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Vital Body Functions for First Aid

Andrew’s Note:  Today we’re providing a lesson from FM 4-25.11 First Aid (Approved For Public Release) on understanding vital body functions for first aid. Understanding Vital Body Functions for First Aid In order for the service member to learn to perform first aid procedures, he must have a basic understanding of what the vital body functions are and what the result will be if they are damaged or not functioning. a.  Breathing Process.  All humans must have oxygen to live.  Through the breathing process, the lungs draw oxygen from the air and put it into the blood. The heart pumps the blood through the body to be used by the cells that require a constant supply of oxygen.  Some cells are more dependent on a constant supply of oxygen than others. For example, cells of the brain may die within 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen. Once these cells die, they are lost forever since they do not regenerate. This could result in permanent brain damage, paralysis, or death. b.  Respiration.  Respiration occurs when a person inhales (oxygen is taken into the body) and then exhales (carbon dioxide [CO2] is expelled from the body). Respiration involves the— Airway.  The airway consists of the nose, mouth, throat, voice box, and windpipe. It is the canal through which air passes to and from the lungs. Lungs.  The lungs are two elastic organs made up of thousands of tiny air spaces and covered by an airtight membrane.     The bronchial tree is a part of the lungs. Rib cage.  The rib cage is formed by the muscle- connected ribs, which join the spine in back, and the breastbone in front. The top part of the rib cage is closed by the structure of the neck, and the bottom part is separated from the abdominal cavity by a large dome-shaped muscle called the diaphragm (Figure 1-1). The diaphragm and rib muscles, which are under the control of...

Snow Blindness

Andrew’s Note:  The weather in my neck of the woods lately has reminded me of the dangers of Snow Blindness…yes I forgot my sunglasses for a drive I had to take recently so I had to grab my spares out of my Get Home Bag.  Every prepper in snow country should know the symptoms and treatment for Snow Blindness…and even more importantly what steps to take for prevention.  The following information is from TC 21-3 Soldier’s Handbook for Individual Operations and Survival in Cold Weather Areas (Approved for Public Release). SNOW BLINDNESS Snow blindness is caused by ultraviolet and ultrablue rays of the sun being reflected from a snow-covered surface into the eyes. This condition can occur even in cloudy weather.  In fact, it is more likely to occur in hazy, cloudy weather than in sunny weather. SNOW BLINDNESS PREVENTION Prevention is easy; wear your issued sunglasses. If sunglasses are not available, make slitted glasses from cardboard, thin wood, tree bark, or similar material. SNOW BLINDNESS SYMPTOMS Common symptoms are as follows: A scratchy, sandy feeling under your eyelids. Redness and watering of the eyes. A headache. SNOW BLINDNESS TREATMENT Adhere to the following for proper treatment: Blindfold the patient using a dark cloth. Reassure the patient. Evacuate the patient to a medical treatment facility. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Flu Shot – It’s Not Too Late

I’ve talked with so many people the last few weeks that didn’t heed the warnings about what’s turning out to be a horrendous flu season.  It’s not too late, get your flu shot.  Here’s the information on the flu shot that we first brought you in October… It’s time for that once a year health prep again…I mean the seasonal flu shot.  The Army Reserve orders me to ‘take my medicine’ (yes, it’s a lawful order) every year…but I’d get one anyway. In fact, I believe that the flu shot is so important that I pay for all my employees to get their flu shots as well.  Many health insurance programs pay for the entire vaccine…but even if you have to pay for it yourself…it’s a cheap prep at about $25.  You don’t even have to go to the doctor’s office to get it anymore…you can find a vaccination site near you by searching at www.flu.gov. The shot (or nasal spray) includes the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) three best guesses of the strains that your body will need help fighting off this year.  Here are some additional flu facts from the CDC: The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step in flu protection It’s especially important to get vaccinated if you: are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease are pregnant Are 65 years and older. live with or care for others who identified in People Who Are at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as possible because: influenza is unpredictable and can begin as early as October it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in...

