Posts Tagged ‘First Aid’

Skin ‘tastic thinking First Aid

Posted: May 1, 2014 by Jeff Fabiszewski in blog, ten essentials
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Knowing First Aid is one of the ten essentials that every outdoor enthusiast should know.  Survival is about your mind working with skill to live.  It’s about staying calm in the  remote wilderness settings and thinking how to use the items you have available in multiple ways to get home.

There are many posts and articles about what to put in a First Aid Kit.  And my wife thinks I am crazy because I have several different First Aid Kits. Each kit is tailored to fit the activity I am engaged in.  I have a trail running kit, a day hike kit, rock climbing kit, and several kayak first aid kits.  The idea is to satisfy the requirements of the Ten Essentials definition, “to improve the chances that one is prepared for an unexpected emergency in the outdoors”.  The stuff I take is important; never the less, the way I think and prepare to act is more important than any gear.  Future posts will explore First Aid thinking, and more gear.  Presently, let me introduce my favorite first aid little friend.

jeff-fabiszewski uvThe first thing I think about is my skin.  I wear a wide brim hat, long sleeve rash guard, Buff, and uv gloves.  I also wear sunblock.  And when skin wears down, gets cut, or bit I use two small and effective solutions.  New-Skin has saved me many times.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 2011 during our 190 mile kayak expedition my skin broke down.  On day three after 50.4 miles I experienced nipple rash and blisters on my hands from friction and waterlogged skin.  New-Skin solved both problems.  It is antiseptic, flexible, waterproof, and lets the skin breathe. The liquid bandage dried rapidly to form a tough protective cover over the effective areas.  I will admit applying the liquid bandage to my nipples stung.  The protective breathable layer also enabled my body to absorb the fluid in the blisters on my hands and gave the skin a chance to harden.  Sean also discovered an infected cut on his foot; after irrigating his cut and putting New-Skin on it, the red puffiness faded and the cut healed within two days.

WoundPackWhen the cut is larger I use a Wound Pack.  In a small resealable bag I have 4×4 gauze, Compound Benzoin Tincture, Wound Closure Strips, and a Transparent Semi-Permeable Dressing.  After the cut is irrigated the aforementioned items work great to promote healing of large cuts in flexible regions of the body that are prone to come in contact with dirt and water.

In Florida the most common bite is the mosquito.  Soaking the bit area in sea water is a natural way to cure the itch.  Mud also provides a cooling sensation that temporarily relieves itching.  And I have also discovered that New-Skin worked to provide relief from itching and acts it as a seal to protect the bite.

– Jeff

Hey Paddlers,

After writing my previous blog on Sea Urchins titled Search’in For Urchin, I promised to write a blog about First Aid for Marine Animal Bites, Stings, and Punctures. But first we need to put up the dreaded DISCLAIMER: By no means is the information here supposed to be considered THE LAW, and is not to take the place of PROPER MEDICAL TREATMENT BY A LICENSED AND CERTIFIED PHYSICIAN, or other Qualified Healthcare Provider. The info here is for informational purposes only!!!!

Whew!!, Now that we got that out of the way lets cover the animals that could give you a bite, sting, or puncture wound! First the BITERS: These would include the Shark, Barracuda, Moray Eels & their cousins, and just for the sake that they do live in the Keys: Alligators & Crocodiles. All of these animals can deliver quite a nasty bite ranging from just a nip to full on Critical Situation!!!

First and foremost get the victim out of the water. Second, keep the victim calm and still. Third, STOP THE BLEEDING with pressure to the wound site with either towels, wetsuits, or any thing that might be in your first aid kit. YES YOU SHOULD PADDLE WITH A FIRST AID KIT! I recommend Adventure Medical Kits, which can be purchased in sizes from Ultralight to You Too Can Do Surgery(Ha Ha Ha)!!

Finally get on a phone or VHF Radio and contact Emergency Medical Services immediately and have them standing by or in route to your location!! Regardless of the wound size you should seek Medical attention because most of these animals have Bacteria that live in their mouth and you will need a strong dose of anti-biotics!!! It would suck to survive the bite only to DIE from infection!! I almost forgot some Eels can deliver a BAD SHOCK to you! The treatment for this is to lie down and elevate your feet for 20-30 minutes or until you feel better!

Now lets discuss the STINGERS; which when stung usually leave a PUNCTURE WOUND: These would include Sea Urchins, Stingrays, Scorpion Fish, Lion Fish, Stone Fish, all which would leave behind a nasty puncture wound and possibly a piece of the spine! OUCH! Now we must also include Jellyfish, Man O’ War Jelly Fish(which is not actually a true Jellyfish- but a group of Zooids: 4 types to be exact.) and last but not least some types of Corals – i.e. Fire Coral! While these would not leave a puncture wound they would still leave behind tiny stinging barbs called Nematocyts. If as the first responder you were to touch the same site the victim had been stung at, you too would NOT BE HAPPY! Also the above mentioned Stone Fish, Scorpion Fish & Lion Fish all carry venom that can be FATAL! ONCE AGAIN SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL HELP!!

doctorFIRST AID should be as follows for Puncture Wound Type Stings: First, wear gloves to remove any part of the Stinger/Spine left in the wound and rinse with SEAWATER! Second, soak affected site in HOT WATER for 20-30 minutes at 110-114 degrees Fahren- heat breaks down venom and relieves pain!

SEEK IMMEDIATE PROF. MEDICAL ADVICE IF:: Cant remove spine or victim starts to show signs of ALLERGIC REACTION- Diff. Breathing/ Uncontrollable Bleeding/ Body Wide Symptoms.

FIRST AID should be as follows for Nematocysts Type Stings: First, Keep victim quiet and still. Second, where gloves (if possible) and try to gently scrape of tentacles with a credit card or or towel. Third, wash area with SALTWATER- freshwater will make the nematocysts fire more toxin. Fourth, Soak affected area in Hot Water for 30-90 minutes. Also can spray affected area with Vinegar- neutralizes the nematocysts/toxins! There are too many variables to use the URINE TRICK- besides we all get p-s-e- on enough in the world!!!! As mentioned before IF THERE ARE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT VICTIMS CONDITION SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!

Hope You ALL Enjoy the INFO!! Sea Turtle Sean