Given the positive feedback I got, I did a final video wrapping it up and including a few final concepts.
I work as an R.N. in both E.R. and I.C.U. settings. It constantly amazes (and frustrates doctors and nurses) that people are not accountable for their medical use. When some one has a chronic condition that they purposefully do not take care of or they have a problem that has been with them for awhile (time changes by medical condition) and just felt like coming in that day is hard for us to relate to.
As relates to your writing please consider writing on subjects of how much can be taken care of at home with over the counter medications.
Some days a full 1/3 of my patients could have avoided a hospital visit by staying well hydrated (and/or peeing often). This includes dehydration, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and elevated blood sugar. Another good percentage could avoid being sick if they they just washed their hands. This includes flu, colds, pink eye, gastro-interitus, etc. You could give lots of good advice that keep people out of the poor house due to a normal $800 (min) cost of visit to the emergency department for those that actually pay.
Good “talking” with you. Please keep up the increasingly professional work you are doing. Also, I did not write this for print, but you may paraphrase. Thank you.
Hi Tom, thanks for your email. You bring up several interesting and valuable points.
I did notice that as well, that a significant amount of medical complications either start or evolve into more serious ones because of the patient’s ignorance.
Drinking lots of water: As Tom says, staying hydrated. To begin with, most people simply don’t drink enough water as it is. If urine isn’t clear, then you’re dehydrated to some degree. Drinking more water makes you feel better, think better and feel less hungry. People often confuse thirst with hunger. I found out that drinking a couple more liters a day than I normally would helps a lot to accelerate the flu process and reduce the sinuses inflammation and that puffy face feeling.
Washing your hands: Did our grandparents know what they were talking about! Dirty hands when grabbing a quick bite may be one of the most common ways in which people catch bugs that they could have avoided, but its not only that, the average person touches his face three times every waking minute. Its impossible to know what critter came in contact that surface you are now touching or if a plumber just fixed one of the bathrooms in your office building and touched the elevator’s buttons. Wash your hands often, especially before eating and carry with you hand sanitizer for when soap and water aren’t available.
Don’t self medicate! I admit that I take aspirin or ibuprofen when they situation call for it and that would be self medicating, but some people take it to dangerous levels. Aspirin during headaches is one thing, but popping sleeping pills, painkillers and other strong drugs all day can be dangerous. Its always better to check with a doctor, avoid self-diagnoses and if you do take medications on your own, stick to the ones you know well enough and are available across the counter. I’m surprised by the amount of people that will take very strong prescription medications for certain symptoms when there’s less risky options available.
Go to the doctor: How simple can that be? But people will often wait, hoping problems will go away on its own or just ignore doctor’s recommendations all together. If something hurts, or if your body starts failing in some other way, then you need to know what’s going on. Problems rarely disappear on its own, rather they are symptoms of complications likely to get worse rather than better. Infections and wounds that haven’t been sanitized are a good example. I just talked with a friend over the phone that called after having some of his wound dressings replaced in the hospital (bike accident). These treatments can be very painful, but leaving them be can be dangerous since a spreading infection can end up in amputation or death.
Ask for a second opinion: If you don’t like what a doctor tells you, there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. If he says the same as the previous one you have a better idea of how accurate the first diagnose was, if not you may avoid problem. I’ve had doctors recommend surgery and treatments that weren’t really needed. I suppose it happened to others too. As with everything else, unscrupulous doctors will try to make the extra buck (or thousand) at your expenses. Tough economic times bring the worst out of people of all walks of life and this is no different. A second opinion, especially from someone you can trust like friends or family members is important.
Good video on Continuous Chest Compression CPR was developed at the University of Arizona college of medicine.\
And you don’t have to do mouth to mouth.
Plus, because of the Good Samaritan laws, you won’t be legally liable.
VERY EASY. You could save someone’s life.
Thanks so much Jim, people please do invest the 6 minutes to watch this, have your wife and other family members watch it too ( I did) It’s about maybe saving someone’s life one day, maybe even your own!
