Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Survival Fact & Fiction joins The Changing Earth Newsletter!

The Survival Fact & Fiction book club has found a new home on AuthorSaraFHathaway.com. You'll
find great fiction and non-fiction books. Plus some rock star survival content providers bringing you the best  podcasts, blogs, training and gear.

Survival Fact & Fiction really gives me the chance to repay the community for all of the great people I have met along my author journey. Click here to have a look. Eventually you will still be able to use www.survivalfactandfiction.com to go directly into the club.

Let me explain how the new layout. At the beginning of the month your newsletter will have a club blog with the new features for the month. If you want to share on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter (use#SFFBC) that would be great. That's it. Enjoy the great content!

Fiction Feature

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Non-Fiction Feature

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Listen 

Happy Holidays! You Rock!



Survival Sanitation: Medical Implications

Episode 72: Season 2 ep.37




The Without Land adventure finds Erika and her team heading home after defending off the marauders. The welcome home becomes a chance for new beginnings in a cleaner environment.  Lisa Goodwin author of Prepping A to Z, The Series of Prepping Books and How to Be Prepared and co-host of The Survivalist Prepper Podcast joins us today to discuss not only the importance of personal sanitation but the essentials of medical sanitation in a survival environment.




Featured Quote:

"Sand blew over the remnants of the huge buildings that had dominated the landscape before."

Subscribe to The Changing Earth Podcast

Survival Sanitation Lessons from Lisa
By: Lisa Goodwin

Cleanliness is extremely important, especially if we find ourselves in a disaster situation. We are so fortunate right now with all of our new-fangled ways of sanitation. I am willing to bet most people don’t even think about it. Things like having a sewer plant to take the waste out of our homes, and the running water we have, along with indoor plumbing. Or how about the trash man that comes every week to pick up our discarded items…aka…TRASH! And how about the specialty waste situations, like a hospital, or even burying or burning the dead? All of these things help to keep disease and bacteria out of our everyday lives.

If the grid goes down, and we find ourselves in a collapse of our country, or even a natural disaster situation it will be imperative to think about the trash around us, as well as the sick, injured or dead.

There are many diseases, and bacteria that we don’t really have to deal with on a daily basis here in the United States because of our incredible sanitation system. Some of these are:
·         Hepatitis (even though it is somewhat prevalent)
·         Typhoid
·         Cholera
·         Cryptosporidiosis (Parasites) (cause diarrhea-very infectious)
·         Ascariasis (Round worms)

If sanitation is subpar, these and other diseases can occur, which will affect the entire population. This is why it is extremely important to always practice cleanliness now, and know how to keep things clean in a grid down situation.
Simple things like:
·         Handwashing
·         Bathing
·         Keeping trash under control either by burying, burning, and composting
·         Cleaning your food before eating it
·         Knowing your food sources
·         Waste systems, either a septic system, composting toilet, or constructing an outhouse.
·         Dealing with the dead, by burying or burning
·         Keeping your food sources covered, and contained.
·         Dealing with vermin and pests

In my opinion, the best solution for a sterile medical tent will be determined by your situation. If you are in your home, sealing off a room, and making it a medical clinic, or even having a section of your garage being a clinic, or even a storage shed if you have one. You must keep it impeccably clean, including the floors, walls and all of the equipment inside of the room. You will need to have a very large supply of bleach, disinfecting wipes, and all of the medical garb such as masks, gowns, shoe protectors, gloves, eye protection etc. Draping, lighting, and sheets will be important as well. You will also need some sort of storage rack that you will be able to keep all of your sterile supplies in one place, preferably not in your “clean” room, otherwise you will contaminate everything by bringing in a sick person.

A medical tent or vehicle would be another option in the field, however it would be challenging to keep it sterile, but it could be done. You would need the tent itself along with lots of sheet plastic, and disinfectant sprays, wipes etc. It would also be a good idea to learn how to make your own disinfecting wipes, solutions and sprays. Because if you need to create a sterile room, or tent, my bet is the Wal-Mart and medical supply store is long gone. So prepare yourself to know how to make do with what you have, or create the sprays, wipes etc. you will need.

