Archive for Surivial

ENVIRONMENTAL INJURIES, FM 21-76

Posted in First Aid, Survival with tags , , on November 22, 2007 by jamesshrugged

ENVIRONMENTAL INJURIES

4-105. Heatstroke, hypothermia, diarrhea, and intestinal parasites are environmental injuries you could face in a survival situation. Read and follow the guidance provided below.

HEATSTROKE

4-106. The breakdown of the body’s heat regulatory system (body temperature more than 40.5 degrees C [105 degrees F]) causes a heatstroke. Other heat injuries, such as cramps or dehydration, do not always precede a heatstroke. Signs and symptoms of heatstroke are—

  • Swollen, beet-red face.
  • Reddened whites of eyes.
  • Victim not sweating.
  • Unconsciousness or delirium, which can cause pallor, a bluish color to lips and nail beds (cyanosis), and cool skin.

NOTE: By this time, the victim is in severe shock. Cool the victim as rapidly as possible. Cool him by dipping him in a cool stream. If one is not available, douse the victim with urine, water, or at the very least, apply cool wet compresses to all the joints, especially the neck, armpits, and crotch. Be sure to wet the victim’s head. Heat loss through the scalp is great. Administer IVs and provide drinking fluids. You may fan the individual.

4-107. You can expect the following symptoms during cooling:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Struggling.
  • Shivering.
  • Shouting.
  • Prolonged unconsciousness.
  • Rebound heatstroke within 48 hours.
  • Cardiac arrest; be ready to perform CPR.

NOTE: Treat for dehydration with lightly salted water.

CHILBLAINS

4-108. Frostnip begins as firm, cold and white or gray areas on the face, ears, and extremities that can blister or peel just like sunburn as late as 2 to 3 days after the injury. Frostnip, or chilblains as it is sometimes called, is the result of tissue exposure to freezing temperatures and is the beginning of frostbite. The water in and around the cells freezes, rupturing cell walls and thus damaging the tissue. Warming the affected area with hands or a warm object treats this injury. Wind chill plays a factor in this injury; preventative measures include layers of dry clothing and protection against wetness and wind.

TRENCH FOOT

4-109. Immersion or trench foot results from many hours or days of exposure to wet or damp conditions at a temperature just above freezing. The nerves and muscles sustain the main damage, but gangrene can occur. In extreme cases the flesh dies and it may become necessary to have the foot or leg amputated. The best prevention is to keep your feet dry. Carry extra socks with you in a waterproof packet. Dry wet socks against your body. Wash your feet daily and put on dry socks.

FROSTBITE

4-110. This injury results from frozen tissues. Frostbite extends to a depth below the skin. The tissues become solid and immovable. Your feet, hands, and exposed facial areas are particularly vulnerable to frostbite.

4-111. When with others, prevent frostbite by using the buddy system. Check your buddy’s face often and make sure that he checks yours. If you are alone, periodically cover your nose and lower part of your face with your mittens.

4-112. Do not try to thaw the affected areas by placing them close to an open flame. Frostbitten tissue may be immersed in 37 to 42 degrees C (99 to 109 degrees F) water until thawed. (Water temperature can be determined with the inside wrist or baby formula method.) Dry the part and place it next to your skin to warm it at body temperature.

HYPOTHERMIA

4-113. It is defined as the body’s failure to maintain an inner core temperature of 36 degrees C (97 degrees F). Exposure to cool or cold temperature over a short or long time can cause hypothermia. Dehydration and lack of food and rest predispose the survivor to hypothermia.

4-114. Immediate treatment is the key. Move the victim to the best shelter possible away from the wind, rain, and cold. Remove all wet clothes and get the victim into dry clothing. Replace lost fluids with warm fluids, and warm him in a sleeping bag using two people (if possible) providing skin-to-skin contact. If the victim is unable to drink warm fluids, rectal rehydration may be used.

DIARRHEA

4-115. A common, debilitating ailment caused by changing water and food, drinking contaminated water, eating spoiled food, becoming fatigued, and using dirty dishes. You can avoid most of these causes by practicing preventive medicine. However, if you get diarrhea and do not have antidiarrheal medicine, one of the following treatments may be effective:

  • Limit your intake of fluids for 24 hours.
  • Drink one cup of a strong tea solution every 2 hours until the diarrhea slows or stops. The tannic acid in the tea helps to control the diarrhea. Boil the inner bark of a hardwood tree for 2 hours or more to release the tannic acid.
  • Make a solution of one handful of ground chalk, charcoal, or dried bones and treated water. If you have some apple pomace or the rinds of citrus fruit, add an equal portion to the mixture to make it more effective. Take 2 tablespoons of the solution every 2 hours until the diarrhea slows or stops.

INTESTINAL PARASITES

4-116. You can usually avoid worm infestations and other intestinal parasites if you take preventive measures. For example, never go barefoot. The most effective way to prevent intestinal parasites is to avoid uncooked meat, never eat raw vegetables contaminated by raw sewage, and try not to use human waste as a fertilizer. However, should you become infested and lack proper medicine, you can use home remedies. Keep in mind that these home remedies work on the principle of changing the environment of the gastrointestinal tract. The following are home remedies you could use:

  • Salt water. Dissolve 4 tablespoons of salt in 1 liter of water and drink. Do not repeat this treatment.
  • Tobacco. Eat 1 to 1 1/2 cigarettes or approximately 1 teaspoon (pinch) of smokeless tobacco. The nicotine in the tobacco will kill or stun the worms long enough for your system to pass them. If the infestation is severe, repeat the treatment in 24 to 48 hours, but no sooner.
  • Kerosene. Drink 2 tablespoons of kerosene, but no more. If necessary, you can repeat this treatment in 24 to 48 hours. Be careful not to inhale the fumes. They may cause lung irritation.

