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4 Ways to Sterilize Your Medical Instruments [Book Excerpt]

4 Ways to Sterilize Instruments (Excerpt from "Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid")

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

For this month’s posts, I’ve chosen some excerpts from my new book, Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid, that I think will especially interest my regular blog readers. If you’ve already bought the book, I’d be interested to hear what you think of these sections.

First up: Here at the blog, I’ve gone into a good bit of detail about treating wounds, but have you ever wondered when you need to sterilize the instruments and dressings you use?

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How Dangerous Is Tetanus Really? 10 FAQs

How Dangerous Is Tetanus Really? 10 FAQs | The SurvivalDoctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Over the years I’ve given my share of tetanus shots. And over the years, I’ve noticed that while most people know they need one on occasion, they’re just not sure when or, in fact, what the shot really prevents. I thought I’d provide my take and answer a few FAQs.

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On the Scene: How to Help Victims Survive a Mass Shooting

A SWAT team member prepares. Even in normal circumstances, help may not be able to get to you quickly in a mass shooting. Safety must be established first.

A SWAT team member prepares. Even in normal circumstances, help may not be able to get to you quickly after a mass shooting. Safety must be established first. You may be able to help people survive in the meantime.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Today, I’d like to address some tragedies that have been the news recently: the Navy Yard, Chicago park and Kenya mall shootings.

I won’t get into the causes or preventions of mass shootings. That’s not my expertise. Your guess is as good a mine. What I want to briefly discuss is how to help a victim survive a shooting after 911 has been called (if it’s available).

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To Pop or Not to Pop? This Answer Can Make Your Blister Heal Better

To Pop or Not to Pop? This Answer Can Make Your Blister Heal Better | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

When someone comes in to my office with a burn or really any type of condition that causes a blister I’m almost always asked what’s the best treatment—specifically, should they pop the blister or not pop?

Over the years, I’ve come up with some blister treatment guidelines. But first I should tell you why just popping all blisters is not always the best plan.

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How to Treat a Burn Like a TV Star

What a TV star did right and wrong when she caught on fire—in real life. | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Many of us try to stay outside as much as we can this time of year. Grilling, camping, swimming, there’s so much to do. You sure don’t want to waste time when you could be having fun recuperating from an injury.

One hazard common to all the activities I mentioned is burns. Even a bad sunburn can be severe enough to cause blisters and make you feel horrible. (In fact, I recently wrote on how to avoid this and on the pros and cons of using sunscreen.) But sometimes, accidents just happen—and so do burns worse than any sunburn. That’s why everyone should know at least the basics of how to treat a burn. Minimize the damage, and you’ll minimize that recovery time.

As an example, let’s look at a real-life burn. Would you know what to do in the following situation?

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Videos: Posterior Nasal Packing (or Stopping a Bad Rear Nose Bleed)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

These videos, courtesy YouTube users, demonstrate parts of the procedures I describe in “When Your Nose Won’t Stop Bleeding: Causes and Cures.”

When Your Nose Won’t Stop Bleeding: Causes and Cures

When Your Nose Won’t Stop Bleeding: Causes and Cures | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

In my last post I wrote how to treat the vast majority of nose bleeds. But what do you do when these methods don’t work and you can’t get to a doctor?

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The Movie Way to Stop a Nose Bleed (and Die)

The Movie Way to Stop a Nose Bleed (and Die) | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I hope you never stop a nose bleed like they do in the movies. If you do, you just might bleed to death.

Here’s a typical scene: The hero has been punched in the face and his nose is bleeding pretty badly. He sits down, tilts his head back, and pinches the bridge of his nose or applies an ice pack to that area. Well, at least they get one thing right.

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What to Do for a Collapsed Lung

In this X-ray, both lungs are collapsed. The arrows point to the outside linings of the lungs. They should be filling the ribcage, but you can see from the black areas (air) that they're not.

In this X-ray, both lungs are collapsed. The arrows point to the outside linings of the lungs. The black areas are air.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I remember one patient in particular, a nurse. I was less than a year out of training. She was working on the floor when I was in the emergency room. She came up to me and said, “I think I have a collapsed lung.” She was holding the side of her chest and obviously in pain but didn’t appear short of breath.

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How to Treat 4 Types of Gunshot Wounds (From One Shot?)

Bullet casing

Bullet casing.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

A paramedic told me that when she was in training, a patient came in who had been shot in the right upper chest. They ended up finding the bullet not in the back, not even in the other side of the chest, but way down in the right butt cheek, pushing against the skin.

In my last post, I covered general gunshot-wound treatment—the basics for survival situations when you can’t get to a doctor. Now, I’ll go into more detail for specific wounds.

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