Crisis Simulation Day 10- Medical Emergency
(Note: This is the fourth installment in a series of threads designed to simulate an unfolding crisis. The purpose of the threads is to determine a "plan of attack" that could be executed quickly if such a crisis were to occur. For more information see Crisis Simulation - Day= -1, Crisis Simulation - Day 1 and Crisis Simulation - Day 2)
Simulated News: More than a week has passed in our town of Martensonville since our last update. Here is the news:
Simulated Circumstances and Events: In addition to everything else that you must do to survive, your daily life has been dominated by two medical emergencies. There are no doctors or nurses available.
So here come the questions:
Once again, thanks for your participation.....Jeff
As my husband is a physician and a surgeon, he has lightly commented in the past the only "true" emergency is hemorrhaging, so I am prepared to handle the axe in the thigh scenario with plenty of clean (from the OR but not sterile) packing gauze. Probably enough for two large wounds. After stopping the bleeding, I am not prepared for the possible/probable infection. I would have to rely on my homemade soap, hydrogen peroxide (NOT a first choice by any means) and alcohol, as in rubbing. I do have some penicillin and other antibiotics for my animals and guess they could be used in a pinch. That may not be a bad idea: all the local feed stores sell bottles of penicillin & other antibiotics with no prescriptions. If the choice is worsening gangrene and being shot up with cow penicillin, I'd try the penicillin. (Of course this is simulation and not to be taken as medical advice.)
As far as the food poisoning, stay hydrated and hope it will pass. Reminds me to go ahead and purchase my Berkey filter so at least we'll have clean drinking water to maintain hydration with.
You're scenario reminds me of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Hope it stays closer to the depression scenario in the 30's.
A bit off topic,but I suspect we'll be either in a "MadMax" or a "Waltons",scenario in the coming years.
Day 5 I am still glad I live in a town with farm/coop grain filled and over flowing . I have grinder and will use it to grind the grain .
I would not have to do so much because the men would have already been ahead of me here.
be ready to block the three ways into town and have someone watching them or blow up the bridges if need be . Remember we have a mine with the know how and supplies to do it .
Sorry ,but may have to burn the bodies at the vet crematory or start a very large fire .
case situations : Many things you can have stored from your local Vet or farm store . FishMox and iodine . Read up on medicinal plants . I always teased the Vet that he need be on standby if the midwife was not able to make it . To order by mail ,google valley vet . They also have supplement section www.valleynaturals.com
I would vote for Walton's too Jericho or Mad Max would be my fear. Yep still Glad I live in the boonies of farm country .
Hoping everyone is well on the east coast with the storm approaching .
Some potential resources to prepare for this situation: (buyer beware)
ACEP First Aid Manual, 2nd edition (American College of Emergency Physicians) by DK Publishing (Paperback - Feb 16, 2004)
When There Is No Doctor: Preventive and Emergency Healthcare in Uncertain Times (Process Self-reliance Series) by Gerard S. Doyle
Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook by Jane Maxwell, Carol Thuman, David Werner, and Carol Thuman
Wilderness Medicine, Beyond First Aid, 5th Edition by William Forgey
Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria (Storey Medicinal Herb Guide) by Stephen Harrod Buhner
Wilderness Medicine, 5th Edition by Paul S. Auerbach
First Aid Kit With Hard Case- 326 pcs- First Aid Complete Care Kit - Exceeds OSHA & ANSI Guidelines - Ideal for the Workplace - Disaster Preparedness (Colors May Vary) by Total Resources International
Total Resources International 250-Piece Outdoor First Aid Kit in Red EVA Case by Total Resources International
Adventure Medical Kits Outfitter by Adventure Medical Kits
(PS- I should get paid for all this advertising for Amazon LOL)
Here in MN where "we ain't got time to bleed" - so what I've found should be included in 1st Aid kits and is not:
We also learned Kinesiology seems WAY out there, but it works.
