you! If you are seriously interested in first aid, please sign up with a class. Check your local hospital or call your doctor’s office and find out where you can take a class in your area.