Editor’s Introductory Proviso: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t give medical advice. Mentions of any medicine or medical treatment is for informational purposes only and are in no way endorsed or accredited by SurvivalBlog.com, or its principals. SurvivalBlog.com is not responsible for the use or misuse of any product advertised or mentioned on the SurvivalBlog site. – JWR
I read through the recent SurvivalBlog link about Baking Soda: Why Baking Soda Can Be Essential for Rescuing Earthquake Survivors. In earthquake rescue situations it’s given via IV to prevent kidney failure from muscle damage. Which got me thinking about treating blast injuries. And sure enough, it’s one of the treatments, and for the same reasons. See this PDF. (Print and save!)
Why the interest in blast injuries? Because ISIS in the Middle East is apparently experimenting with fuel-air explosives, and if they share that knowledge with their compatriots in the US we could see a terrorist bombing campaign on steroids like this, and also see this. And of course–in a worst-case scenario – Christians, Patriots, Constitutionalists and others could be on the receiving end of official disapproval.
I’m not a medical expert. But I refuse to give up when I run into a challenge. Most of us won’t have access to intravenous (IV injectables in a TEOTWAWKI situation, but there might still be some benefit from giving patients baking soda and Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) orally. And for unconscious patients, or people who cannot swallow (facial, throat, abdominal injuries), or who are too nauseated there’s still the possibility of fluid absorption via enema. (Print and save!)
Proctoclysis – rectal infusion – is simple, safe, effective, cannot accidentally introduce bacteria [or air] into the bloodstream like an IV, and is inexpensive. If you have an IV and the right solutions [and the requisite qualifications] then give that. But if you don’t, then consider rectal rehydration and bicarbonate treatment for blast victims who would otherwise be untreatable because (a) advanced medical care is simply unavailable, (b) time to transport to advanced medical care is too long, or (c) there are too many victims at the scene and the person(s) you want to survive who would otherwise be triaged out as un-savable.
Proctoclysis could be lifesaving for traumatic blood loss, internal bleeding, gunshot wounds, pandemic flu, shock and more – pretty much anything that would normally call for an IV of saline. In fact some medicines even absorb better via the colon because they don’t have to pass through the gastric acids in the stomach!
Thanks to the people who take enemas for hangovers, fevers, and natural treatments for other ailments, the enema bags and lubricated tubes are inexpensive. I couldn’t find packets of sodium bicarbonate, so just pre-measure how much you’re going to use into a tin plastic zippered bag. One liter bottles of pure water are easy enough to come by (the water does not have to be sterile). And voila!
- If you’re going to buy commercially prepared ORS I wouldn’t buy flavored varieties. Yes, it tastes lousy when drinking it (hence the flavoring) but for proctoclysis it won’t matter, and you really don’t know what those additives, food colors, and flavorings are going to do down there…
If you are going to make your own Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) here’s one commonly mentioned recipe, promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO):
WHO Oral Rehydration Solution
- Table Salt (NaCl) 1/2 tsp.*
- Salt Substitute [Potassium Chloride] 1/2 tsp.*
- Baking Soda 1/2 tsp.
- Table Sugar 2 tablespoons (Commercial solutions use
- Tap Water 1 Liter (= 1 Qt. + 2 tablespoons)
- Ideally, the solution you provide should be at body temperature or you will be cooling them at the very time they need to be kept very warm. Probably the easiest strategy would be to sandwich the enema bag between two Hothands (or other brand) of chemical hand warmers with the medical tape you’re going to need anyway to hold the tube in place. Get the big warmers for more heat.
- If one were giving bicarbonate via IV (you know, that’s a palindrome!) you would know you were giving too much (“alkalosis”) if you got any of or a combination of these symptoms: Edema (swelling feet/ankles/hands/face, etc.), including pulmonary edema (difficulty breathing, worse when laying down) Twitching muscles, Irritability (and confusion) Tetany (involuntary muscle seizures/cramps)
Unfortunately, there’s no standard that I could find for sodium bicarbonate dosage via proctoclysis. Keep the dose reasonable, as much as the baking soda quantity in the WHO ORS recipe should be defensible. But do monitor your friend/family member for the aforementioned symptoms. Monitor their urine output, and regardless, get them to professional medical care ASAP!
Yes, it will all look quite bizarre on scene. But you know the saying: “If it’s stupid, but it works, it’s not stupid.” Read the articles. Be prepared, save their lives.
Trust God. Be Prepared. We can do both! ShepherdFarmerGeek
Editor’s Closing Proviso: Again: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t give medical advice. Mentions of any medicine or medical treatment is for informational purposes only and are in no way endorsed or accredited by SurvivalBlog.com, or its principals. SurvivalBlog.com is not responsible for the use or misuse of any product advertised or mentioned on the SurvivalBlog site. – JWR