I was thinking that a town council meeting would need to be called to asses the resources . Our town has greenhouses that grow flowers to distribute afar ,these could be used of growing food . We used to have a hatchery that might need be resurrected . Hopefully you all still have small meat locker operations . There are many people that just can't do this for them self .
Loved the farmer videos you put up yesterday . BUY LOCAL .
You know I think we' USA 'has little to zero clothing and shoes made here . This may be one of the things that takes a while to get back on line when we run out of oil . Seems stupid that we ship the cotton overseas to be made into clothes to be shipped back . Then when we are done with them we ship the used back overseas to clothe the poor countries. Right now it is supposed to be cheaper that way, but with little oil will it always ? Doubt it . Our closets will not be overflowing and we would again need to watch out for our own sweatshops.
How did we get by before oil ? May need to think back that way if we can not find a replacement . We will just keep fighting over the little bit left ,I am sure.
Most of us probably have enough shoes and clothes in the closets and drawers to clothe a small village. With all the cheap China stuff for years, and even some high end clothes kept for many years, I doubt if shoes and clothes will be high on the list of items we're missing, at least for 3 or 4 years!
I saw a statistic that the US at 4% of the world population uses 50% of all prescription drugs. What's it going to be like when everyone runs out of Prozac at the same time?
What's it going to be like when everyone runs out of Prozac at the same time?
Ssshhhh....your foreshadowing! Just Joking
A little different path here . Listen to your parents and grandparents . If we are down a while with the tech. It will be helpful to know their saying like Red sky in the morning sailor take warning ,red sky at night Sailors delight . Sun Dogs and Moon Dogs means there will be a change in weather .
Here if the wind blows from the south for 3 days we will get rain. Also the oak leaves curl up,
How many people do you meet that do not know North from South ? Probably more and more with GPS . My dad used to take us out and make us find our way back. Taught us to look for land markings and such. Told us that there were people that could not find their way out of a wet paper bag.
If we run out of prozac .....hops ,lobelia, and chamomile will have a high price put on them .
My wife is an RN and I have basic first aid training, so we have the skills at least for THESE situations I think. Our first aid bag is substantial and very well stocked, so cleaning, disinfecting, and dressing the axe wound is doable. Any possible infection from the wound would be much more problematic; strangely enough we do happen to have some Cipro, but not more than a couple week's worth I think and there's no guarantee this infection would respond to it. But like Full Moon mentioned you can potentially use fish antibiotics from pet stores if you have any on hand. Supposedly it's the same stuff used for humans and many people use it, but still it seems like the thing you'd only want to use in a life-and-death emergency when nothing else is available. I'm less familiar with the antibiotics used for other animals and livestock like Lbart mentioned, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was also the same formulation as the human brands. Anyway, it can't hurt to buy some now and store some in a proper environment just (and only) for a worst case scenario. It's already on my "to do" list, but I think I'm going to bump it up on the priority scale and see if I can take care of that this weekend. So make that another on the "wish I did" list on Day -1.
As for the food poisoning, I don't think there's anything we could do except as Lbart mentioned keep them well hydrated and keep the fever down. If she can't keep liquids down, maybe we can scavenge some IV's from the hospital or rig one up ourselves with products from the house and our first aid bag.
As for prevention, I don't have much. Perhaps whoever is chopping wood can wear my Carhart biberalls and my boots... it'll be hot, but it's tough stuff and would offer some protection. Also make sure people learn to recognize when they're getting too exhausted, which will make their movements sloppier. A lot of accidents happen that way. As for food poisoning, probably the best ways to prevent that is by ensuring there's alternate cooking fuel/methods available and by cutting any meat in smaller, thinner slices that have less chance of having undercooked center portions (it would likely save on cooking fuel too). And using some of the available alternate methods of preserving meat and creating an underground storage cellar may help keep food from spoiling too fast.
