I was planning to write about hypothermia this week. It’s been cold foggy and soaking wet here in in Anchorage for the last week. But my dear friend Daisy Ell The Organic Prepper posted a news letter today on the 12 Bad strategies that will get Preppers killed. (If you do not subscribe to her newsletter. Stop what you’re doing, yup even reading MY newsletter and subscribe) In Bad Strategy #2 she talks about “How are your first aid supplies and skills” The big prepper fails I see in the medical department is either, “ I have enough items to stock a medium sized city hospital up to and including deploying a drug eluting cardiac stent or placing dual nephrostomy tubes” And I took a Red Cross first aid course online so I am qualified. Or, #2 “ First aid? Who needs first aid? I’d rather put holes in people than fix them!”
Either stance will not only get YOU killed it may also kill a teammate or worse a loved one.
I’ve always been a HUGE advocate of if you see a piece of medical equipment or supplies pick it up. SOMEONE will know how to use it. But when is enough enough? “Dude I found this really cool fluoroscope and you know we can do heart caths and set bones and do pacemakers SHTF!” Okay that is a bit much. Seriously a fluoroscope IS a bit much, but what about a microscope? Or a type and cross setup. Should the average prepper pick those up IF they happen to see one laying about? The overall possibility of a SHTF world is you may have to go mobile. Can you carry ALL that just in case medical equipment? Does your team want to carry all that equipment. Especially if. You. Do. Not. Know. How. To. Use. It.
Besides the environment,sickness or violence, untrained medical practices will be a HUGE killer of people. “But I just HAVE to do something or they WILL DIE!!!” Ok That I can live with. Binary set solution. Do nothing they WILL die. Do something the PROBABLY will die.
This is a more likely scenario. Little Johnny is cutting wood for the winter. It’s cold, Poop has just hit the fan and people are learning once again how to keep a fire going without roasting the house. Little Johnny is cold inexperienced and the axe glances off the log and nicks his foot. Not a full on bury the hatchet Jason Voorhees bury it to the handle. Just a glancing nick. The bleeding stops right away and little Johnny not wanting to look bad in Daddy’s eyes, sucks it up and gets back to work. By late that night he doesn’t feel good, but puts it off to working so hard. The next day he is feverish and his foot is swollen and red streaks are running up his leg. Our old friend Mr.Septicemia has shown up. Mom and Dad take him to the community medic. Joe McMedic does a quick look, correctly diagnoses Septicemia and hands mom a bottle of bills and gives him a shot and sends them on their way.
Little Johnny dies on the walk home.
Joe McMedic before the world went to hell was a EMT-B student. And he was A prepper of world class excellence. Had enough fish antibiotics stocked to supply Palmer Alaska. Read a few books had YouTube vids and some e books on survival medicine saved on his portable hard drive that now serves to hold down plants as they dry and never even thought to ask if Little Johnny OR mom and dad had any ALLERGIES to medications or to foods. One little mistake and we have a dead 12 year old.
A little rough? To harsh?
Look how many people die with a DOCTOR treating them!
I am not a doctor. Nor do I diagnose, prescribe, treat any illness etc yada yada YMMV or give medical advice on the treatment of disease. I don’t even play a doctor on TV or the radio! What I do is I teach. I teach people what to do when there is no doctor. I have even taught doctors what to do when there are no doctors. The tragedy I described was made up for this newsletter. I teach how to PREVENT that and how to take care of that little boy so he can get back to cutting wood so his family can stay warm.
So this all boils down to Daisy’s list 12 Bad strategies that will get Preppers killed. (hint hint SUBSCRIBE to her newsletters!) Poor medical prep is number 13. Do not just buy a book or watch YouTube or download some papers. Train. Find classes. Spend the money to train and get the knowledge. I know folks will not hesitate to pick up a kick ass AR 15 that sells for under 500 bucks with free shipping in the lower 48 AND comes with a T shirt Coffee and a music CD (email me and I’ll tell you where to pick it up at!) But those same people will balk and find a way to NOT pay under 500 bucks for a 4 day 36 hour class on how to keep little Johnny alive. See #2 above.
Now speaking of classes, my friend and cohort in online shenanigans, Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper have a wound care class. We’ve had to delay the launch because I moved to Alaska But in a few weeks we will have this up and running and ready to sign up for Wound Care for Austere Environments and get yourself ahead of the game and learn how to prevent Little Johnny from getting the infection in the first place.