In this six-part article, we are focusing on the supplies we will need in order to address the medical issues we are most likely to experience, whether we get to a “Bring Your Own Bandaids” clinic or we have to treat matters on our own. Our lists and discussion goes way beyond the first aid kit, and at the end of each section, we also note essential oils that may be helpful.
Dental Injuries and Problems
Dental injuries and problems actually constitute a significant number of visits to the ER today. Unfortunately, we sometimes overlook this part of the body in our efforts to prepare for medical issues. So add to your preps a set of dental tools, if you don’t want someone else’s tools in your mouth. You may also want to include a mouth guard for holding in teeth that have fallen out due to injury, Orajel to manage pain, and some Temparin temporary filling/crown replacement sets. Essential oils to consider include clove.
Eyes are a sensitive and important part of our bodies, yet they are often overlooked. There are a variety of concerns here.
Also known as pinkeye, conjunctivitis can be treated with doxycycline. However, the antibiotic should probably be saved for more critical needs. Natural remedies include using chamomile or goldenseal teabag poultice as well as chamomile, baking soda, or honey eyewashes. Essential oils to consider include chamomile.
A stye is essentially a pimple on the eyelid. Warm compresses can relieve pain. Essential oils to consider are lavender.
Corneal Abrasions or Ulcers
Corneal abrasions or ulcers hurt a lot. After carefully examining the eye to make sure the foreign body has been removed, the eye is usually covered with an eye patch. Because this can be quite painful, and because it will be much improved in about 24 hours, sometimes the best treatment is to sleep it off. A sleeping aid will be appreciated. Supplies you’ll want to have include baby shampoo (diluted to make an eye wash), saline contact lens solution to flush the eyeball, a regular penlight, an eye chart, oral antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, eye patches, and sedating OTC meds like doxylamine or meclizine.
Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa), if it is mild, can be managed with white vinegar. Ideally, you would have some prescription ear drops left from a previous infection for a more serious case. Barring that, prednisone could be used. Essential oils to consider include tea tree, thyme, lavender, chamomile.
(Middle) ear infection (otitis media) most often occurs in young children (and when urgent care is closed and you have to go to the ER, right?). Believe it or not, for most people including small children, an ear infection will resolve on its own, assuming there are no other health concerns. In a grid-down situation, physicians will suggest acetaminophen or ibuprofen and hot compresses to help alleviate pain. The best antibiotics for children with what appears to be a serious infection include cephalexin, azithromycin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Sudafed and Afrin may also be helpful. Natural remedies include rubbing alcohol, vinegar, olive oil. Essential oils to consider include tea tree, thyme, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint.
If everyone in the family were like Mom, we just wouldn’t worry about mosquitoes that much. They just don’t like her. Dad and some of the children, however, have a sign hanging on them written in mosquito-ese with neon lights advertising a free all-you-can-eat buffet. Fortunately, in that respect, we live in a desert. However, if we were elsewhere, we would definitely stock up on chloroquine for treating malaria. Sadly, for many of the other mosquito-borne diseases, there are no drugs to cure the disease. One can only treat the symptoms of yellow fever, dengue fever, Zika, and West Nile virus. Prevention is your best bet. Use mosquito netting, and Deet and natural repellents. Essential oils for repelling mosquitoes include lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, geranium, clove, rosemary. Essential oils for treating malaria include lemon and peppermint.
Head lice are what most people think of when they hear the word lice. They are about the size and color of a grain of sand and live on the hair shaft at the scalp. While they fortunately do not transmit disease, they are highly undesirable. RID and Nix are popular treatments. Natural remedies include Neem. Essential oils to consider include lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon, geranium.
Body lice are an entirely different matter. They are a little larger than head lice, about the size of a sesame seed. They carry trench fever and typhus. (Historical note: Typhus killed more of Napoleon’s army than the Russians did.) They live in dirty clothing and only go to the host to feed. RID and Nix work well. Essential oils to consider include tea tree.
Pubic lice are yet another kind of lice. They are considered an STD whose spread is not prevented by use of a condom, and they do not transmit other diseases. Natural remedies include neem. Essential oils to consider include tea tree.
Bedbugs feast on people while they sleep. When not eating, they are generally found in mattress seams; but really they’re pretty happy to hang out anywhere in a room during the day—furniture, flooring, walls, vacuums. They traditionally have not been associated with the transmission of disease; however, they have recently been implicated in spreading MRSA. Natural remedies include diatomaceous earth. Essential oils to consider include lavender, lemongrass, thyme.