Every situation will be different, but have a plan b in your head, and probably a plan c as well, and possibly a backup plan to that as well.


Maintaining a sterile field would definitely be challenging in a disaster situation. But, it can be done by following the rules of keeping things sterile, vs. clean. For example, gathering your supplies and opening them in a sterile manner, and keeping them on a tray or table that has been covered with a sterile field. One thing that you learn very quickly is how to open items and transfer them to a sterile area, and how to put on sterile gloves, and keep them that way. Everything will be a challenge, but it can be done, with a little practice.

In a perfect world, you would have an autoclave available so you would be able to sterilize surgical instruments, even if we were in a SHTF scenario. If that is not a viable solution, you would need to determine in what instances you would need to have sterile equipment, vs having clean equipment.

Clean equipment is perfectly fine in most medical situations, unless it is in regard to surgery.

You will need sterile instruments if you are doing surgery, meaning you are delving deep within the human body, and dealing with internal organs, and then yes, you will need to have sterile surgical equipment. But that being said, one of the biggest risks of surgery happens afterward, even today, and that is the risk of infection. So keeping surgical wounds clean, and the bacteria level low will help to prevent infection, but bacteria are vile little critters who are very focused on one thing…concurring. This is why there is such a high prevalence of antibiotics that no longer work to kill bacteria, and antibiotic resistant bacteria. The little suckers are smart!

So getting back to how to keep surgical steel sterile in a grid down scenario, you need to know how to disinfect the instruments, and then kill everything on them, this can be accomplished several different ways.

First, clean the instruments in a disinfecting solution. You want to make sure the items are clean, and have no blood or guts on them. Allow them to soak in the disinfecting solution (bleach water) for at least 10 minutes, but no longer than 20 minutes. You could also choose to soak the instruments in alcohol, they should be soaked for 15 minutes in a solutions of 8 parts alcohol, 2 parts water.

Remove the instruments from whichever solutions, and dry them off, and get ready for the next step…..

You will never believe it, but you can use your pressure canner to sterilizer medical steel instruments! You will need a “floor” in the bottom, to place the instruments on, and put about 2” of water in the bottom of the canner, you want to have enough water to steam for about 30 minutes. The steam is what sterilizes the instruments. Put the instruments in the shelf, and close up your canner. Get the pressure up to 20lbs, or close to that, and keep it there for 30 minutes. When it is completed, you will have sterile instruments. Then you will need to package the items, so they will remain sterile until they are needed for use.

Again, this is reserved for instruments that will be used for surgical procedures, you do not have to sterilize all of your medical equipment. Most medical things that happen only require “clean” items. More importantly, proper hand washing is one of the most important aspects to practicing medicine, and taking care of a sick family member or patient.

Chapstick as a Survival Tool


Lisa Goodwin

"My path to making my own things started when I was little. My parents made it a part of my life, so I grew up thinking it was “normal” to do things like make your own personal care items, clothes, or cook in a wood stove, and milk cows. But sadly, as I grew up I fell out of that way of thinking, and that way of life.
"But after I started my own family, and moved to a rural community, I quickly realized that being prepared for whatever country living could throw at you was much easier than relying on someone else. Even though I had not been living this lifestyle for about 20 years, the things I did learn came back to me. I found myself researching how to make my own butter and bread, and how many chemicals are in the things I would routinely buy. I learned the good and not so good ways to make lotion and hair shampoo as well as work my garden.
"And the more I started doing for myself, I really understood what it meant to be happy. There is a lot to be said for a hard day’s work, and taking pride in what you have done. I work hard at trying to find ways to be more self-reliant, and I am grateful that my husband feels the same way. Together we find new ways to save money, store food, learn about security and just live a better life with less. 
"You don’t have to make millions of dollars to be happy, but you do have to be happy with what you have. I have learned so much from others, and through my own trial and errors. Now that doesn’t mean it’s all easy, and everything works the first time. But it has taught me to never give up and keep on trying, because success may only be one tiny mistake away.
"Knowing what I know now, when I first got started, I wished I would have had the vast amount of resources that are available now. With the ever changing environment of the world, and even the country we live in today, I feel it is so important to reach as many people as possible, and share what I have learned because maybe it will help someone else, and make a difference in their life.

