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Smoke Inhalation: What to Do If You’re Trapped

smoke-inhalation

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

The recent train disaster in Washington, D.C., reminded me that I haven’t covered smoke inhalation in my posts.

Picture this. You’re on a subway going through a tunnel when you hear a loud pop. The train stops, the lights go out, and the air starts filling with smoke. And it’s getting worse.

A voice comes over the intercom. “The train is not on fire. Please, everyone, sit on the floor and wait for help.” The voice orders you not to open the doors. You’re trapped.

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The Survey Results Are In

The Survival Doctor's Reader Survey 2015, question 2

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Thank you for the wonderful response to last week’s survey. It will help me a great deal in focusing on what you’d most like to learn about.

As promised, here are the results.

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Quick Survey: How Can I Help You Best?

The Survival Doctor survey: How can I help you best?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

My resolution for 2015 is for The Survival Doctor to focus even more on your needs. I want to help you prepare easier and quicker—in the exact ways you want to.

To that end, would you tell me how I can best help you by answering this five-question survey? It’ll only take about five minutes.

I want to know how you like to learn new things and what you most want to learn about. I’ve been soaking up medical information for over 40 years, so there’s a lot I could share. Where do you want me to focus?

After you take the survey, feel free to expound on your answers in the comments section below. I’ll share the survey results next week.

>> Take the survey.

The Top 10 Most Popular Posts of the Year

The Top 10 Most Popular Post of the Year | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Thank you to for making 2014 another record year for The Survival Doctor. Compared to 2013 our viewership was up by over 10 percent (around 4.5 million visits total). And not surprisingly, our number one most-viewed post remained the same. Otherwise, the most popular posts really ran the gamut—earwax removal and fast heart rates, children’s rashes and knee injuries, eyelid infections and finger infections.

What about you? Did you learn anything new from any of them? Or perhaps they helped refresh your knowledge a bit? Which did you find the most interesting?

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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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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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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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Hands-Only CPR and When to Add the Breathing

Hands-Only CPR and When to Add the Breathing | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

A child collapses; there’s no sign of life. You call for help and start CPR. But wait. Didn’t you hear somewhere that they say now not to do the respirations part? Just do Hands-Only CPR? Or are kids one of the exceptions?

Well, whatever you do, do something, and do it quick.

When to Add the Breathing

These days, Hands-Only CPR is the way to go in most situations for people who aren’t medical professionals. It’s easier; it works as well as adding respirations, at least most of the time. And the feeling is, it’ll help more people act and act quicker.

But there are exceptions.

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