First Aid

First Aid for Environmental Dangers

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to abandon the city, you must be prepared to survive in the wilderness. The wilderness offers its own set of challenges that must be addressed. The most pressing of these challenges will be environmental injuries like heat stroke, hypothermia, diarrhea, intestinal parasites.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke is a condition caused by failure of the body’s temperature-regulating mechanism when exposed to excessively high temperatures. Although heat cramps and heat exhaustion sometimes occur under very hot conditions, heat stroke is the most dangerous of the three and its symptoms are as follows:

• Victim not sweating, and the face is swollen
• The whites of the victims eyes are red
• The victim has bluishness in the color of his/her lips
• Shivering, diarrhea, vomiting, unconsciousness
• The victim may go into Cardiac arrest and will need CPR

Your victim will now be in shock, and it is of utmost importance to cool him down as quickly as possible. If you are near a river or lake, the victim may be submerged into the water. Otherwise the victim may be doused with urine or whatever liquid beverages that happens to be lying around. Cool wet compresses should be applied to the victim’s joints – especially the armpits, crouch and the neck. Be sure to keep the victim’s head wet, and give him plenty of lightly salted water to drink – this will eliminate the dehydration.

Hypothermia

This condition occurs when the body fails to maintain a temperature of 97°F. Long-term exposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia. If the victim is in a cool environment and does not have food or water for long periods of time, this too may cause hypothermia. It is very important to get the victim into dry clothing as quickly as possible and to want his body gradually.

Diarrhea

If you drink contaminated water or eat spoiled food you can find yourself fighting with a bout of diarrhea. Since you most likely will not have anti-diarrhea medicine available, you have to use what is available to ensure that you maintain your body’s liquids. One of the most dependable methods is to boil hardwood tree bark for couple of hours and to drink the tea that is created from this process. Your tree bark tea will be loaded with tannic acid which is known to control diarrhea. You should also limit the amount of fluids that you consume for at least 24 hours.

Intestinal Parasites

The most effective way to avoid these little nasty critters is to not eat raw fish, uncooked meat, or raw vegetables that were fertilized with human waste. You also shouldn’t get into the habit of walking around in nature with your bare feet. If you should happen to find yourself with an infestation of these parasites, there are few remedies that have been proven to work over a period of time. They are as follows:

• You may create a saltwater solution by dissolving four tablespoons of salt into one 1 liter of drinking water. However, you should only use this method once and not repeat it.
• The victim may also eat a couple of cigarettes. This is effective because the nicotine that is in the cigarettes will stun the worms long enough for them to pass through your system.
• Drinking a couple of tablespoons of kerosene every 24 to 48 hours will also kill the parasites. It is very important that you not take more than a couple of tablespoons within that timeframe, and be sure not to inhale the fumes.
• If hot peppers are part of your regular diet, this too would help your system to become prohibitive for parasites.

Now that you know the type of environmental risk that you could be exposed to the wilderness, you should realize that it is very important to keep certain types of medicines in your first-aid kit and/or your bug out bag.