"So I challenge you, as I have challenged myself. Make it a priority to do more for yourself and become more self-reliant. This isn’t something that you will be able to complete overnight, in a week, or even a month. Being prepared and self-reliant is a lifestyle that is best looked at as a marathon, and not a sprint. The more time you take and invest into it, the more you will get out of it. And the best part of all of this is you will really be setting yourself free, because you will have accepted responsibility for your future. You will not be relying on someone else, and the more prepared you are, the less you will worry. The less you worry, the happier you will be.

Here is to your happiness and path to being more self-reliant!"

-Lisa Goodwin

Lisa is a registered nurse, specializing in advanced wound care techniques (currently working on advanced wound care certification). She is also a part of the popular podcast duo of Survivalist Prepper with her husband Dale, a weekly podcast covering ways to become more self-reliant, and learning skills that many have forgotten, the book series "A to Z Living a More Prepared and Self-Reliant Lifestyle" became a reality. Check back to Amazon.com often for new titles!

















 Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Improvised Weapons

Episode 71; Season 2, ep 36

Description of Today's Episode: The Without Land adventure continues as the team's defenses are tested. Here to discuss improvised weapons and the endless possibilities is James E. Hart, author of Urban & Wilderness Survival, Emergency Preparedness.

 

Featured Chapter Quote:
"She felt trapped, lost, and didn't know what to do next."

Subscribe to The Changing Earth Podcast

Improvised Weapon Lessons From James

The possibilities are endless for improvised weapons because they are exactly that, improvised. These weapons can be clubs, maces, spears, swords, tomahawks, etc. You can even make a monkey fist out of nylon rope and use it effectively as a weapon. A 1/2 inch size nylon rope will make a monkey fist hard enough to break bones and skulls. This type of knot was originally used to throw a line to the shore or to another boat. It is a great way to get a rope into a tree as well.

Many materials around your house can be put to use as an improvised weapon. A spoon can be turned into an arrow head. You can make tomahawks. There are lots of ways to make bows out of PVC and other items. A broom handle with a quality knife attached to the end make a great spear. Remove the handle of the knife and carefully saw a section into the end of the broom handle. Then slide the tang of the knife in the slot you created. Drill a hole in the broom stick so you can put a screw through the handle and the knife and then wrap it in paracord. You will have a sturdy spear.

You have to think about defense as well. You can remove the front sheeting of your refrigerator and attach plywood to the back with a handle to make a great shield. Making leather armor would help you deflect a lot of damage, depending on the thickness and stiffness of the leather. This is not going stop a bullet but it will provide extra protection against melee weapons.

Final Notes from James
Don't advertise your weapons. This may cause adversaries to hide from you and conduct a surprise attack rather than directly confronting you.

Your knife should have a channel to reduce suction when it is stabbed into something.

Stay at least ten feet away from opponents to avoid melee weapons.

Always remember any fight you are not in is one you will walk away from. It is better to live another day.
James E. Hart
A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoors man, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snow shoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal. Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.

Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.
Links:


"Urban & Wilderness Emergency Preparedness": http://preparedwithjameshart.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

Sara F. Hathaway 

Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Camp Security

Episode 70: Season 2 ep. 35




In today's chapter of Without Land, Erika learns of the danger her team is in. Here to talk to us today about camp security: where you should build it and how to defend it is survival professional, George Hart.

Featured Quote:

"We have to work as a unit."

