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DOWN BUT NOT OUT: BLEEDING & BURNS

DOWN BUT NOT OUT: BLEEDING & BURNS

If you are someone who goes out of their house on a normal basis for groceries, errands, or just in general to get something to eat, you already know that a million things can happen to your body between the time you leave the house and when you return. You might fall and scrape yourself, possibly get hit by a car and sustain broken bones. Or you might have nothing happen to you at all and carry on with your day as planned. However, the one factor that you never really have to worry about is where to receive medical care. But what if you are placed in a situation where medical care is  non-existent? Let’s say the end of the world has arrived and medical care as we know it is all but a distant memory. What do you do then? How do you take care of yourself?

This series of articles will focus on the identification and treatment of common injuries and ailments. It is by no means a complete list, but a list that I believe will help you start your research into how to treat yourself, if it came down to it.  Also, this article and the suggestions listed are in no way a substitute for professional medical care. If you are severely injured, please seek immediate medical attention or dial 911.

Bleeding or severe bleeding in the Zombie Apocalypse is not something to be taken lightly.  Forget about the myths that you have heard about Zoms being able to smell blood.  It is exactly what I said– a myth.  They do not have the cognitive function to smell anything.  However,  your biggest issue with bleeding is that if you can’t stop it, you will die very quickly, depending on how severe it is.  This article will show you how to stop your own bleeding or that of another person.  Again, this is not a substitute for professional medical attention.  I hope you enjoy this article.

  1. Minor or Severe Bleeding: If you find yourself in a situation where you have cut yourself, whether it is with a knife, piece of bone, metal or otherwise, the most important thing is to remain calm. Take note of the situation and act.
    1. Step One: Place direct pressure on the wound or laceration and elevate the affected area about the heart. This will assist in stopping the bleeding (with the area elevated, gravity assists and keep blood flowing away from the opening) and pressure will allow you to assist your body’s natural clotting ability.
    2. Step Two: IF the bleeding continues, place pressure on a pressure point between the injury and the heart. For instance, if the laceration is on your forearm, the brachial pressure point is the artery that nurses and doctors use to take blood from you when drawing blood. This should slow the flow of blood. You must maintain pressure for 6-10 minutes before checking to see if bleeding has stopped.
    3. Step Three (Limb wound only): IF bleeding still continues, use a tourniquet (TK). The use of a TK should only be used as a LAST RESORT. This will cut off the flow of blood to the entire area below the TK, causing cell death and possible loss of limb. Apply the TK just above the bleeding with a piece of material that is 3 inches or wider. Use a stick or rod of some type and use it to apply the needed constriction pressure to just stop the arterial bleeding. Remember the time you applied the TK, this will allow you to gauge how long you have before you can remove it or release pressure and try again.
    4. Step Four: If you do not have access to medical facilities for greater than two hours, you may loosen the TK gradually after 20 minutes and check to see if the bleeding has stopped. Keep the TK in place loosely to ensure you have access to it if bleeding resumes.
    5. Step Five: Apply fresh bandages ever time it gets dirty, wet, or bleeds through. Monitor for infection.
    6. Step Six: Seek medical attention if possible.
  2. Burns: Everyone has had burns. They hurt. They can be treated.
    1. Step One: Cool the burned area with water. Stay away from cooling with frigid water or ice.
    2. Step Two: Remove all watch, jewelry or constrictive clothing from the affected area.
    3. Step Three: Don’t remove charred areas (if that severe) due to possible bleeding.
    4. Step Four: Cover area with sterile dressing. DO NOT USE LOTION OR GREASE.
    5. Step Five: Drink plenty of water to compensate for the loss of fluids from the burn.
    6. Step Six: Avoid rubbing or moving the affected area. Change dressing when it becomes dirty or wet.

    So I have listed how to deal with some common to severe injures when outside. If you follow the steps outlined, you should be fine and able to carry on with minimal problems, infection being your biggest worry.

    This will be the first part in the medical skills section of this article with more to come. I hope you have enjoyed this article and I encourage all of you to research more about treating these issues, with the hope you never have to use these skills. However, if you do, you will know what to do and you will survive. As always, thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you! Remember, what you don’t know can eat you!

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