I don't know, for better or worse I expect a lot of those people in my particular neck of the woods will be flocking to a commonly grown plant (around here anyway) of a more illicit nature (though less illicit in some states than others). Of course if they partake too much they'll be doubly screwed, as it'll not only make them lazy or useless for many tasks, but make them hungrier to boot. The last thing I want to deal with is some boob spending the day staring at his hands talking out loud "why do we have five fingers on each hand?", and asking me every ten minutes if there are any cookies or potato chips left
Since the poor pharmacist has passed on is it ok to take penicillin from the pharmacy? Penicillin is one pharmaceutical that has truly saved many lives. Of course there are other ways to treat infection but a dose of Pen would be good insurance assuming the loved one wasn't allergic.
First aid kit (JAG's suggestions look good, I personally own one of the large kits he recommended), CPR mask and training, first aid books.
Maybe befriending the local docs, nurses, respiratory therapists, herbalists, botanica owners, etc.. by bringing them a chicken or head of cabbage here or there?
I am following this thread and it is scary but so on target. It reminds me of "the stand" without all the hocus pocus and with a bunch more people.
I'm going to assume that a few of our friends who live relatively nearby have now shown up, pedaling bikes, etc., and the wife & I have decided we're going to take them in. We make a few quick trips down to where they live to clean out their larders, bring back warm clothes, etc.
Unfortunately, our first aid kit it woeful is its inadequacy. That axe wound is probably gonna fester, even as we treat it with herbs. And the girl w/food poisoning? We'll try and keep her hydrated.
With 7 people in the house now, we can post watches overnight, and the dog will definitely provide early warning if we get inquisitive visitors.
During the day we gather water from the stream/culvert in front of our house (in some of our 5-gal food grade buckets) for toilet flushing etc. (we're on a septic system). We boil/purify our drinking water, and ration it carefully. And we split more firewood -- VERY carefully.
We're discovering that dehydrated survival food needs a lot of seasoning. And since we're also eating a lot of rice'n'beans, we're tooting with deplorable frequency. As if flatulence is our biggest problem.
I keep trying my little a.m. radio every day at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., just to see if there's any official word on the airwaves. That way, I can get started trying to figure out how much of what they're telling the public is hogwash, and how much is true. It'll make a fun l'il parlor game, y'know, help pass the time. After all, how much scrabble/pinochle/pictionary/etc. can one group of 7 adults play?
I hate EMP.
Viva -- Sager
Bactim is a good antibiotic to stock instead of pennicillin (if you aren't allergic to sulfa) since most staph is resistant to pennicilling now. About 70 percent of staph is MRSA now (Methacillin Resistant Staph Aureau) due to overuse of antibiotics.
Surgical axiom: is all bleeding stops.
main thing is pressure. then pressure some more. till bleeding stops then make sure the wound is clean. wash out the oil and sawdust etc with saline (water with a little salt in it). Sew tissue to tissue that matches.
In both cases the main thing is pushing fluids on both victims. Even if the child is vomiting. they will hold down more than they throw up. Pedialyte is an over the counter resuscitation fluid that tastes like crap but is cheap and easy to store.
Regarding the thousands walking toward my town, that will require discussion among the larger community regarding action to be taken; major preparation necessary, serious ethical issues and no easy answers to that one.
As for the axe wound...treat for shock, elevate legs for a while before attempting to remove the axe= minimize bleeding. Keep the person warm, again legs elevated to keep blood in vitals. Doctors may know better, but I would remove axe and wash out with saline solution and mild antiseptics, depends what is on hand...hydrogen peroxide? highly diluted bleach?-may be better than raging infection or gangreen? Pack and wrap wound. Treat with any antibiotics as possible, vitamins expecially C, feed garlic, onions. Change dressings a few times a day and monitor wound for further developing problems.
Person with suspected food poisoning: try to get them to drink some diluted vinegar...I've read that this is good has always seemed to help me. Keep hydrated with sports drinks or sugar/salt water. Give antibiotics as possible, vitamins expecially C, feed soups, garlic, onions.
Looking forward to some other peoples' best remedy suggestions here!!
