Sunday, 20 March 2011

Primitive First Aid.

This post is prompted by Karl's post at: http://ranger-pathfinder-notes.blogspot.com/2011/03/some-last-aid-for-woods.html  which I might add is a good post and gives some good advice.

For those of you who find yourselves in need of medical attention but do NOT have a modern first aid kit, you do have some items in your gear that you can use.

First let me say that I totally agree with Karl's post, especially if you are going out for more than a day & you are far from home. I have a first aid kit on my "wants list", but it looks like I will have to get it myself! (hint to family!!!).

The period medical kit I carry at present includes: iodine, salt, bandages, tweezers, nail scissors, panadol tablets, a bottle I can use as an eye glass, and some suture needles & thread (see Karl's advice on stitching up wounds).
Not a lot there, but in the rest of my gear I have: A ball mould which doubles as large tweezers, a sewing kit/housewife which has needles for digging out splinters, and there is also an awl. Urine fresh from the body is good for washing out wounds.
I did sustain a large gash in my hand one time that needed stitches, but pulled it together with a bandage. I was a long way from any town, so kept a watch on the wound & re bandaged. It healed up just fine. However, I cannot emphasise enough the need to clean the wound or make sure it is clean, which is Karl's basis for not stitching up wounds.

The eye glass on the left I think is essential. There are so many ways in which you can get dirt in the eyes & it can be painful, damaging & crippling.

My leather medical pouch.

A ball mould can be used as tweezers.

The housewife sewing kit holds needles for digging out splinters.

The awl can be used if nesassary for helping to remove large splinters/slivers.

Unless your eyesight is extremely good, carrying reading glasses is a good idea and essential for treating & dressing wounds.

Fire strilises so a sure method of making fire is essential. Hot water may be required, and implemets may need to be sterilised.
When I was a kid my Indian friend & I sterilised an old sacking needle in a candle flame before cutting & binding our wrists together for blood brothership. It must have worked because we are both still alive, but fire flame is much cleaner.

If you should ever need to be cut open without any anesthetic what so ever, it is a very painfull process and unless it is urgent and nesassary I do not recommend it. I have undergone such surgery and needed something to strain on, that is hold onto, grip tight and brace oneself, & I used my handkerchief rolled up to put between my teeth and bite down on. Believe me, by the end I wished that I had fainted! Afterwards I needed strong pain killers, so carry something with you.

Personal Medication.
Never leave your personal medication at home, not even for a days trip. You can never tell what might happen. I carry mine in two period pill containers.


Bob said...

The period kit is nice, the wood pill containers are a dandy idea!!

Karl said...

Good post Keith,

I feel your pain when it comes to field surgery, been there done that myself... never again if I can avoid it.

I see you spotted my ommission, I forgot to mention personal medication, yes it is vital to carry any prescription medications that you need on a daily basis, no matter how short your trip is, generally it is a good idea to carry 3-5 days worth, just in case... I will go back and edit that one...

Safe Trails...



Le Loup said...

Thanks for the feedback Karl & Bob, much appreciated.