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The Top 10 Most Popular Winter-Safety Posts of the Year

The Top 10 Most Popular Winter Safety Tips

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Here in Colorado, we’ve already had some really cold days and then some sneaky mild ones. Sneaky because I get all comfortable going out with a light jacket one day; the next, the sky is clear, and it looks the same—from the inside. I walk out, and bam, it’s biting cold. Or the day is pretty mild and the night is freezing.

Winter is upon us, and I have this sneaky feeling it’s going to get colder before it gets warmer. So I went back and reviewed my previous posts for winter safety tips (hey, sometimes even I don’t remember every detail I’ve written). And below I’ve linked to the 10 most popular ones for 2014.

Even if you’ve read them, I’d suggest you, like me, could benefit from a review, to get you ready for the upcoming cold. And even if you live in a warm climate, check out number eight for sure.

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When Low Blood Pressure, Low Temperature, or Abnormal Lab May be Good

When Low Blood Pressure, Low Temperature, or Abnormal Lab May be Good | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

A few weeks ago a patient I was seeing in the office asked me to look at a copy of his lab work he’d received from an alternate medicine provider. It was the usual chemistry screen and all looked great, to me at least. But two figures were circled, a slightly low creatinine level and a slightly high BUN/creatinine ratio, and yes, the lab printout had those in the out-of-normal range. His provider had asked that he come back in several weeks and have them rechecked. The retest would cost around $150.

This jogged my memory of some wise advice one of my medical school professors taught: Doing a medical test is useless if you have no idea what you’re going to do with the results.

And you’re not going to do much if there’s no danger from a slight abnormality. This goes for everyday situations and survival ones.

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How to Reduce Asthma Attacks and Panic Attacks by Retraining Your Breathing

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by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

What do asthma attacks and panic attacks have in common, besides the fact that they’re both more likely during a disaster?

They both cause you to hyperventilate (breathe faster), which in turn makes them worse.

There’s a breathing technique that can help stop the cycle. But it’s the opposite of what you probably think. It’s not deep breathing; it’s slow, shallow breathing. And practicing it can even help prevent attacks from coming on. But you have to learn to do it properly—preferably straight from a professional.

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Holiday Survival Sale, On Now!

Sized for Facebook. (Also good for websites, newsletters.)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Today, I’m launching my first ever big holiday survival sale.

There are personalized gifts for under $20 plus deep discounts on training.

Has taking a great first aid or wilderness survival course been on your to-do list? Why not make 2015 the year of getting it done? With these specials, you could even take my course with a friend.

If some of The Survival Doctor products are on your own Christmas list, now’s the time to tell friends and family about them. They can get them for you at a discount, so, you know, you’d be doing them a favor by letting them know, right?

But don’t delay. That snail mail can be a bit overwhelmed during this time of year, and the sale is for a limited time only. In fact, I don’t know when I’ll offer these deals on the training course again, if ever.

Feel good about your purchase! Thank you for supporting a small business made in the USA.

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Why Winter Heart Attacks Are More Common No Matter the Weather (and What You Can Do)

Why Winter Heart Attacks Are More  Common No Matter the Weather (And What You Can Do) | The Survival Doctor

Part 2 in a two-part series on cold weather and your heart. See part 1 here.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

In my last post, I talked about the effects of cold weather on your heart. But there are other possible reasons winter is prime time for heart attacks even when it’s warm out. So there are even more steps than the ones I mentioned that may help lower your risk.

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How Cold Weather Affects Your Heart (and What to Do About It)

How Cold Weather Affects Your Heart (and What to Do About It) | The Survival Doctor

Part 1 in a two-part series on snowy weather and your heart.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Every year people have heart attacks shoveling snow. Your heart attacking you is never good, but a slick road may make quick emergency transport harder than ever. And since the first few minutes can be crucial, that could make a difference in life or death.

Simple solution: Don’t shovel snow, correct? Well, maybe. Maybe not.

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The Most Common Side Effects I See From OTC Meds—and How to Avoid Them

When you might want to think again before taking that medicine. | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

It’s disaster time and you have a problem. Maybe pain from an injury or headache or misery from indigestion or a cold. You delve into your stash of over-the-counter medications you’ve saved for times just like this and take one you’ve taken many times before. Two hours later, you have a rash or stomach pain or some other odd new problem. Is it related to the medicine? I mean, you’ve taken it so many times in the past.

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Readers Respond: 11 More Winter Supplies to Keep in Your Car

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by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

You let the dog out one last time before bed, and you hear a yelp. Somehow she’s managed to cut her leg pretty deep.

Being a fan of The Survival Doctor, you know to apply pressure to stop the bleeding, but she just keeps crying. You know of a vet clinic that stays open until 11, and it’s 10 right now. You tie a rag around the wound and head out the door.

After a couple of miles, you hear a bump, bump, bump. It gets louder. You pull over and dig out your flashlight from the glove compartment. The batteries are dead.

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Sensation-Free Ebola Facts: What We Know and What We Don’t

Sensation-Free Ebola Facts: What We Know and What We Don’t | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

In the medical field, other than death, nothing is absolute. One radio interviewer told me recently he would never be comfortable about the Ebola risks until we knew absolutely everything about it and there was zero risk for everyone. Guess what. He’s never going to be comfortable.

Part of the Ebola fear fuel in America right now is the fact that we don’t know everything about this disease. And when questions arise, people come out of the woodwork with answers, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. Often, their answers boil down to: Well, we don’t know, but maybe, and if so, yikes!

All I know to do is go with what we do know now. As with any disease, we can ask: How much at risk are we? Can we can change any of our actions to reduce our risk? Is it worth it to us to change those actions? And if what we know changes, we can reassess the risk.

The facts, for now, Oct 20, 2014:

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Update on My Hands-Only CPR Post: The AHA’s Response

Update on My Hands-Only CPR Post: The AHA’s Response | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

If you read my post about Hands-Only CPR Monday, you know that I believe the American Heart Association’s guidelines leave room for interpretation. So my team emailed them to see if they could officially clarify some points.

Here’s part of their response. It addresses some issues related to Hands-Only CPR, a trademarked term for doing chest compressions only (no mouth-to-mouth), but doesn’t clarify completely.

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