Wound Terminology

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 lays the foundation by explaining Wound Terminology.  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.


A wound is a break in the continuity of the skin, the break caused by violence or trauma to the tissue. A wound may be open or closed. In a closed wound or bruise, the soft tissue below the skin surface is damaged, but there is no break in the skin. In an open wound, the surface of the skin is broken. Here are some terms referring to wounds that you should become familiar with.

Figure 1-1 Abrasion


(1)  Abrasion. In this type of wound, the outer layers of skin or mucous membrane are rubbed or scraped off (figure 1-1).


(2)  Incised. This type of wound is cut smooth and straight. The rate of bleeding varies and there is minimal contamination. A surgeon makes this type of wound (incision).

Figure 1-2 Laceration


(3)  Laceration. This wound is a torn, jagged cut which has gone through the skin tissues and blood vessels (figure 1-2). The wound can be made by blunt instruments such as shell fragments. Lacerations are usually very dirty.

Figure 1-3 Puncture


(4)  Puncture. A puncture wound (figure 1-3) is made by a sharp object such as a splinter, knife, nail, or some other pointed object. These wounds bleed very little although the object may pass through nerves, bones, and organs, causing internal damage. Puncture wounds are usually very dirty.


(5)  Perforating. A perforating wound is one in which there is an entrance and/or an exit. Such a wound might be made by a bullet.


(6)  Mutilating. This is the term for wounds which result in disfigurement or loss of a body part.

Figure 1-4 Contusion


(7)  Contusion. This wound is caused by a blunt object. The damage is done to underlying tissues or organs, and the wound is closed with no broken skin (figure 1-4).

Andrew’s Note:  Subscribe or check back as we expand this discussion to Wound Care, Physiological Wound Responses, as well as General and Specific Wound Treatment.  First Aid is an important component of the Personal Health Preparedness Function.

Prepper Wisdom from James Wesley Rawles

Here are some additional nuggets of prepper wisdom from James Wesley Rawles that I picked up at the Get Prepared Expo this past weekend during Rawles’ tele-interview.  I missed part of the interview due to some technical difficulties with the equipment and a scheduling conflict I had… but took away enough good ideas that I thought they were worth passing along.

If you’re not familiar with Rawles you can check him out on Survivalblog, his non-fiction book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times or his survival manual disguised as a novel Patriots as well as the sequels Survivors and Founders.

The following nuggets were introduced by Rawles but I’ve taken the liberty to expand on them a bit here and there:

Battery Stock Up Alternative:  While you should stock up now on the batteries you’ll need, Toy stores are a great last minute place to stock up on batteries when the grocery and hardware stores are sold out or overrun.

Water Transportation:  Don’t overlook the logistics of water transportation in your preparedness.  You likely won’t have the fuel to waste in your vehicle so you’ll need to plan a manual alternative.  You should stock sturdy water containers and some type of wagon or cart.  Water weighs over 8 lbs per gallon so hauling 8 gallons (almost 67 lbs) per day for a family of four will be a real chore.  Think about how far away your backup water supply is from your home and what type of ground you need to traverse (rough, paved, slope, etc.).  5-Gallon water jugs and a high quality garden cart are a good option.

Where you live matters:  Bigger population density means bigger problems.

Society is Becoming More Vulnerable:  The vulnerability of our society increases each year due to: (more…)

Medical Aspects of Cold Weather Survival

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present another lesson from our Military Pedagogy series.  This discussion, from FM 21-76, the U.S. Army Survival Manual [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited] is on the Medical Aspects of Cold Weather Survival.

When you are healthy, your inner core temperature (torso temperature) remains almost constant at 37 degrees C (98.6 degrees F).  Since your limbs and head have less protective body tissue than your torso, their temperatures vary and may not reach core temperature.  Your body has a control system that lets it react to temperature extremes to maintain a temperature balance.  There are three main factors that affect this temperature balance– heat production, heat loss, and evaporation.  The difference between the body’s core temperature and the environment’s temperature governs the heat production rate. Your body can get rid of heat better than it can produce it.  Sweating helps to control the heat balance.  Maximum sweating will get rid of heat about as fast as maximum exertion produces it.

Shivering causes the body to produce heat. It also causes fatigue that, in turn, leads to a drop in body temperature.  Air movement around your body affects heat loss.  It has been calculated that a naked man exposed to still air at or about 0 degrees C can maintain a heat balance if he shivers as hard as he can.  However, he can’t shiver forever.

It has also been calculated that a man at rest wearing the maximum arctic clothing in a cold environment can keep his internal heat balance during temperatures well below freezing.  To withstand really cold conditions for any length of time, however, he will have to become active or shiver.


The best way to deal with injuries and sicknesses is to take measures to prevent them from happening in the first place.  Treat any injury or sickness that occurs as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening.

The knowledge of signs and symptoms and the use of the buddy system are critical in maintaining health.  Following are cold injuries that can occur. (more…)

Basics of Cold Weather Survival

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present another lesson from our Military Pedagogy series.  This discussion, from FM 21-76, the U.S. Army Survival Manual [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited] is on the basics of cold weather survival. 