NOTE: Tobacco and kerosene treatment techniques are very dangerous, be careful.

  • Hot peppers. Peppers are effective only if they are a steady part of your diet. You can eat them raw or put them in soups or rice and meat dishes. They create an environment that is prohibitive to parasitic attachment.
  • Garlic. Chop or crush 4 cloves, mix with 1 glass of liquid, and drink daily for 3 weeks.

Bone And Joint Injury, FM 21-76

Posted in First Aid, Survival with tags , , on November 22, 2007 by jamesshrugged

BONE AND JOINT INJURY

4-52. You could face bone and joint injuries that include fractures, dislocations, and sprains. Follow the steps explained below for each injury.

FRACTURES

4-53. There are basically two types of fractures: open and closed. With an open (or compound) fracture, the bone protrudes through the skin and complicates the actual fracture with an open wound. Any bone protruding from the wound should be cleaned with an antiseptic and kept moist. You should splint the injured area and continually monitor blood flow past the injury. Only reposition the break if there is no blood flow.

4-54. The closed fracture has no open wounds. Follow the guidelines for immobilization and splint the fracture.

4-55. The signs and symptoms of a fracture are pain, tenderness, discoloration, swelling deformity, loss of function, and grating (a sound or feeling that occurs when broken bone ends rub together).

4-56. The dangers with a fracture are the severing or the compression of a nerve or blood vessel at the site of fracture. For this reason minimum manipulation should be done, and only very cautiously. If you notice the area below the break becoming numb, swollen, cool to the touch, or turning pale, and the victim showing signs of shock, a major vessel may have been severed. You must control this internal bleeding. Reset the fracture and treat the victim for shock and replace lost fluids.

4-57. Often you must maintain traction during the splinting and healing process. You can effectively pull smaller bones such as the arm or lower leg by hand. You can create traction by wedging a hand or foot in the V-notch of a tree and pushing against the tree with the other extremity. You can then splint the break.

4-58. Very strong muscles hold a broken thighbone (femur) in place making it difficult to maintain traction during healing. You can make an improvised traction splint using natural material (Figure 4-6) as explained below.

Figure 4-6. Improvised Traction Splint

Figure 4-6. Improvised Traction Splint

  • Get two forked branches or saplings at least 5 centimeters (2 inches) in diameter. Measure one from the patient’s armpit to 20 to 30 centimeters (8 to 12 inches) past his unbroken leg. Measure the other from the groin to 20 to 30 centimeters (8 to 12 inches) past the unbroken leg. Ensure that both extend an equal distance beyond the end of the leg.
  • Pad the two splints. Notch the ends without forks and lash a 20- to 30-centimeter (8- to 12-inch) cross member made from a 5-centimeter (2-inch) diameter branch between them.
  • Using available material (vines, cloth, rawhide), tie the splint around the upper portion of the body and down the length of the broken leg. Follow the splinting guidelines.
  • With available material, fashion a wrap that will extend around the ankle, with the two free ends tied to the cross member.
  • Place a 10- by 2.5-centimeter (4- by 1-inch) stick in the middle of the free ends of the ankle wrap between the cross member and the foot. Using the stick, twist the material to make the traction easier.
  • Continue twisting until the broken leg is as long or slightly longer than the unbroken leg.
  • Lash the stick to maintain traction.

NOTE: Over time, you may lose traction because the material weakened. Check the traction periodically. If you must change or repair the splint, maintain the traction manually for a short time.

DISLOCATIONS

4-59. Dislocations are the separations of bone joints causing the bones to go out of proper alignment. These misalignments can be extremely painful and can cause an impairment of nerve or circulatory function below the area affected. You must place these joints back into alignment as quickly as possible.

4-60. Signs and symptoms of dislocations are joint pain, tenderness, swelling, discoloration, limited range of motion, and deformity of the joint. You treat dislocations by reduction, immobilization, and rehabilitation.

4-61. Reduction or “setting” is placing the bones back into their proper alignment. You can use several methods, but manual traction or the use of weights to pull the bones are the safest and easiest. Once performed, reduction decreases the victim’s pain and allows for normal function and circulation. Without an X ray, you can judge proper alignment by the look and feel of the joint and by comparing it to the joint on the opposite side.

4-62. Immobilization is nothing more than splinting the dislocation after reduction. You can use any field-expedient material for a splint or you can splint an extremity to the body. The basic guidelines for splinting are as follows:

  • Splint above and below the fracture site.
  • Pad splints to reduce discomfort.
  • Check circulation below the fracture after making each tie on the splint.

4-63 To rehabilitate the dislocation, remove the splints after 7 to 14 days. Gradually use the injured joint until fully healed.

SPRAINS

4-64. The accidental overstretching of a tendon or ligament causes sprains. The signs and symptoms are pain, swelling, tenderness, and discoloration (black and blue).

4-65. When treating sprains, you should follow the letters in RICE as defined below:

  • R-Rest injured area.
  • I-Ice for 24 to 48 hours.
  • C-Compression-wrap or splint to help stabilize. If possible, leave the boot on a sprained ankle unless circulation is compromised.
  • E-Elevate the affected area.

NOTE: Ice is preferred for a sprain but cold spring water may be more easily obtained in a survival situation.

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