What we really need is (1) a specific tailored mini-pack for our proposed undertaking. (2) A larger package for an automobile, or home. (3) Advanced First Aid training.
Let us assume that shortly you will be going into the woods to gather firewood with your trusty dull axe and perhaps a chainsaw, also dull with a sloppy chain. This invites serious injury. Always prepare your tools in advance.
I have often mentioned about the axe, or chainsaw, slipping from unknowing hands and gashing your leg, or maybe gashing your young teenage helper. What to do? An arterial cut will give you 3 minutes before you pass out, and maybe 20 minutes before you bleed out. An axe blow to the head, cutting into the brain outer layer may allow perhaps 10 minutes of consciousness, then death. Perhaps it is a gunshot to the foot, or the chest of your comrade in arms.
The list goes on and on but it is not likely you can find a guide to common First Aid applications buried in your glove box. The prepared person wins.
A couple of real life experiences for me when I was 16, might illustrate that you have to be careful of whom you go camping with. Picture this: Your partner is chopping wood with a belt axe and it slips from his fingers and goes end over end right into your face. There goes my tooth. However a tooth is better than an axe stuck in my head. This same person was taking pot shots at the roof of the cabin I was in, fixing supper. I drove him home. I had considered other options but…….
Let us get back to a serious axe cut in the leg. Your belt pack, perhaps 6” x 6” X 3” takes up no space. Inside you have “Blood Stop Powder, two 4”x4” gauze pads plus, an ace bandage, and a roll of adhesive tape. This is basic. With this you can stop arterial blood flow, apply compression, or a tourniquet, stop chest sucking wound and bind up a foot.
Then you get to an EMERGENCY ROOM.
There is a likely hornet colony where you are stepping and as you are running down the hill, swatting and hollering as the hornets are taking out their vengeance your breathing system is starting to close up. Fortunately you are carrying your prescription “Epi-Pen for a quick self administered inoculation.
Lastly in our Mini-Pac we have a 2”x3”x1/4” aluminum sheet blanket. This is to wrap up in and keep warm from shock as the EMT’s are on the way, that is if you can reach them with your cell phone. If you do not have a cell phone, your teenager will.
All of these simple items are available in today’s modern drug stores such as CVS, Walgreens, and others.
The first and most important aspect of First Aid is to stop blood loss. Secondly is breathing and heart stoppage.
Obviously if this is a precarious automobile accident with fire, and being a cliffhanger, or, under water, you have to get the person OUT of the automobile. Other scenarios may be granny falling down the stairs, maybe YOU falling down the stairs. Perhaps Dad is in the garage cutting a board with a circular saw and zips his fingers off. Other cheery thoughts to ponder are snakebites, broken arms, sprains, chemical burns, and eyesight damage. What to do?
We have all seen the advertisement of Granny having a stroke and the MEDI-ALERT pendent around her neck automatically calling the help line dispatcher. This is the most valuable and wonderful invention of our times. Contact the number on the TV Screen or call your local phone Company, such as CITIZENS in the Floyd area and go with them. Everyone is promoting and selling these ALERT signalers.
Questions to ask the sales representative: (1) does this unit operate without your voice if you fall down? Does this unit work with elderly Alzheimer cases, voice impaired and does the help line have an extra referral number to verify and call? This might include YOU at your work center. (2) How do we test the unit when living in Floyd with the cell phone towers not in a Line of Sight? After all, Granny may be at Church, or someone else’s residence, maybe wandering alone in the woods.
There are GPS wristwatch style devices available at Medical Stores and/or AMAZON.com where you and the police/EMT’s may locate Granny in the Woods. Personally I prefer a high chainlike fence and a tracking dog. While I am on the subject of Granny, she needs to be on the ground floor, the basement door locked, and the stairway UP, hinged with a door. Trippy rugs nailed down, double banisters and side rails to aid in a steady upright walk. Natural Gas/propane lines with an inside line shutoff-we have two on a line because of Foster Children impulsiveness years back. Of course I am talking about Alzheimer out of touch people, and they require an adult responsible sitter. Teens are NOT responsible. The legal view is over 16 years of age.
All these scenarios can be assisted, when an injury occurs, with the above belt pack items.
People quit breathing and it is not uncommon to have a person’s heart stop beating. Herein is the problem of how fast can the EMT’s get to your house in the dead of winter with snow 5 feet deep. We timed the EMT’s years back along with the fire service and police averaging all at 30 minutes. That implies YOU must be savvy about providing immediate heart stimulation, and air to the lungs.
Current thinking appears to be the heart requires first attention. Consider that heart stimulation may be different for infant vs.: a grown adult. Aged vs.: youth. You may have serious anxiety about placing your mouth on someone else’s mouth, you might not even be able to open restraining garments to apply message to the chest. These are issues to face and practice upon as well as consulting your family physician on. His medical knowledge is more up to date than mine. ASK HIM/HER ! Become the PREPARED MIND!
In future articles I will discuss more serious First Aid experiences. Until then, consider what I have discussed and the basic Mini- Pac.
God Bless America and may all of us be brave in these coming months.
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