STD Map of the U.S.

Andrew’s Note:  Ewwww gross! Source: BestMedicalDegrees.com FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Preparedness Uses of Baking Soda – Top 10 Uses

Today we add another article in our Top 10 series…this time it’s the Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Baking Soda What is Baking Soda? Baking Sodais composed of pure sodium bicarbonate.  This common leavening agent is added to baked goods which causes them to rise due to the production of carbon dioxide bubbles.  Baking Soda reacts chemically to help neutralize and regulate pH in substances that are to alkaline or acidic.  Baking Soda differs from Baking Powder in that Baking Powder is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, an acidifying agent and a drying agent. Sodium bicarbonate, also known as sodium hydrogen carbonate is a naturally occurring compound but can also be produced using the solvay process. Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Baking Soda Odor Neutralization:  There’s a reason your mama kept an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator…it absorbs and neutralizes odors by neutralizing the pH of odor producing nastiness.  It can do the same thing when sprinkled on odor producing garbage, spills or even carpets (let stand for at least 15 minutes).  It can also be used to remove an odor from a container…use with hot water and leave the water and Baking Soda mixture in the container overnight.   Add to animal litter or bedding to reduce odor. Personal Hygiene:  Apply directly under arms or mix with warm water and apply with a cloth after bathing to reduce body odor smells during the day.  Mix with hydrogen peroxide or use directly as a toothpaste substitute.   Wash your hands with Baking Soda to remove odors. Medicinal:  Soothe heartburn with a teaspoon of Baking Soda added to six ounces of water.  Mix into a paste with water to soothe skin if mildly sunburned, bitten by insects or suffering from poison ivy.  It can also be added to bathwater to soothe mild rashes.  A paste made from Baking Soda...

Virgil on Wealth – Today’s Quote

The greatest wealth is health. Virgil FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Wound Care for Specific Types of Wounds

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present the final article in this week’s series on Wound Care from our Military Pedagogy series.  These discussions, are from U.S. Army Subcourse MD0576, Wound Care [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited].  Today’s article discusses Wound Care for Specific Types of Wounds.  It’s important to note that military first aid and field medicine focuses almost entirely on stabilizing patients and moving them rapidly to the rear for further treatment. Needless to say, seek professional medical care immediately in the event of illness or injury and take action yourself only if you have been properly trained.  Abrasion (1)    Description. Friction or scraping causes an abraded wound or an abrasion. This type of wound is superficial. The outer layers of skin or mucous membrane have been damaged or scraped off. A person falling on his knees on a sidewalk will suffer an abrasion. (2)    Treatment. Treat as follows: (a)    Irrigate the wound as previously stated. (b)    Apply antibiotic ointment such as bacitracin. (c)    Cover the wound with a dry, sterile dressing. Contusion (1)    Description. A contusion or contused wound occurs as a result of a blow from a blunt instrument, such as a hammer. There is no break in the skin. (2)    Treatment. First apply cold compresses for 12 hours. Pad the affected area and wrap an ace bandage around the area snugly.  If the area is on an arm or leg, elevate the arm or leg. Use R.I.C.E.–Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Puncture/Perforation (1)    Description. A wound made by a pointed instrument such as a nail, wire, or knife can result in a puncture or perforation wound. Sometimes a scalpel is used by a doctor to make a puncture wound to promote drainage from tissues. A wound caused by an animal or insect sting, the wound breaking the skin surface and underlying tissues, is also called a puncture...

