Medical Care With The Lights Out

H/t NCR.

You might also want to review the materials at Aesop’s place to see how you are doing on med preps.

UPDATE 1300E 22OCT2018: Aesop sends a better way to access some of the med material at his place, plus related advice.

5 responses to “Medical Care With The Lights Out

  1. Sadly, that search will get you every article I posted that I ever flagged with “medical” including some that will convey nothing of training for same.

    In my ample spare time, I need to collect all the posts worth your time on actual medical prep, and create a read-only pure medical prep blog to archive them, in order.
    I get right on that…someday.

    But for those completely untrained,

    a) take the references I’ve posted on the Linkapalooza, particularly the military FMs (field manuals), as a good and simple overview

    b) the Basic Training: First Aid posts I put out this year (2018) from May 1st through May 13th will get you off on the right foot

    c) If you haven’t taken a basic EMT course at the local j.c/occ center already
    1) WTF not?!?
    2) Fix that, ASAP

    3) Add to that level of training as time and funds allow

    d) When someone is puking their guts out or spurting bright red arterial blood is too late to crack a frickin’ book. Learn medical things now, otherwise when TSHTF, you don’t have that skillset, and 20 books you’ve never read aren’t going to help you much

    e) a current, practicing paramedic, RN, P.A., D.O./M.D., or a recent Navy Independent Duty Corpsman or SF 18D (not somebody who saw their last patient in ‘Nam, and hasn’t worked the biz since then), or even a veterinarian, and known to you personally who can mentor you 1:1 on the metric fuckton of things you don’t even know you don’t even know is worth their weight in 24K gold.

    f) Extra Special Bonus for the John Mosby types, i.e. geared more to weapons than wound treatment:
    Even if you only stick around through anatomy and physiology, you’ll not only learn how to help the sick and injured, you’ll also learn better ways to make bad people sick and injured.
    Yes, we generally aim center-of-mass, but if you have options, or you’re working with impact weapons at bad breath distance, wouldn’t you rather go for the anatomical 10-digit grid coordinate of where to really f**k someone up?
    Just saying.
    There’s something in this sort of training for everyone.

    Get some.

    Because Neither Mountain House nor Wise Foods sells a #10 can of freeze-dried Doc-In-The-Box, that you can reconstitute into an instant fully functional medial professional with a pint of water when things get shitty.

    • Added this comment to the post.

    • Nothing beats hands on experience but what about force multiplier?

      Given the cheapness of tablets and specialty monitoring electronics do you see utility in a Doc in a box? I have had an idea floating around in my head for some time that I dismissed more due to the FDA hurdles that production would need to jump through, than the utility of making it.
      From a hardware standpoint I don’t think it would be too difficult to put together monitors for vital signs that connect to a unit controlled by a tablet. Software could be designed that facilitated basic triage and assisted the operator in working through protocols and recorded feedback from the monitors. If you had multiple monitors it would allow a single operator with some experience to assist multiple lower skilled people.

      • I applaud your interest and motivation-it shows real consideration of others welfare.
        I am asking in all sincerity:
        “Okay, now what are you gonna do the information?”
        I crawled down this rabbit hole a while back. The majority of my day is spent in an operating room, watching a monitor. I know what I’m seeing (most of the time), and have the training, experience and RESOURCES to intervene as needed.
        I concluded my money was better spent on additional basic supplies.
        I always refer folks Aesop’s stuff.

      • It’s already out there.

        You used to have to learn how to measure BP, with a BP cuff and stethoscope; now you can buy a machine that’ll do it for you for about $40-60. (But you should still learn the old school way, which works without batteries or power, and the stethoscope has a multitude of other uses.)

        Pulse/pulse ox used to be a $600-800 console; now you get one smaller than a pager used to be for under $50 that does the same thing.

        Respirations require two eyes and a $20 Casio watch with seconds displayed.

        My PMD used to do EKGs with a $1K dedicated 12-lead machine.
        Now her office staff – the frickin receptionist – does it with a Bluetooth hardware module, a laptop, and some software. It can be emailed worldwide at the speed of electrons on WiFi. training probably consisted of half an hour to show her where to put the stickers on the chest, and which buttons to push.

        But you have to know what the info means.

        The most important thing for entry-level to serious practice is far less the numbers in a snapshot of right now, as much as it is trends over time.

        And how to manage that.

        EMT/medic/corpsman/paramedic is field treatment, and stabilization for transport to definitive care.
        Once you get to being the definitive care, you’re into RN/PA/MD territory.
        You can do a lot of that if you have the mental skillz and info in your head up front, and know what you don’t know.

        It’s like math: if you can’t add, subtract, multiply, and divide in your head, on the fly, giving you an ATM card or cash register isn’t the time for you to pick up a math textbook for the first time.

        We start teaching counting coins in first grade, and yet look at the average order taker at the drive thru, with nominally 10-12 years experience; they still can’t make change for a dollar without taking off their shoes or letting the register do the math, and if you hand them $10.25 for a $3.23 charge, so you don’t get a pocketful of coin change back, their heads melt, and you can see the smoke coming out of their ears. Now imagine that you were bleeding, and their skills were going to save your life – or not.

        Then note that they’ve had more training for that basic skill, and hands on experience, than a doctor does after residency and specialty training has from bachelor’s to that point. And it still kicks their ass.

        This is why medical training should be about 25% of basic training for everyone in the military (for the same reason the Navy spends so much time on damage control), and why basic EMT should be required to graduate high school, even to get a GED, and/or the first semester of college general ed. even in the junior colleges. It ain’t hard, but you have to do the foundation work (familiarity + repetition), and when you add the ability to do minimal critical thinking, you can increase your effectiveness about 1000% over clueless bystanders in less than 3 months. (And bear in mind that a basic EMT has a better medical foundation and knowledge base than what the average surgeon physician had at the outbreak of the Civil War. Starting with Germ Theory and infection control. Louis Pasteur and Florence Nightengale saved more patients in their lifetime and afterwards than every physician who ever lived from Galen, circa 200 A.D. to 1850. Clean drinking water and flush toilets tripled that.)

        Having a doctor or being one is nice, but not really cost-effective until you add differential diagnosis, surgery, anesthesia, effective pain control, and antimicrobial therapy to the cake.
        The 80/20 Rule applies again:
        Anything from EMT to RN gets you 80% of the bang for less than 20% of the buck.
        Get as much as you can, but 80% is one helluva lot better than nothing, or the practice of witch doctory, and for almost the same price in time, materials, and resources as doing nothing.

        Like welding or construction, fixing people is a really nifty skill to have, it travels well, and you don’t need the whole hospital and a decade of training time to do great things.