Just thought of something...I knew an old timer...who said when he was a child he cut the bottom of his foot very badly and deeply across the arch from one side to the other, while playing barefoot near some railroad tracks. He grew up poor in the country, and didn't have money for medical care. His uncle cleaned the outside of the wound as well as possible and filled it with "coal oil." He then wrapped it up and left it wrapped until it healed on its own. Anyone ever heard of anything like this, or think this has any merit? I don't have any coal oil, but maybe I should find some to keep around...
Thanks everyone for the contributions, many excellent replies.
I want to focus on the problem of the migrating group of destitute coming to "our" town, for a moment. How would we deal with situation?
We obviously don't have the food and water that they are seeking, but trying to prevent their entry seems unachievable because of their sheer numbers. This seems like a very difficult situation to deal with. Anyone have any ideas?
Thanks in advanced.
Hide your valuables and join them until they're gone.
When my dad was young, following the Great Depression and at the start of WWII, he injured himself with a pitchfork. He was moving cow manure and decided to take a break. Being young, he decided to pay "tail gunner" and pushed the pitchfork though his foot. Being poor, his parents didn't have any medicine or the ability to get to the doctor. However, his mother had collected all the puff mushrooms and dried them from the woods. I don't know their technical name but as a kid we would always play with them because, when popped, they would spay a cloud of spores into the air. Anyway, my grandmother always said that they contained penicillin. She washed out the wound with soap and water, placed a dried mushroom on the top and bottop, and wrapped the wound. She kept repeating this process until the wound was healed. Remember, this was a pitchfork that was being used to move cow manure but with this treatment, there wasn't any infection. Just another backwoods medicine that we've lost sight of.
Thoughts on the migrating mob: most of them probably won't complete the journey if it is that long, and those that do will not likely have serious weapons (too heavy to carry?) and will be exhausted--not much of a "force". Depending on how many actually arrive, it may be possible to share some resources with them as a community (if a cohesive one is developing) ....this is the civilized thing to do, but it has dangers. I can't imagine myself being cruel enough to attack them or tell them to go away knowing they are most likey to die soon....OK so I'm probably being optimistic here, but as I play it out I don't see them as anything more than pitiful upon arrival.
The silence on this one is deafening....
My gramps put turpentine and plantain on infections . I belief I may still have some or it could be in the horse tack shed . I will go look .
So watching for a red streak going up the leg to show signs of infection before we crack out the antibiotic or cut off the leg, but the honey really should have worked . My dad did actually get lock jaw when he was young but survived it, obviously . Did you know if your 17 year old steps on a nail and you just want a tetanus shot but the child has never been to a Dr. and has no records they will not treat her. Even if you have very good insurance . Instead sends you to the health dept. Well that is cheaper anyway . $9
Buy Activated charcoal at health food stores and pharmacies is for food poison also garlic . Do not eat .. Stay hydrated . Until the bacteria passes .
The mob of people will take a long time to walk 90 miles maybe 20 days getting slower everyday ,at best ,especially if they are carrying their gold and not food . Most will not make it . They are not prepared with that much food and are not smart enough to not drink bad water . Those that do are very weak . Not much of a threat .
A Rich Man is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least!
The refugees are not the ones to fear, they will mostly be too weak to cause problems.