One of the most difficult survival situations is a cold weather scenario.  Remember, cold weather is an adversary that can be as dangerous as an enemy soldier.  Every time you venture into the cold, you are pitting yourself  against the elements.  With a little knowledge of the environment, proper plans, and appropriate equipment, you can overcome the elements.  As you remove one or more of these factors, survival becomes increasingly difficult.  Remember, winter weather is highly variable.  Prepare yourself to adapt to blizzard conditions even during sunny and clear weather.

Cold is a far greater threat to survival than it appears.  It decreases your ability to think and weakens your will to do anything except to get warm.  Cold is an insidious enemy; as it numbs the mind and body, it subdues the will to  survive. (more…)

Top 10 Tips to Build Resilience to Stress

The military has put a great deal of effort recently to helping service members build resilience because increased resilience or ‘resistance to stress’  makes it much easier for a person to ‘continue their mission’ or keep taking care of their family when danger, fear and discomfort intrude.  Resilience is important to preparedness as well.  Here are Prepography‘s Top 10 Tips to Build Resilience to Stress:

  1. Focus on Your Goal or Mission:  By keeping the end in mind you can work through the adversities necessary to get there.
  1. Develop a Community of Support:  A community that you are comfortable asking for help but often don’t have to ask.
  1. Remain Optimistic:  No matter how bad things get…know that they will get better.  General Colin Powell said that “optimism is a force multiplier.”
  1. Anticipate Change:  By building a mental model that anticipates change and potential outcomes you will be able to better react when faced with change.
  1. Be Proactive:  The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared” for good reasons.  By anticipating future needs and taking steps now to make life easier then you will smooth the transition and better handle change. (more…)

It’s Time for That Once a Year Health Prep

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: (more…)

Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

What is Diatomaceous Earth:

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the fossilized remains of waterborne diatoms and algae.  DE is mined product…wonder if the job description is “fossil miner?”  DE has the consistency of and looks like an off-white version of baby or talcum powder.  DE is non-toxic and is sold in both food and non-food grades (see warning below about pool filter DE).  While DE is mammal safe (even to eat if food grade) wear a mask while handling it as you wouldn’t want DE to get into your lungs.  WARNING:  Don’t use DE sold as pool filter media for any other purpose as the silica count is too high and breathing this DE in particular could create health issues).

DE’s primary use is for organic, non-toxic pest control.  I discovered DE years ago as a heaven sent solution to keep my wife happy…you see she went back and forth on whether she hated the ants invading our house or the poisons I sprayed to keep the ants out more.  The product works by scratching up the exoskeleton of insects so that they dehydrate and die.  Here are the Top 10 ways to use (food grade and only food grade) DE:

  1. Grain Storage:  Food grade DE has been used for centuries to keep stored grain pest free.  According to Diatomite Canada the proper mix is 1 cup of food grade DE to 50 lbs of grain.  It can even be ground with the grain into meal or flour and you’ll never notice it in the final product (bread, muffins, cereal, etc.).
  1. Construction:  Any time I build a wall I spread a good amount of DE along the 2×4 base before closing up the drywall for permanent, non-toxic pest control.  If I have to open up a wall or repair drywall I dump in a few scoops as well.  We’re fortunate that we’ve never had a cockroach infestation…and I intend to keep it that way.
  2. Ant Barrier:  My favorite use is as an ant barrier because it keeps my wife happy…and if the wife is happy, everybody’s happy.  Simply sprinkle your DE around the foundation where you see the ants trooping in and your ant problems are over.  You will need to refresh the DE periodically…I just wait until I see the little ant scouts inside the house again.
  3. Gardening:  Keep pests away from your garden plants.  You can dust your garden plants and spread food grade DE around the plant bases to keep bugs and slugs off. (more…)

Galen on Labor – Today’s Quote

Employment is nature’s physician, and is essential to human happiness.


News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:

News that could be ripped from the pages of an Ian Fleming Novel:

Security Threat News:

The Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare Individual Mandate

Today we provide two updates on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) AKA Obamacare to Prepography‘s previous article Top 10 Inactions That Will Be Taxed Next which is presented below the updates in it’s entirety:

1.  Yesterday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) increased its estimate, by 50%, the number of U.S. citizens who will be forced to pay the ‘tax’ for failing to purchase health insurance.  The estimate increased from 4 million to 6 million.

2.  If you’re still confused about your requirements under the ACA (which is anything but affordable), the Kaiser Family Foundation has published a good guide.  Their flowchart allows you to identify your requirements under the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare Individual Mandate.  Remember that unless you comply you will be subject to taxation and the full force of the U.S. Government and it’s Internal Revenue Service are behind your forced compliance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro health insurance, but each little loss of liberty…even forcing someone to buy something they should buy anyway…erodes our freedom and makes is harder for us to become self reliant.  Now that we can be taxed for actions we fail to take, read about to discover the Top 10 Inactions That Will Be Taxed Next: (more…)

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