Subscribe to The Changing Earth Podcast

Camp Security Lessons from George

When discussing camp security the first thing that George emphasizes is what administration do you have in place? They will be able to assess the number of personnel on hand who are trained and un-trained. They should be able to properly evaluate your equipment that you have on hand, your ammo and your available weaponry. The administration has to be organized to function properly. They need to have an effective watch system in place so that early warning of incoming threats are identified. 

The next item of concern is making sure you have prepared an all around defense system. Your defense must include all exposed sides. You must determine where you can retreat to and if that will be possible from your chosen location. Be conscious of how many members are on your team. Will it be possible to flank an attacker? Use sector fire: three fire team sectors are preferred. Put one to two people on each team. Send one team to the extreme left, keep one in the center, and send one to the extreme right so they can create a crossfire but not interfere with one another or accidentally cause a friendly fire incident. It is also a good idea to have a sniper who can watch the battlefield, advise the ground groups and help with cover fire. Always make every shot count. Evade your enemy and camouflage your members so they can effectively flank the opponent. Be prepared for consequences of having to dig in and defend your camp. You may be facing a possible loss of life.

When thinking about where to place your camp it is good to have a cave, mountain or solid ground behind you but it also limits your ability to retreat. George does not recommend placing your camp on a hill because it is too visible and sticks out like a sore thumb. Your site needs to be defensible and operational. Will you be able to function effectively at this site? Another point to keep in mind is your ability to move. Remember that night time attacks are the most difficult to defend so you have to have quality people on the lookout.

There are some special considerations to take into account. Any injuries and/or medical conditions must be accounted for. Non-trained combatants, the elderly or very young, need to be moved to a safe location. Untrained able bodies can be very beneficial for help with reloading, distributing magazines and fighting fires that may start within the camp. Although everyone should have a basic level of fist aid training, qualified medical personnel must be optimized. One medic should be at a triage location and one should be on the move from group to group, helping with any issues that arise. 

Is your camp truly defensible? Attackers may exploit the prevailing weather to attack you off guard. Fire can be a major threat to your camp. You could lose your supplies, your food or even your life. Overhead threats can be a big problem. Use camouflage to hide your camp from aerial views. What is the force concentration of your attackers? The military force of the attackers might be much greater than your defensive team, are you going to be overwhelmed? As George mentioned before night combat is a valid strategy. People are relaxing or eating and nighttime is a prime time to take advantage of a unsuspecting target. The final consideration is reconnaissance. Have they been watching you? They may already know the size of your group, how many of you there are and where you are keeping your supplies. Have you been watching them? If you have been, then you will have a much better idea of the threat headed your way.

Survival Practice: Get Out There!



George Hart

George Hart was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He started studying different aspects of survival at the age of 7. He was a boy scout as a young boy, while hiking with his father James Hart, was taught the basics of hiking, water, and shelter while in the outdoors. Over the years of him maturing and having experiences with survival, he has learned survival in a self-taught manner. George has gone autumn camping on the shores of Caddo Lake, Texas. He would go hiking as a boy scout, and has studied other aspects of survival from James’ book S.W.E.T. Survival and Wilderness Training such as, how to make a tent out of objects you would find in your wilderness surrounding.
George also has a 1-year diploma for automotive service. He also has a 2-year diploma for the Associate of Applied arts from the Art Institute of Houston for music, video, and Business.

He has been a Tattoo Artist for 22 years. He has also been a body piercer for 20 years. He started Apprenticing for tattooing during his time at the Art Institute of Houston. George has raised 2 female children since they were at the ages of 3 and 6, they are now at the ages of 14 and 17.

George is also in the process of writing a book from different aspects of survival to homesteading. He is in the process of writing a cyber-punk urban fantasy of a futuristic world with events happening so close to modern day it would scare you. He is also assisting his father James Hart in compiling educational materials from survival and medicinal training to multiple subjects interrelated to homesteading such as food preservation, animal husbandry, modern day first aid and medicinal herbs and vitamins just to name a few. He is also writing a series of cook books by compiling recipes, antidotes, and pictures to give to his children.

