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Video: How to Apply a Tourniquet Properly

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Tourniquets have been on my mind lately. It’s a shame many people don’t know how to properly apply one to stop bleeding. It’s so easy. But, like most things, someone has to show you before you can learn. I read of a man bitten on his thigh by a beaver. The large femoral artery that runs from the groin down the inner thigh was severed, and the man bled to death. My first thought was, maybe he could have been saved if someone had known how to stop the bleeding—in particular, how to apply a tourniquet. […]

By | April 16th, 2013|Cuts, Skin, Videos|21 Comments

The Downside of Taking Aspirin: When Bleeding Won’t Stop

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I’m constantly amazed by the effect even the lowest dose of aspirin has on bleeding. I’ll be putting pressure on a cut, and the bleeding will just not be stopping. The person with the cut will have already told me they have no known bleeding disorders and haven’t taken any aspirin, and I’ll ask again. “Well, I did take something a few days ago. It may have had aspirin in it.” Or, “Oh, I do take a baby aspirin.” Voila. I have my answer. I’ll just have to apply pressure for ten minutes instead of five, Or twenty minutes instead of ten. Aspirin doesn’t stay in the system that long, but its effect on bleeding does. Here’s how. […]

By | March 12th, 2013|Cuts, Skin|15 Comments

Videos: Posterior Nasal Packing (or Stopping a Bad Rear Nose Bleed)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH These videos, courtesy YouTube users, demonstrate parts of the procedures I describe in “When Your Nose Won’t Stop Bleeding: Causes and Cures.” […]

By | March 6th, 2013|Other Wounds, Skin, Videos|1 Comment

When Your Nose Won’t Stop Bleeding: Causes and Cures

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH In my last post I wrote how to treat the vast majority of nose bleeds. But what do you do when these methods don’t work and you can’t get to a doctor? […]

By | March 6th, 2013|Other Wounds, Skin|9 Comments

The Movie Way to Stop a Nose Bleed (and Die)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I hope you never stop a nose bleed like they do in the movies. If you do, you just might bleed to death. Here’s a typical scene: The hero has been punched in the face and his nose is bleeding pretty badly. He sits down, tilts his head back, and pinches the bridge of his nose or applies an ice pack to that area. Well, at least they get one thing right. […]

By | March 4th, 2013|Other Wounds, Skin|19 Comments

10 Home Treatments for Cold Sores

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Okay, maybe a cold sore, also called a fever blister, isn’t the worst thing you can have when you can’t get to a doctor, but it can be downright irritating. And I’ve seen my share of cold sores that had become bad enough to affect proper eating and increase the risk of dehydration. Also, if a secondary infection develops, it could turn into something potentially dangerous. So, in this post I’ll delve a little into prevention and home treatments for cold sores—and what makes some of us prone to get them while other people never do. […]

By | February 21st, 2013|Infectious Disease, Skin|128 Comments

How to Keep Winter Skin Seasoned Like a Cast-Iron Skillet

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Winter can do a number on your skin. Add the cold to the dry air, mix in a little wind, and it can be downright dangerous—potentially life-threatening if you tend to ignore it and don’t properly treat the damage. How many of us have gone out to play on a cold winter’s day, only to go to bed that night with a red, raw, painful face? It can be from sunburn or windburn, but usually it’s both. Cracks in the dry skin—even blisters—can occur. If the skin gets infected, that can be dangerous. If you can’t get to a medical facility, it could be even deadly. But there are simple things you can do to prevent this damage. Basically, just keep your skin well-seasoned, like a cast-iron skillet. […]

By | February 7th, 2013|Cold, Skin, Weather|7 Comments

Slideshow: 12 Common Childhood Rashes

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Photo of baby by Jacob Johan, hand photo by Marc van der Chijs, leg photo by Care_SMC—all on Flickr.   Rash: One word for so many problems. A rash can indicate a simple irritation a bath can soothe, a life-threatening disease, or many things in between. And sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. This slideshow has pictures of common childhood rashes, but this is for general information. In your case, the rash may not look like it does in these photos. And as you’ll see, one rash can easily be confused with another. This blog gives ideas for what to do when getting to a doctor is difficult or impossible. But children with rashes are special creatures. They can seem fine and get sick quickly. See a doctor if you can. Now, on to the rashes! […]

By | January 16th, 2013|Children, Rashes, Skin|172 Comments

What to Do for a Collapsed Lung

In this X-ray, both lungs are collapsed. The arrows point to the outside linings of the lungs. The black areas are air. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I remember one patient in particular, a nurse. I was less than a year out of training. She was working on the floor when I was in the emergency room. She came up to me and said, “I think I have a collapsed lung.” She was holding the side of her chest and obviously in pain but didn’t appear short of breath. […]

By | November 27th, 2012|Other Wounds|74 Comments

Your Child Has a Rash. Do You Know What to Do? Part 2

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH My post on rashes in children is by far my most popular. If you haven’t read it, please do. And note the many helpful comments that continue to come in almost daily. It was out of these comments that I picked my next batch of common childhood rashes. […]

By | October 11th, 2012|Children, Rashes, Skin|38 Comments