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Experts’ 10 Best Home Remedies—Using Stuff Around Your House

Editor’s note: A version of this article was published in My Family Doctor magazine.* When you’re in a pinch, try these top, expert-suggested remedies—using things you already have around the house! […]

3 Age-Old Wound-Dressing Questions, Answered

Part 2 in my modern wound care series. See part 1, on the latest advice for cleaning a wound, here. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH How many cuts and scrapes have you gotten in your life? Probably quite a few. Yet, to this day, do you know whether it’s better to keep a wound covered or let it air out? Simple wound-care questions like that have left even doctors debating the answers. So earlier this year, an article in American Family Physician, the journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians, offered some answers. For the article, three researchers from Thomas Jefferson University looked at a number of studies on wound care and formulated guidelines based on the findings. Here are some highlights. […]

By | April 20th, 2015|Cuts, Other Wounds, Skin|3 Comments

The Latest on Advanced Wound Cleaning: Beyond the Paper Cut

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH If you want to expand your survival-medicine knowledge beyond first aid but don’t know where to start, wound treatment is a great choice. Whether it’s during a disaster or just in your everyday life, you’ll eventually face a wound of some sort. You can learn a lot of advanced but easy-to-follow treatment details from my two affordable, interactive e-books, The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds and The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns. They cover gashes, bites, burns and more. I’ve also come across an excellent review regarding certain aspects of wound care: the Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for Basic Wound Management in the Austere Environment, published last summer. To create the recommendations in this report, researchers reviewed available studies for objective evidence of what works and what doesn’t. In this post I’ll go into some of their conclusions about cleaning a wound. Some of the findings may surprise you. […]

By | April 13th, 2015|Cuts, Skin|10 Comments

The Survival Doctor’s Latest Tips on Tourniquets

This is the Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T) by North American Rescue ($28.99*). Note the stick you can use to wind the tourniquet tighter. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH A tourniquet seems so simple. At its most basic, it’s just a strip of strong material. Its use seems simple too. You tighten it until the bleeding stops. Voilà. Life saved. But thanks to studies conducted over the last several years, the guidelines on tourniquets have become more sophisticated, causing emergency professionals to change how they use these lifesaving devices. Here’s the latest thinking, according to the research I’ve been reading. I’m eager to also hear from you if you’ve used a tourniquet in the field. What have you found works or doesn’t? […]

By | April 6th, 2015|Cuts, Skin|14 Comments

5 Life-Threatening Injuries That Are Totally Survivable During a Disaster—if You Know How

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I get a gnawing feeling in my stomach when I hear stories of people who died from an injury they might have survived if they’d just known a [...]

By | February 9th, 2015|Bones, Cuts, Other Wounds, Skin|6 Comments

When the Stab Wound Isn’t the Worst Problem: Quick Help for Tension Pneumo

When treating a tension pneumothorax, place the needle and catheter above the third rib, about 2 inches from the edge of the breastbone. (Click illustration to enlarge.) by James Hubbard, MD, MPH In my “What to Do for a Collapsed Lung” post, I promised future information on what to do for one of a collapsed lung’s most dangerous variants, a tension pneumothorax. So here it is. This post covers an advanced procedure, but the procedure can save a life. If medical personnel aren’t able to get to the victim, you’ll likely be the only one around who’s even heard of this technique. So stay with me … […]

By | September 16th, 2014|Cuts, Skin|9 Comments

The Top-8 Medical Uses for Vodka

Previously the top-7 medical uses! by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Thursday, the U.S. government banned liquids, including gels, in carry-ons to Russia. That means hand sanitizers. That means hand sanitizers that reporters and visitors on their way to Sochi for the Olympics probably packed because of tales of contaminated water. What to do? Even if you didn’t put sanitizer in your checked bag and Russia’s all sold out when you get there, remember, this country just so happens to be famous for … its vodka. Vodka is about 40 percent alcohol. Alcohol kills germs. So in a pinch, vodka = medical supply. […]

By | February 10th, 2014|Cuts, Infectious Disease, Skin|24 Comments

4 Ways to Sterilize Your Medical Instruments [Book Excerpt]

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH For this month’s posts, I’ve chosen some excerpts from my new book, Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid, that I think will especially interest my regular blog readers. If you’ve already bought the book, I’d be interested to hear what you think of these sections. First up: Here at the blog, I’ve gone into a good bit of detail about treating wounds, but have you ever wondered when you need to sterilize the instruments and dressings you use? […]

By | January 13th, 2014|Cuts, Other Wounds, Skin|6 Comments

How Dangerous Is Tetanus Really? 10 FAQs

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Over the years I’ve given my share of tetanus shots. And over the years, I’ve noticed that while most people know they need one on occasion, they’re just not sure when or, in fact, what the shot really prevents. I thought I’d provide my take and answer a few FAQs. […]

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