Episode 226 S6-26
The Endless Night Ch 26
Cuts and boo-boos are something that is bound to happen anytime. In a survival situation, these minor mishaps can turn into big problems. In The Endless Night story, Dexter has a cut that needs attention, and here today to help direct Chin, and me on how to treat these lacerations is Kevin Reiter.
Kevin's opening message is: Never rely upon technology to stay safe. Physical medical gear, manuals, and maps should be on hand at all times.
During The Endless Night adventure, Dexter is cut in the face by an arrow and left to his own devices to treat it. Whenever there is a laceration to the face or head, expect a lot of blood. In the head, there are a lot of capillaries close to the skin. Wash the wound with clean potable water. It is essential to assess where the cut is and how deep it goes. Do not apply antibiotic ointment. Overuse of this product leads to the formation of worse diseases and the diseases are getting better at besting this product. Apply a bandage and keep an eye on it. Look for reddening and hot spots.
If subjected to a snakebite, always assume there is venom present and seek medical attention immediately. Use a pen to mark it straight away, even if care is close. Also not the time. Medics will be able to see how far it is spreading and how fast. Stay calm and get help.
During the first scenario presented to Kevin, the assumption is that an individual is forced to evacuate with a basic medical kit, cuts his finger while cutting wood. It is essential to know where the laceration is and how deep it went. Did it cut tendons or go to the bone? If there is any nerve damage, get it checked out immediately. Clean the wound. If it is big, superglue can be applied, but it must be real superglue, not a knock off product. The body is good at healing small things so if it is small, leave it be. Expose it to the air for faster healing, but if cleanliness is an issue, protect it with a bandage and tape. Monitor the cut. If there is any heat, redness, or whiteness, it could be a sign of infection. Seek medical attention immediately.
In a basic medical kit, there should be Band-aids of various sized. Butterfly Band-aids are also suitable for closing more significant wounds. Include gauze and different types of tape, but make sure there are no allergies present to the included tape. Test the skin’s reaction to the tape by applying it before it is packed. Triangular bandages are another product that comes in handy for various needs. Pack essential medications like Tylenol, Benedryl, and Immodium in the medical kit. The kit should be dynamic and change to the specific needs of the outing. A Sam Splint is a great idea and can hold a bone break. Also, an x-ray is possible without removal of the splint. Also a tourniquet or two or three or four should always be included. The more, the better.
Blisters are another skin laceration that occurs frequently. If something is rubbing the wrong way, stop walking. If you don’t have a blister, change socks and apply powder. Find the problem in the shoe and fix it. Put padding on it, so a blister doesn’t form. Moleskin is a great product, but anything that can be used to build a wall around the blister is sufficient to stop rubbing on the blister. Make sure to stay hydrated and slow down the pace. If the blister hasn’t popped, don’t pop it. Keep the feet dry and keep changing socks every hour. If the skin has rubbed off, keep it clean and dry and watch out for infection. Get care immediately if any infection is evident.
Any small would that doesn’t receive the proper attention can develop into a big problem, so do not ignore them or “rub dirt on them.”
The Changing Earth Series
Kevin has had an avid interest in the outdoors since his father took him fishing at age 3, and has continued to pursue many outdoor activities for over 45 years, such as hiking, camping, fishing, trapping, and hunting. While serving as a Reconnaissance Specialist in the US Military, he started his diving career, and holds the certifications of DiveMaster and Master Scuba Diver, with over 15 specialties. For most of his life, he has not only been continually learning, but has used that knowledge about nature and the outdoors to teach others.
Kevin has taught members of Search and Rescue teams, participated in numerous SAR missions, given lectures on diving medicine at university hospitals, volunteered as an EMT and firefighter in his local community, served as an Assistant Scoutmaster with a local Boy Scouts Troop, and actively participates in educational podcasts and videos for EMS providers and the Preparedness community.
In 2010, Kevin was certified by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology as a Diver Medical Technician (DMT). At that time, he was one of less than 2,000 people to ever receive this certification in the United States.