A little bit of clarification and pontification after my last post. I thought I was completely open that I wasn’t disparaging allopathic medicine. To the point of its study is just as important for achieving self-sufficiency as studying herbal, traditional Chinese, or Ayurvedic medicine. The skill set to be able to self diagnose problems or assist those in your immediate family may become a necessity.
Practicing medicine in most countries without a license is illegal. Educating yourself, providing primary care (first aid, CPR, immediate trauma care), and having a thorough understanding of your personal needs is not. Should local environmental, political, or situational conditions arise that restrict your access to the commercial medical systems, this knowledge may become vital to survival and valuable to your community.
The Survival Medicine Handbook by Dr. Joseph Alton and Nurse Amy Alton is the de facto gold standard for those preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. Today I’ve committed to spending a minimum amount of time perusing this volume. I look forward to sharing my learning journey on this topic as the days roll on.
A checklist of sorts for the skills I want to develop over the coming weeks follows. The list is by no measure exhaustive, nor is it one I’ll advocate as the minimum level or you aren’t useful as a lay medical provider. The list is just that, a working list of some useful skills.
- Take vital signs and understand the significance of their values. e.g. pulse, respiration rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc…
- Perform a history and physical assessment
- Bandage injuries
- Treat different degrees of burns
- Splint or wrap sprains, dislocations, or fractures. Understand traction rigs
- Close a wound and understand when not to do so: butterfly closures, glues, staples, and sutures
- Clean a wound and provide daily care
- Identify and treat bacterial infectious diseases. e.g. strep throat, e.coli, etc…
- Identify and treat viral infectious diseases. e.g. COVID 19, Norovirus, influenza, etc…
- Identify and treat parasitic and protozoal infectious diseases. e.g. Giardia, toxoplasmosis, tape worms, etc…
- Identify and treat head, body, and pubic lice as well as outer louse infestations
- Identify and treat venomous and non-venomous snake bites
- Identify and treat generic animal bites
- Identify and treat common abdominal and pelvic pain
- Identify and treat common chest pains
- Recognize and treat allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock
- Identify and treat skin reactions, diseases, and rashes
- Perform a normal delivery of a baby and placenta
- Evaluate and treat dental problems. replace fillings, treat an abscess, perform an extraction. etc…
- Perform proper disinfection of water, foods and their preparation, nutrition
- Supervise, implement, and train community members on hygiene and sanitation protocols
- Council and comfort the depressed and anxious
- Organize, assemble, and manage sick rooms for wound healing, isolation, treatment
- Proper care of the bed ridden
- Identify the indications and counter indications for the appropriate application of herbal, pharmacological, and other alternative therapies
I feel that this is a great starting point and will handle 80% of me and my immediate families medical needs. It will make me a better advocate for myself and my family when commercial medical care is available and will certainly make us better off than most people if commercial care isn’t available.