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wild Foraging In the Desert of North America

Episode 69; Season 2, ep 34

Description of Today's Episode: The Without Land adventure continues as the team attempts to secure food and water in the desert environment they are stranded in. Here to discuss the realities of wild foraging in the desert is James E. Hart, author of Urban & Wilderness Survival, Emergency Preparedness.


Featured Chapter Quote:
"It was a foreign place of deep canyons and flatlands that opened up into one another abruptly."

Subscribe to The Changing Earth Podcast

Desert Wild Foraging Lessons From James

One of the first things you want to look for when wild foraging in the desert are cottonwood trees. The cottonwoods are not a food source but they are a good indicator that water may be near by. If you can see the cottonwoods, head there. There may not be not be any water when you get there but dig down to find the water. You may only find damp soil or you may get water that seeps up from the ground. Set a solar still up over the damp soil. James feels that in the desert any water is usually worth the effort of securing it but don't over do the size of your still. Keep it small, only about 2ft across, to save energy.

A solar still is a condensation application method of securing water. The sun creates condensation and setting up a solar still is a way of capturing it. Dig a hole in wet sand and put plastic over that. Weight down the middle with a small weight and put a cup under the plastic where the plastic dips because of the weight. The water will evaporate onto the plastic, run down the plastic and then drip into your cup. When you have collected enough water to drink and you are not planning on moving to a new location, carefully take out your cup and then replace it when water is removed. You can also put leaves under the plastic to create another water source. It is true that your urine can also work as a water source. The evaporation process will purify the water.

Another benefit of locating cottonwood trees is that animals will frequent this area. Small animals like lizards and snakes will be drawn to the water. If you sit still with a forked or sharpened stick you can gig these small animals as a food source. Large water pools by the cottonwoods may also attract larger animals like deer or antelope. If you can secure a large meat source eat as much as possible without overeating and try to preserve the rest to the best of your ability. You can cook it, hang it to dry or cure it.
Ephedrine Plant

There are not as many edible plants to forage in the desert. There is a desert Ephedrine plant that will give you stamina but it is not great for sustainability. You can find Juniper Berries on Juniper Pines. As well as pine nuts and needles from Pinion Pines.

James points out that no one person could know every plant in every ecosystem in the world. A good book, your own backyard, and a desire to study the plants in your area is a great place to start. Then start researching the surrounding areas or areas you may be bugging out to. The plants may vary in look and variety from one area to the next.

Pinion Pine
Make sure you include a plant id book in your bug out bag! You may also want to include protein bars or minty hard candies.

The scoop on cactus plants is that a lot of them are very dangerous to eat and will make you sick.  There are a few kinds that are edible. James referred to a cactus that looks like a beaver tail but he also instructs each one of us to do our own homework and learn what is safe and what isn't. When you do find an edible variety, you must remove the spines and cook it before you eat it. If you ever attempt to drink juice from a cactus James says, "you better have a good book and be sure you know what you are looking at."
James E. Hart
A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoors man, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snow shoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal. Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.

Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.
Links:


"Urban & Wilderness Emergency Preparedness": http://preparedwithjameshart.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

Sara F. Hathaway 

Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Treating Deep Lacerations and Crush Wounds


Episode 68: Season 2 ep.33



With resource and defense plans made, Erika's attention turns to Sergeant Walker's injuries in this week's Without Land chapter. Sergeant Walkers's legs were crushed in the bus accident and Betsy is trying her best to save them. Here to discuss proper treatment methods is Dr. Joe Alton a.k.a. Dr. Bones, author of The Survival Medicine Handbook.


 

Featured Quote:

"God knew we were too strong for a simple life."

Subscribe to The Changing Earth Podcast

Deep Laceration and Crush Wound Lessons from Dr. Joe Alton

As a first responder reacting to this type of injury, major bleeding must be addressed first. Make certain that major arteries are not broken. Hemorrhage is the biggest reason people with a deep laceration would die in a survival situation. In our current practices we tend to check the airway, breathing and circulation (ABC) but in a survival situation you want to check the circulation first. Then check the airway and breathing. You have a certain amount of time for most injuries called "The Golden Hour" but if you have an injury to your femoral artery they call it "The Platinum Five Minutes," meaning you only have five minutes to secure that injury. 