The ones to fear are the antisocial predators with a SKS rifle sitting in the trees till you come out to feed the goats. Popping a cap in you and then going in to enjoy your food while raping and your daughter for a few days while torturing your wife to tell them where the valuables are hidden. Your neighbors are to far away to see or hear anything out of the ordinary. That is the myth of safety out in the wilderness. Small communities with houses within sight of each other, while not ideal will be safer
My humble opinion
Refugees - As others here have said, not all of the refugees fleeing the nearby city (heck maybe not even half of them) will make it as far as our town if it's more than 3 days walk or so, and most that do arrive will be in a weakened state. Some will without a doubt be armed, but with limited mobility (no vehicles) and being weakened from their ordeal, they will not be an ideal position to ransack the town unless they come in overwhelming numbers (tens or hundreds of thousands). The best thing to do in any case would be to close off or create security checkpoints at as many access points into town as possible. Then get an inventory of the town's resources and see how many people could be sustained until the next major growing season, but it sounds questionable (at least right now) that the town at large is cohesive and cooperative enough to do this. So instead do the same with just our local community... see how much our community has and how many people we can support through the winter assuming minimal additional food coming in (via hunting, fishing, or winter gardening). Then call an emergency town meeting and see if we can get most of the rest of the town to follow along. At this point there are several possible scenarios:
1) We have an excess supply of food/water that can sustain most or all coming refugees at least through the winter months
I don't see this as highly likely but we can hope this is the case. Some steps to take include brainstorming ideas for finding shelter for refugees (schools or closed shops and buildings), figure out a bare minimum food plan that should sustain them, and find any unused land that can be prepared for any winter crops and the next major growing season (seems most people here live in temperate zones so I'm assuming that's the case here). Establish a main town checkpoint for taking names and information (career, job skills, physical ability, special needs) of any refugees not continuing on to other locations, and direct them to whatever area we've established to feed and house them. Weapons are a tough call.... ethical reasons aside, confiscating weapons from the refugees is a recipe for disaster. Maybe establish a protocol (rigidly and harshly enforced) for bringing firearms into town; unloaded open carry only (magazines and ammo must be carried separately) with a visible colored-ribbon ("a peace knot") tying the gun to the holster or (if a rifle/shotgun) tied so as to block the chamber. It wouldn't stop all gun violence in town, but hopefully this would cut down on it dramatically. Or if the number of armed refugees coming into the area is extremely high, establish a "coat-check" system where any refugees coming in town would check their guns and take a claim ticket. They can retrieve their guns either when they leave town or have been established as trustworthy; any who don't comply don't get into town. Once they get into town and get shelter, those in the community who are knowledgeable about agriculture and outdoor survival can post flyers or teach techniques for sanitation for primitive living, how to grow their own food, identify edible plants and mushrooms, and basic fishing & hunting techniques. Try to make arrangements between the hardware/garden store owner (and owners of any arable land) and any refugees here to stay that they can use available tools and land in return for a share of the future harvest. Make it painfully clear that 1) help from the government is not likely to come as they likely have their own problems, 2) the food/water they're getting is only temporary and that if they expect feed themselves next year they better get working now, and 3) everyone who is able is expected to aid in the defense of the community. Many refugees will probably perish anyway, but at least this gives some a chance for survival. The difficulty with this option is it requires a person or group of people with strong leadership skills and very strong logistics and organizational skills.... I hope one or more of you folks out there fits the bill (no pressure, right? )
2) We have an excess supply of food/water but far too many refugees for supplies to last through the winter
Probably the most likely scenario, and not a lot of options. Post signs and assign armed folks near the edge of the town, and make it clear there is not enough food to take in refugees and post maps of other locations where there might be assistance available. Depending on how much excess food is available and If it's feasible, set up a few food and water stations where refugees can pick up a small sack of food and containers to replenish their water supplies before they continue on. To avoid fraud everyone picking up a bag gets painted on the hand (using paint that doesn't come off easily), and make it clear anyone seen taking someone else's bag will be shot on sight. If there's been some success in getting some vehicles running again (and IMO that's a reasonable assumption) and if we've received word over the radio of aid centers in the region (less likely but possible), fix up and make available to the refugees some of the school and town buses, with some tow trailers if possible, so they can ride to the aid centers. Receving further gas supplies is not likely to happen for a long time so having less vehicles available in town won't be much of an issue, and each vehicle can be given enough gas to make it to the prospective aid center. Some of these actions require giving away precious resources to people who have no guarantee of survival, but that extra food is likely to taste pretty bitter if one finds out afterwards it would have saved the life of a family who only needed to make it an extra few dozen miles or few days further to find rescue.