General Wound Care

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present the first of a new set of lessons from our Military Pedagogy series.  These discussions, are from U.S. Army Subcourse MD0576, Wound Care [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited].  Today’s article expands our previous wound discussions and extends our discuss General Wound Care.  It’s important to note that military first aid and field medicine focuses almost entirely on stabilizing patients and moving them rapidly to the rear for further treatment. Needless to say, seek professional medical care immediately in the event of illness or injury and take action yourself only if you have been properly trained. Immediate Care Initially, control the bleeding from the wound. Nature usually stops bleeding. For example, a person cuts his finger. Blood will gush from the lacerated blood vessels. These vessels constrict which tends to lessen the bleeding. The clotting process also stops bleeding. When blood escapes from an artery or vein, the blood undergoes changes which cause it to clot. The blood clot seals off the injured blood vessels, and bleeding stops. If the wound is large or clotting does not occur, apply direct pressure over the wound to stop bleeding. Use sterile pads if possible, but if they are not available, use a handkerchief, clean cloth, or even a bare hand as a last resort. Then, check the entire body for injuries. General Evaluation Make a general evaluation of the patient. Take care of him as a whole. Examine the patient from head to toe, checking for associated injuries. Follow the guidelines given below. (1)    Check his entire body for injuries. (2)    Ensure the airway is secure, spinal injuries are immobilized, etc. (3)    If there is an injury in an extremity, check the distal pulse and sensation in that extremity. (4)    Obtain a history of how the wound occurred.  (Andrew’s Note:  write down all answers so that...

Physiological Responses to Injury

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present the another article in our Military Pedagogy series drawn from U.S. Army Subcourse MD0576, Wound Care [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited].  Today’s article builds on our previous discussions of Wound Terminology  and Wound Healing and Complications by discussing Physiological Responses to Injury.  As we’ve previously discussed, military first aid and field medicine focuses almost entirely on stabilizing patients and moving them rapidly to the rear for further treatment. Needless to say, seek professional medical care immediately in the event of illness or injury and take action yourself only if you have been properly trained.  This series focusing on first aid will run through the weekend and we’ll start Monday with a guest author who’s written an article I’m really excited about. Physiological Responses to Injury Once the skin and tissue have been injured, the process of healing begins.  Many factors influence the body’s ability to grow new tissue. Age. Very young and very old people heal more slowly than those in other age groups. People in these age groups have less ability to fight infection, and fighting infection is a major part of the healing process. The endocrine functions in infants are sluggish, and infants have limited reserves of fat, glycogen, and extracellular water–all which are necessary to fight infection. Healing is slower in the elderly because cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary, and musculoskeletal functions may be slowed down by chronic disease or perhaps just by the wearing out of body parts. Malnutrition Malnourishment and obesity, both forms of malnutrition, affect wound healing. A person who is undernourished has less fat and carbohydrate reserve; therefore, body protein (necessary for wound healing) must be used to provide energy needed for basic metabolic functions. This results in an imbalance of nitrogen which in turn depresses fibroblastic synthesis of collagen, the connective tissue for scar formation. A person suffering...

Wound Healing and Complications

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present the another article in our Military Pedagogy series drawn from U.S. Army Subcourse MD0576, Wound Care [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited].  Today’s article builds on yesterday’s article on Wound Terminology by discussing Wound Healing and Complications.  It’s important to note that military first aid and field medicine focuses almost entirely on stabilizing patients and moving them rapidly to the rear for further treatment. Needless to say, seek professional medical care immediately in the event of illness or injury and take action yourself only if you have been properly trained.  This series focusing on first aid will run through the weekend and we’ll start Monday with a guest author who’s written an article I’m really excited about. Wound Healing Wound healing is a complicated process. A wound is a break in the continuity of tissue. The body must have a special procedure to take care of the skin injury and dead tissue. The injured area must be able to signal distress, and there must be some way to get rid of the dead cells and replace them with new cells.  The process of wound healing is a way of restoring living tissue so that the entire body is covered with skin. (1)    The body’s first response to cell damage is inflammation. The reaction is similar regardless of the cause–cut, burn, bruise, or pinch. The injury starts a reaction which may be the release from the dead or injured cells of one of their substances such as histamine. The released substances affect the capillaries. The capillaries dilate, widely increasing the blood supply that they can bring to the injured area. If the injury takes place in the skin or in the tissue close to the skin, the increased amount of blood in that area causes the area to look red. Because the injured area has...

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