I manage a Hemodialysis facility for a healthcare system in Detroit, Michigan. The scenario that is unfolding is the United States today is horrifyingly similar to the events that you have related in your book. Sadly I have come to grips with fact that it is likely not a matter of if, but when the other shoe will drop for the people of America and we begin our own nightmare. What has happened to dialysis patients in Argentina since the collapse? I am very concerned for my patients and what this type of economic calamity could mean for them.
Unfortunately this would fall into what kills you after the Collapse, something I already covered to some degree in this post.
When you hear about poverty going up a certain percent, this is what it involves as well; people not being able to pay for the proper medical treatment and eventually dieing.
In Argentina medicine is 100% free, sounds obamafantastic! must be some sort of wonderful paradise where health and medical issues are no longer a concern. Truth is the theory sound wonderful, the problem is when you actually depend on that free, government supported hospitals and clinics.
I’ve been to them. I’ve had family that didn’t want to … waste.. money on a proper private health plan hospitalized in them and I’ve gone to visit them. It is not pretty. Nor is it for the faint of heart.
Depending on where you land they might lack even the most basic supplies such as cotton and gauze, so that gives you an idea of how effective public medical care is in Argentina, and why anyone that has an ounce of brain and can afford it gets private health plans instead.
After the crisis there simply wasn’t enough money, and the government facilities, including hospitals and schools aren’t that different. Supplies and mantainance is still done is dollar prices. You don’t realize how much you relly on imported good until you take a close look. As I write this, its been over a month now since the schools of Buenos Aires have been taken over by the protesting students and parents. No doubt there’s a political struggle of power there as well, since the president hates the capitalist Mauricio Macri, who happens to run the city of Bs. As.. But in spite of that its still true that public education in Argentina is just a shadow of what it used to be 20 years ago, and the difference is greater if you go back 30 years, before the liberals started destroying this country.
If the crisis goes on, expect medicine to become privatized, no matter if officially you happen to have free for all medicine. It just doesn’t work, at least not in the long run, corruption and burocracy makes it too expensive. We are a good example of that.
Stay tuned for another story of the collapse, about a place called “Open Door”.
In close relation to the post “What kills you after an Economic Collapse” is the issue of suicide, which I thought desered a sepparate post.
Suicide had already gone up 60% through the nineties and up until 2001 before the economy finally collapsed. It went up 30% from 2000 to 2001 alone, so the link between suicides and harsh economic times is no mystery. From 1998 to 2008, suicide in Argentina has gone up 102%.
In average, 8 people commit suicide in Argentina per day, 50% of them young people, between 14-24 years old. While this is still around the international average and far from the higher rates of suicide often found in countries with excellent quality of life, its still noticeable. People kill themselves for different reasons, and poor socioeconomic conditions is one of them. Argentina has the highest suicide rate among young people in Latin America.
But lets not only look at Argentina alone, its not the center of the world after all, how about other countries? In Greece, suicides have DOUBLED since the crisis started and in Spain for every 1% increase of unemployment there’s a 0.8% increase in suicide.
I have mentioned before that around here suicide had become so common, it actually bothered me when I went to work taking the train, and someone decided to throw himself under the train at 8 am in the morning, a desperate way to get someone to notice the poor person in his final moments.
Where and Why
What surprised me the most is that Buenos Aires, where most of the population concentrates, is not where most of the suicides (per 100.000 inhabitants ) is taking place. Often it’s the poorest provinces.
Santa Cruz, Catamarca and Salta dispute the top of the list every year.
In Salta for example, suicides have gone up 328% since 1997, mostly young people 15 to 19 years old. Recently I’ve seen it mention on the news and its alarming to see kids from school just chocking themselves to death, sometimes filming it with their cellphones.
Now, Salta is a small province, its capital city where most of its population concentrates barely has 464,678. A wave of suicides took place in the town of Rosario de la Frontera, with just 24.000 inhabitants, where five teenagers between 13 and 14 years old killed themselves in only 3 months.
