We are wrapping up our series on medical action sheets for use when illness or injury strikes in various scenarios that can prevent professional medical access, such as weather extremes (hurricanes, ice storms, blizzards), civil unrest (riots, curfews), EMP, TEOTWAWKI, or pandemics/disasters, which can swamp the medical system. I have given binders of these to my loved ones with the caveat that they use them only in a genuine situation as listed above and if I am unavailable to help them. As you read these lists, remember that I am not prescribing and urge you to review any plans with your medical professional who will tailor medical action sheets to your specific medical needs, conditions, allergies, and abilities.
Last time we studied tick-borne illnesses. However, today we will look at acute sinusitis and how we can deal with them with or without prescription medications.
Acute Sinusitis Overview
Acute sinusitis occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed and swollen. This can be due to viruses, bacteria, or allergies; we will focus on the first two. Often the cause is the common cold, which can cause swelling that blocks sinus drainage with subsequent mucus retention. This mucus retention results in pain located in the forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, and/or upper teeth and worsens with bending over. Unfortunately, these moist warm passages are a great breeding ground for bacteria. The big question is when or if to use antibiotics. It is best to avoid antibiotics if possible; however, a cloudy or purulent postnasal drainage for over 7 to 10 days, fever over 102 degrees without influenza or other source, or worsening symptoms lean one towards using antibiotics. If the sinusitis was improving and then returns with a vengeance, antibiotics may also be indicated. Again, I am not prescribing and strongly encourage you to see your medical professional.
When evaluating yourself or another person, be sure to rule out middle ear infection and dental infection. Helpful home remedies include plenty of fluids (no alcohol or caffeine), humidified air (keep the unit clean), saline nasal sprays, over-the-counter (OTC) meds and pain relievers listed below, and sleeping with the head elevated. Inhaling warm water vapor can also help. Some suggest trying herbals, such as inhaling smashed garlic (antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral) on a cloth under the nose (wait 15 minutes after smashing for the allicin to develop), or inhaling the vapor from thyme tea (2 tsp dried in 8 oz hot water) if not pregnant or allergic to plants in the mint family. By all means, avoid exposure to tobacco smoke, which irritates the sinuses.
Serious complications of sinus infection includes spread to brain (meningitis), bone (osteomyelitis), or eye socket. Risk of complications rise with conditions such as diabetes, malnutrition, HIV, or other immune suppression.
Medical Action Sheet- Acute Sinusitis
Below is your medical action sheet on adult acute sinusitis, which includes antibiotic information.
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Most are viral (colds or flu) or secondary to allergy/irritants. Swelling results in obstruction, which produces a moist breeding ground for viruses and/or bacteria.
During an exam, press sinuses. Are they tender? Is there an ear infection?, nasal/throat discharge purulent (containing pus)?, dental tenderness/abscess?, and/or eye swelling/infection?
Note: If pregnant, take no herbs or medications (OTC or prescription) without checking with your doctor.
- Drink water/juice.
- Use saline nasal sprays.
- Use humidified air.
- Herbal vapors- garlic, thyme (if not pregnant or allergic).
- Sinus irrigation only if no ear infection and nostril not obstructed. (Read about neti pot usage and the importance of using sterile water and of keeping the pot clean.)
- Take Guaifenesin (mucus thinner) and decongestants (Sudaphed) if no history of high blood pressure, urinary obstruction, or glaucoma.
- Afrin nasal spray only for 1 or 2 days or passages will get rebound swelling!
- Pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Avoid irritants, smoke, and medications that dry membranes, such as antihistamines.
It’s best to avoid antibiotic use, but in some cases of bacterial infection they may be necessary. When might it be bacterial?
- Face or dental pain + Fever over 102 and not a cold or flu,
- Got better and then got worse,
- Cloudy nasal drainage more than 7 days + pain or sore throat.
Which antibiotics do you use for adults? Amoxicillin 500mg three times daily for at least 10-14 days and possibly up to 21 days.
If not improving after 48 or 72 hours, switch to Augmentin. Augmentin is hard on the GI system and can result in diarrhea. Try eating yogurt to ease the side effects.
If penicillin allergic, try azithromycin (3-5 days), ciprofloxacin, or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Beware of the risk of tendonitis or tendon rupture with ciprofloxacin, especially in patients over age 60. Avoid using ciprofloxacin, if possible.
N.B., if dental cause for sinusitis or foul-smelling anaerobic bacteria, treat with clindamycin 300 mg 3x/day. Clindamycin can result in dangerous colitis. Alternatively, treat with amoxicillin 500 mg 3x/day plus metronidazole 500mg 3x/day. Don’t use metronidazole without true need, as it may be carcinogenic.
- 1- Medical Action Sheets, by K.B., M.D. – Part 1
- 2- Medical Action Sheets, by K.B., M.D. – Part 2
- 3- Medical Action Sheets, by K.B., M.D. – Part 3
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part four of a four part entry for Round 80 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,
- 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 Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- 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).
- An assortment of products along with a one hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).
- 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.
Round 80 ends on January 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.
Hope They Help
May you never need these medical action sheets and accompanying information. Though, if you do, my hope is that they help you in your time of need.