Scabies are mites that burrow through the skin. Because they can be very difficult to eradicate, if one person in a family is affected, the entire household must be treated. They are also very easily transmitted in public, like on public transportation or in medical offices or schools. Natural remedies include cayenne pepper. Essential oils to consider include Neem, tea tree, clove, rosemary.
RID, Nix, and other pyrethrin-based treatments will work for many of these insect infestations.
As with everything else, including ticks, prevention is always best. If using a strong tick repellent, tucking pants into socks, and checking for ticks immediately upon return failed to prevent a tick from latching onto you, you’ll want to have amoxicillin or doxycycline available in case the tick transmitted Lyme disease. (About 20% of deer ticks carry the Lyme disease parasite.) Essential oils to consider include lavender.
Permethrin is the most effective insecticide for dealing with lice, bedbugs, scabies, and ticks. It can be applied to clothing and bedding and will remain effective through several washings. Permethrin is available through Amazon. However, you may also find it at your local feed store and probably for substantially less.
About two-thirds of the venomous snakes in North America are rattlesnakes, and the toxicity of their venom varies by species. Anti-venin for all poisonous snake bites is only available in a hospital setting. Options for treating snakebite in a grid-down situation are very limited. The Sawyer Extractor has mixed reviews from physicians. Some say it works; some say it doesn’t. Even if it doesn’t actually extract venom, it can help keep a patient calm, and that is important. The fact of the matter is, many snake bites are actually non-venomating, and using a snake bite extractor immediately after a bite would give the impression that it works. Regardless of whether you have an extractor, you will want a compression bandage for wrapping the affected limb to reduce blood flow. Essential oils to consider using are lavender.
Heat Stress, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke
If ice and cold water are not available to cool the patient and bring the temperature down, use instant cold packs. Ideally, the patient will be administered fluids through an IV, but if not, the oral, rectal, and subdermal methods are acceptable. Essential oils to consider include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, chamomile.
Urinary Tract Infections
Cystitis, or urinary tract infection, is much more common in women than men. When the infection reaches the kidneys, antibiotics become necessary. Test strips to confirm diagnosis are available, but they have a short shelf life. Several antibiotic options include septra, amoxicillin, nitrofurantoin, ampicillin, and ciprofloxacin. Phenazopyridine (also known as Azo) is an OTC medication that alleviates kidney stone and UTI pain; it does not cure the infection. It is available by prescription at double the dose. Natural remedies include garlic, echinacea, goldenrod tea, cranberry juice, cranberry tablets, and Alka-Seltzer. Essential oils to consider include rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, hyssop, basil, clove, cinnamon, cypress, eucalyptus, niaouli, lavender.
Antibiotics won’t help with an enlarged prostate. Saw palmetto is the only OTC med that probably will help, but it can take quite a while before improvement is noted. Flomax, Hytrin, and Cardura should take less time, but require a prescription.
Prostate infections/chronic prostatitis may be treated with ciprofloxacin or doxycycline. Treatment may need to continue for up to one month. Unfortunately, recurrence is frequent. However, it is rarely a life-threatening condition. Essential oils to consider include Roman chamomile, German chamomile, yarrow, lavender.
STDs are treated with a variety of antibiotics, depending on the specific STD. Lacking laboratory equipment to make an exact diagnosis, a few antibiotics will probably need to be tried before finding the right one. The CDC has “Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010”. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are metronidazole, azithromycin, and doxycycline.
Kidney stones are not a UTI, but we’ve put them in this part of the article since they’re in the same general area of the body. Passing a kidney stone can be extremely painful, and some relief would be nice. Narcotics help, but they may not be an option. Tramadol may help as well, if you can get it. Ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen are other options. If the patient has a history of infection or is passing blood, an oral antibiotic should be considered to ward off infection (ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfa DS, nitrofurantoin, or amoxicillin). Essential oils to consider include lemongrass, frankincense, helichrysum, Idaho balsam fir, lemon.
Tomorrow we’ll get into some “fun” topics, such as pregnancy, radiation sickness, and pandemics/biological warfare, and more.
- 1 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 1, by A.&J. R.
- 2 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 2, by A.&J. R.
- 3 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 3, by A.&J. R.
- 5 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 5, by A.&J. R. (Active on 5/12/18)
- 6 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 6, by A.&J. R. (Active on 5/13/18)
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part four of a six part entry for Round 76 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 76 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.