Episode 430 S15-32
Emergency Medicine: Treating Infections
Infections in a survival situation can be deadly! In the novel, Virgis tries to assist multiple injured refugees, and the infection is running wild. Are you prepared to prevent an infection before it begins?
Infections have plagued the mammalian body since the dawn of time. It used to be that if you had a severe infection in an extremity, that part would be cut off. Antibiotics were humanity's key to increasing the survivability of an infection without losing a body part. During a societal collapse, the risk of an infection will again pose a serious threat.
Wounds don't always get infected. Dr. Bones states on DoomandBloom.net that you can tell an infection is setting in when you see redness spreading. To track this redness, outline the wound in a pen. Also, swelling, warmth compared to other areas, out-of-proportion pain, odorous milky fluid or puss, discoloration of the lip tissues, or lack of healing are also major indicators. An infection starts at the wound as cellulitis, but it can spread to the bone marrow (Osteomyelitis) and then infect the entire body as it reaches the bloodstream (Sepsis). Once it reaches the blood system, a fever will present itself, and it is very dangerous. Learn more about treating Lacerated Muscles and Ligaments.
The most important thing to do to treat an infection is to stop it from forming in the first place. If you get a wound, Dr. Bones says to flush the area with 60-100cc of distilled, sanitized, drinkable water. before each dressing change. Any foreign particulates in the wound should be carefully removed. You are going to need a lot of bandages to treat yourself and your community. Make sure you stock up. Lisa Goodwin from Survivalist Prepper and Wound Specialist does not recommend triple antibiotic ointments. Instead, she recommends a Silver Gel product for wound treatment. Silver gel is another must-stock item. Change the dressing at least once a day but preferably twice. Remember, hygiene is key! The area where the wound is cleaned and dressed should be clean, the dressing should be sterile, and any water used to wash the area should be distilled.
Once a wound is infected, it is difficult to cure without antibiotics. It used to be hard to stock up on antibiotics. Concerned individuals were left to buy fish anti-biotics and then calculate doses. That is not the case these days. Companies like Jase Case have created purchasing systems that make stocking up on quality antibiotics easy. I recommend that you make the investment and stock up on antibiotics.
Dr. Bones says, "Do not ever stitch up a wound that may be infected!" You will close the infection inside creating a recipe for disaster.
If you can't afford to or forgot to stock up on antibacterial products for wound treatment, don't worry; Mother Nature provides what we need. You must get to know your wild foragables! Honey can be applied to a wound for healing and infection prevention. The bark of the oak trees that grow all across North America makes an astringent that is effective at infection prevention. Oak Bark Astringent.
Friend of the show and amazing herbalist, Nicole Appelian touts four go-to healers for immediate wound treatment in her book, Lost Book of Herbal Remedies. Plantain is a must-know for anyone planning on long-term survival in North America. There are two varieties, broad leaf and thin leaf. It is a powerful antibacterial, helps speed wound recovery, and stops bleeding. It also helps remove pain and itching and can be chewed and applied to a sting immediately to lessen the pain.
Mullein, also known as "Cowboy TP," "Lambs Ear," or "Mules Ear," is another go-to plan. It has these nicknames because the leaf is fuzzy and does make a good toilet paper replacement. However, its uses go far beyond that. Nicole adds it to plantain in a poultice. It is an analgesic, meaning it lessens pain, and an astringent (helps to close the skin).
Yarrow is the final plant in her on-the-go poultice kit. Yarrow is a strong anti-bacterial and coagulant (helps stop bleeding). Each of these plants should be added to a mixture in equal proportions and ground until pasty. You can add water but make sure it is clean. Put the mixture on the wound and hold it there with a bandage or leaf. Change it out every 1 to 2 hours.
Research your area. There are healers all around us in nature. Keep in mind that all of the information contained in this blog comes from other reputable sources that I have learned from in the past. I am in no way medically trained, and you need to do your own research to find out what works for your body. Use at your own risk.
The Changing Earth Series
Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity is hidden from the public; Chingo-to is well known to the online prepper community as the go-to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for an unforeseen life challenge.