There are some simple ways to treat bleeding. The first thing you should do is create a barrier. Take a dressing, t-shirt or any suitable cloth and jam it into the wound. Apply direct deep pressure to get that bleeding stopped immediately. Lift the patient's legs and injured extremity (if not the leg) about twelve inches above the heart. This is called the "Shock Position" and it helps stop bleeding and keep the blood pumping to the heart and brain. Tourniquets have had a love/hate reputation in the past. Dr. Alton says, "the truth is tourniquets work." There are many brands available including SOFTT, C-A-T, and SWAT (Stretch, Wrap, and Tuck). They are available at www.DoomandBloom.net as well as other online retailers and you can learn more about their application in Dr. Alton's article, Choosing a Tourniquet.  You should also invest in a homeostatic agent like Celox or Quick Clot. These are granules that stop bleeding and are also useful for burns. One study found that it only takes ninety seconds for Celox to work and when the dressing was removed and applied to another wound, the first wound stayed closed and the bandage closed the second one as well. You should also wrap the affected area with a pressure dressing. It is essential that you have a bleeding control kit to take care of these types of injuries. 

There are two types of crush injuries. Minor crush injuries, like slamming your fingers in the car door, usually have bruising, lacerations and pain but are not life threatening. Major crush injuries can have some serious damage below the skin. These injuries may cut off the flow of blood in the damaged limb. This can lead to muscle and tissue damage. There is also a good chance infection will set in if the skin is broken. In a crush situation, like the one described in Without Land, where you have to pull a victim out there is also a possibility of "de-gloving the individual," where the skin is actually pulled away from the bone and muscle. Another symptom that may develop is called "compartment syndrome." This happens when swelling causes muscles and tissues to be deprived of circulation. Compartment syndrome can cause serious nerve damage and muscles may die. When compartment syndrome is present the skin is tight, bruised and there is severe pain, Dr. Alton says it is more pain than you would expect from this injury. It will feel like pins and needles pain. Then numbness will set in and the pulse will fade. The treatment options are limited. It is controversial but the skin may need to be opened up to release the pressure. It is not very likely that this patient will make a full recovery and expectations may need to be tempered. 

There are a few additional considerations for this type of injury. Any shattered bones would need to be amputated and this procedure will be dangerous and difficult. When closing this type of injury you need to tie off the vessels first. Then you proceed with stitching the layers of muscle and then skin after that. Dr. Alton cautions against closing this dirty wound though. He says that closing the wound may close in infection and you could die from that. He sited a case where necrotizing fasciitis, a bacteria that can travel from limb to limb, was closed into a leg injury and the young lady lost her injured leg, half the other leg, and both arms. 

To be prepared to treat injuries like this you can do a few things. First, take a first responder class, available at most community colleges. Visit websites like DoomandBloom.com and study their material. Get lots of bandages. Buy way more than you would ever think you would possibly need because they go really fast. Have your homeostatic agents on hand.  Have Israeli Battle Dressings. Stock up on antibiotics while you still can. Dr. Alton states that medicines in pill or capsule form will actually last a lot longer with 100% potency than the expiration date indicates on the packaging. 

Survival Foraging: Yarrow, A Medicinal Essential


Dr. Joe Alton, aka Dr. Bones


Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, is an M.D.  and fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/GYN. Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Nurse Amy, is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner.  Together, they’re the authors of the #1 Amazon bestseller in Survival Skills and Safety/First Aid “The Survival Medicine Handbook”, well known speakers, podcasters, and YouTubers, as well as contributors to leading survival/homesteading magazines. You will find over 700 posts on medical preparedness on their website.
Their mission:  To put a medically prepared person in every family for disaster situations.

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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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