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2 Medical Procedures You Can Do at Home—and Avoid the ER

Here are two tricks to remove a ring from a swollen finger and find a tiny speck in your eye.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

These two medical techniques are among the most popular I’ve ever shared here. They’re little-known but easy to master, and they often solve a couple of daunting, frustrating problems.

Since I published them over two years ago, readers have told me again and again that these tips have allowed them to avoid expensive doctor visits. So I thought they were worth recapping, to make sure you have them in your back pocket. They could save you time, money, and lots and lots of frustration.

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Investigative Report: Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Fish Antibiotics for Humans

Special Investigative Report: Do Fish Antibiotics Work Well in Humans? | The Survival Doctor

I asked the editor of The Survival Doctor, Leigh Ann Hubbard (a professional journalist and my daughter), to investigate fish antibiotics for use in humans. Here’s her in-depth report. (Don’t miss our related report: Do antibiotic expiration dates matter?)

by Leigh Ann Hubbard

When you’re in a pinch, everyday items can substitute for many traditional medical supplies: honey for cough syrup, vodka for rubbing alcohol, a T-shirt and safety pin for a sling.

But there are a few must-have lifesavers nothing can replace. One is oral antibiotics.

When antibiotics came on the scene in the 1940s, they changed the world. Suddenly, with one little medicine—penicillin at the time—more people could survive serious bacterial infections like staph and strep. Antibiotics brought hope, health, and life.

Today, we have many types of antibiotics that work for different bacterial infections. If we lost access to them, we’d revert to the time when people died for lack of a pill. So it’s common for preppers to stock up on a round.

The challenge is these meds are only available through prescription. Some doctors will prescribe antibiotics for survival storage. But another option many preppers explore is [… continue reading]

Coming Next Week: Everything You Want to Know About Fish Antibiotics

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

There will be no post this week because we’re putting the final touches on a special investigative report we’ve been working on for weeks.

It’s about a topic that’s often speculated about in the survival community: the possibility of using fish antibiotics in humans. Are these medicines safe for people? Are they effective?

We found some surprising, never-before-reported information. Stay tuned for more. (And if you’re not subscribed, sign up to the left to get a reminder when it’s published!)

8 Lifesaving Treatments That Should Be a Reflex

8 Lifesaving Treatments That Should Be a Reflex

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

If you’ve been reading The Survival Doctor for a while, you’ve learned a lot about survival medicine.

Yet all the long-term treatments in the world are useless if the victim dies in the first few minutes. So it’s important to continually return to the basics, to reinforce those quick, life-saving skills I believe are most important to remember.

After all, saving a life or limb in the short-term is often as simple as taking one easy step—but doing it quickly enough to make a difference. People die all the time just because no one around them knew the fix that would have turned things around.

To become a hero at-the-ready, memorize these eight quick treatments and tips. Share them with your friends and family so they’re prepared in case you’re the one who needs care.

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What’s So Bad About Moving a Broken Bone?

Bone Healing: What’s So Bad About Moving a Broken Bone?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

If you’ve only ever seen a dried-up old bone on a skeleton, you’ve gotten the wrong idea about bones. Bones are very dynamic, and that fact impacts how we treat broken ones.

Last week, I wrote that it’s important to immobilize most fractures. Splint them, and don’t walk on them. (Make a cane or crutches if you have to travel for safety or to get help.) But learning why this immobilization is so important will help you remember to do it.

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When You Don’t Want to Set a Broken Bone (Read: Most of the Time)

When Not to Set a Broken Bone | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

It’s getting hot out there, so let’s cool off a little: It’s winter. You’re at your homestead, miles from the city. A severe ice storm has frozen your area. Large branches have crashed from the weight of the ice. The road is impassible, and there’s no phone service.

You venture outside, just a bit, to survey the damage. Wouldn’t you know it; you slip backward. Your outstretched arm braces your fall. Immediate, intense pain. To your horror, your forearm is now crooked.

You know you won’t be able to get professional help for at least another 24 hours. The pain is excruciating.

So, should you have a family member try to put this displaced fracture back in place?

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4 Tips to Survive and Adapt to the Heat

4 Tips to Survive and Adapt to the Heat

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Big news for the Northern Hemisphere. Summer will officially be here June 21. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m a little early (or late). You might want to take a look at my cold-weather posts. But for us northerners, the heat is on.

For as long as I’ve practiced medicine, whether in Mississippi or Colorado, I’ve known that in those first few hot days I’ll be treating some otherwise healthy people for heat-related problems. In fact, just the other day, I saw a man in his early 20s with chest pain, headache, and just feeling awful. He’d been working on a roof. He’s done it for years with no problem. But around here, it suddenly went from a daytime high in the mid-70s to a high in the low 90s. He hadn’t had time to acclimate.

Fortunately, he got out of the heat as soon as the symptoms hit. With some water and cooling off, he was feeling fine in a few hours.

Probably, in a few weeks he’ll be working in the same temperature with no such symptoms. Why?

He’ll be acclimated.

No matter how many years [… continue reading]

Medical and Self-Help Treatment Options for PTSD

Soldiers of the Connecticut National Guard's 143rd MP Co, currently stationed in Afghanistan, say a prayer for the families and the community of Newtown, CT. (US National Guard photo)

This is part 2 in my series on PTSD. See part 1, “How the Brain Is Physically Changed With PTSD,” here.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Say someone is robbed at gunpoint, or they’re walking down the street and their best friend is shot and killed in front of them. We think to ourselves, “Poor person. How can they ever cope with something like that?” Certainly we expect they’re going to need counseling.

Soldiers in a war zone may face these same events over and over, for days or weeks upon end. Others are abused behind closed doors.

These people, and many others, are at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Because so many people have PTSD in wartimes (like right now), we learn a lot during these times about treating the disorder, not only in soldiers but in the public at large.

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How the Brain Is Physically Changed With PTSD

How the Brain Is Physically Changed With PTSD | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

With Memorial Day just past, I thought I might write on a fairly common medical problem that affects many soldiers coming back from war: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The reason I find this appropriate for The Survival Doctor is soldiers are not the only ones who can be affected. This same disorder can hit anyone who has experienced a major trauma or trauma of a loved one.

Let me emphasize I do know that Memorial Day is meant to remember the men and women who have died in defense of our country. We should never forget and always honor their sacrifice, not only on Memorial Day but every day. But I think we should also not forget the permanently altered lives of the loved ones they left behind and those whose lives have been forever changed in any form from the direct horrors of war.

Why Do Some People Get PTSD and Others Don’t? [… continue reading]

4 Things I Learned From This Year’s CPR Course for Professionals

The Survival Doctor: 4 things I learned from this year’s CPR course for professionals

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Every two years, to update my skills, I retake a basic CPR course sponsored by the American Heart Association, along with their Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support course for health care professionals. And it never fails, I always learn something new and remember things I shouldn’t have forgotten. Here are a few highlights from this year.

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