3) No excess supply of food/water or large-scale cooperation is impossible within the town (too much disorder or rioting for example)
Given the situation as described by Jeff, this is unfortunately likely. Without large-scale cooperation it becomes impossible to secure the town, so our small community must establish a smaller zone or zones within town and attempt to secure those. Same as #2, no one enters the area and maintain an armed presence to discourage entry and keep people moving past. Or if the group of refugees is way too large (or your community way too small) for this to work, the best option is to either hole up as inconspicuously as possible, or bug out if you have the means and a place to go. If this is a situation where there is a little extra food/water available but disorder prevents large-scale actions as described above, find a secretive way to take in a certain number without the larger group of refugees knowing (you might get a riot otherwise). Or if that's not feasible set up an out-of-the-way distribution station away from the zones and near a relatively clean freshwater source, and as before post up a map of possible places further along that may have aid available. I doubt there's much else that can be done.
When it gets dark the ones of the community who are hooked on illegal drugs will surface . What will be your plans for them ? Just wondering .... the law enforcement are not successful in this area . Of course in farm areas there is plenty of ingredients, and meth labs are busted several times a year .,
In most recent economic collapses such as Rhodesia and Argentina. People actually flee from the country to the cities for safety. Just ask the 4000 dead Rhodesian ranchers how well they fared with their guns and trained, well armed security forces. Well I guess you can't because they are dead.
Problem with living in the country is the police can't protect you, but they will come arrest you for shooting a hobo who was stealing some tomatoes. Our most likely crisis scenario will be one in which electricity and goods will be available, but most will be unable to afford them -- not a EMP type event. Come on people. This is an economics website. We are facing economic disaster -- not WW3.
BTW I'll take out the axe head and wash out the wound for a couple chickens and a tank of gas.
Gee Doc, you are right. But you sure can ruin the fun .
Really now, Its gonna be the "Waltons", or "Mad Max", My vote is for a short mad max scenario
and then on to the waltons.
robie (gotta love john boy)
Our most likely crisis scenario will be one in which electricity and goods will be available, but most will be unable to afford them -- not a EMP type event. Come on people. This is an economics website. We are facing economic disaster -- not WW3.
I figured a post of this nature would show up eventually. To be honest I'm surprised that it took this long. Personally, I choose the EMP scenario because I think it is much, much more likely than a hyperinflation/currency crisis in a credit based monetary system.
This is not an economic website, its an entertainment website. The "fear-de jour" at the moment is a currency crisis, but I've been around long enough to know that when this one fades, two more will be right behind it to take its place. The truth is, that in these modern times, we enjoy being afraid and exploring our fear, from a safe-distance of course, but its all just entertainment.
The purpose of this mental exercise is to promote lateral thinking, not to forecast the future. And I believe that this series of threads has done that. But it should be emphasized that one should not take their fears too seriously. To do so, provides the leverage and opportunity to be manipulated.
So I will cease my participation in this thread, and let everyone concentrate on more realistic delusions.
Thanks everyone for indulging me with this simulation, I learned a great deal and I hope the feeling was mutual.
All the best....Jeff
Speaking of economic collapse, Farmers trying to cover our butts from all directions as possible . I asked our banker how worried he was for the farmers . He said most learned not to go into debt from the eighties. If they have debt it is with a big bank some where or they are divided in half from divorce.
. Well in those days many of the farmers went to work as engineers on the railroad so they would have health insurance , be more diversified with 70k income, and take any loss or part of the expense off the income tax . Wives and children are hired as business expense. Yes they take a good amount out of the RR check for retirement fund ,which ,as some has pointed out here, may never be seen . Not a one I have talked to even considered buying gold. We will see what is considered at the coffee shop when the snow flies . For now they are still waiting in line to dump grain at the coop.
Opinions on talking to them about why buying gold is a good thing. In simple terms please . As you know we are laid back God respecting people . They are not going to listen to anyone talking down to them.
A resource for planning for & reacting to the unexpected (storms, natural disasters and other shocks)
Members to support one another in investing endeavors
Preparing those people on Ise Lodge (Kettering) Northants, interested in the future post fossil fuel.
A meeting place for all who are interested in building or sharing a resilient lifestyle up here in the North.
A group to form alliances for survival