I find this to be surprising, given that we’re supposed to believe that after an economic collapse, small town lifestyle is supposed to be healthier both mentally and physically for both children and adults. Yet it is in these smaller and often poorer provinces and towns where suicide has peaked, often following unemployment.
According to several reports it seems that its not unemployment directly the reason why teens and young adults kill themselves, but rather the lack of hope in a better future. The difference seems to be subtle but its important to notice it since these poor towns are already used to poverty and hardships. Seems that not seeing light and the end of the tunnel, so to speak, is what pushes these people over the edge.
Another factor seems to be contagious suicide. This is something that experts believe to be possible, specially among teens. I don’t know if contagious is the right word (maybe its more about imitation) but there’s definitely something along that line. When Marilyn Monroe killed herself in 1962, suicide in USA went up 12%. Suicide rates increase when someone famous kills himself and the media pays particular attention to it. In small towns, people usually know each other better and its not unrealistic to expect a “celebrity” reaction when someone that is well known by the inhabitants kills himself, or when the local media deal with the news.
Its interesting to notice theses things, pay attention to them if a family member has a tendency towards depression. Be ready for it and specially discuss it in the family if your community sees something like this going on.
Take care folks,
Compliments on the recommendations of antibiotics on amazon. As a former Army officer, and professional in risk analysis, first aid is tremendously important to everyone during our everyday lives. It doesn’t have to take a widespread crisis for life to decide to come take a shit on your head. It happens, and with or without help, your life, or the life of friends around you may depend on what goodies you’ve got to take care of the situation. Here’s a recommended first aid pack list for the expert traveler (which incidentally includes antibiotics) http://www.concierge.com/images/cnt/pdf/UltimateFirstAidKit.pdf -from Conde’ Nast of all people
Bad things happen, and those bad things typically fall into two categories, short term (like a commute to work) and medium/long term (vacation, camping, disaster of some sort). In short term life threatening situations we focus on stabilizing the person and evacuating them to emergency services (hospital, EMTs, Medics). In these short term situations that means “ABCs” (Airway, Breathing, Circulatory) and treat for shock, heatstroke and hypothermia. This is basic first aid stuff that everyone should take the time to learn.
For trauma the focus is on keeping the patient alive and losing blood is a pretty common way in which people die before reaching medical help. The idea is to keep them alive until you can get them to more professional help (hospital etc). I carry a trauma-focused first aid kit in both my wife’s and my car, and my laptop bag/briefcase. The one personally mandatory trauma item I emphasize as a must have isn’t typically in off-the-shelf first aid kits is “QuickClot”, especially anyone who does recreational shooting / hunting. Quickclot is a chemical powder that in the event of someone bleeding out, you stuff a pack of this in the wound which will stop the bleeding. There’s videos on the net demonstrating stopping arterial bleeding on a pig using the stuff. It’s standard issue to US soldiers, and I say a must have for every home. If you can keep someone from bleeding out long enough to get them to a hospital, you can save a life.
At home I would recommend those with any interest in trauma first aid to keep a bag or two of saline as well (especially those that enjoy recreational shooting at off-the-beaten path areas and ranges. Saline gives volume to someone who’s lost alot of blood, and can help stabilize them. Giving an IV isn’t that hard. Even front-line military personnel are trained in giving an IV as part of “combat lifesaver” training.
As far as the long term, you made a pretty good case for the antibiotics. To the guy who asked if you could determine a viral vs bacterial infection… well alot of doctors prescribe antibiotics to people who have a cold to make them go away… and that’s a virus. Just have some common sense, do a cursory amount of research and don’t be a dumbass and you’ll be fine.
Net: For those who wish to take control of their own destiny, choose not to be a victim and be able to provide basic first aid after a farm, car, construction, home, recreation, shooting, etc accident, it’s a given.
Quikclot Combat Gauze video link
I really like how this product works, looks easier to manipulate during messy situations.