MEDICAL: Ditch Medicine - Wound and Infection Management

woundman
woundman

Dude, No amount of Cipro is going to fix this

Disclaimer

Wound care away from the hospital is always a problem.  And thanks to Bear Grylls, everyone thinks that any cut or scrape is going to lead to gangrene and amputation.

While antibiotics are often tough to acquire in any decent amount to treat a seriously infected wound outside of a licensed medical facility, here are some steps that you can use to prevent that field amputation.

First, wash the crap out of the wound.

Sounds easy, but a serious laceration or puncture is tougher to wash out than just using a bottle of hand sanitizer.  You need to pressure wash the wound to make sure that anything embedded (debris or bacteria) has been removed.

Two easy ways:

1: Take a standard average plastic bottle, poke a hole in the cap and squeeze.  Creates a jet of water that you can use to wash the wound

2: Take a Ziploc bag filled with water, cut a small bit of the corner off, and again squeeze to create a jet of water.

Adding some salt in the water will help to create a more aseptic solution.

Now that the wound is clean, here’s an easy Ditch medicine step to keep it from getting infected:

DIY Wound and Infection Management
DIY Wound and Infection Management

Ditch medicine Infection Management for those who can't go to a hospital – former hip-hop singer not included:

Take povidone (sold in drugstores as Betadine) and mix in sugar until the solution has the consistency of honey.  Spread this liberally across the margins of the wound.  This trick is an old-wives tale but actually holds true.  Not surprisingly, it’s not condoned by the AMA or any other medical body, but horse trainers have been using it for years, and it does work, even on humans.

Betadine
Betadine

Different types of betadine

Note:  This works best with liquid Betadine, but if you don’t have any, you could try substituting iodine tablets dissolved in water.  Use a lot of tablets and not much water to make a very yellow solution (I’ve not personally tested this, but I’ve been told 10-15 tablets per 500ml of water should work).  In this case, something is better than nothing.  Ditch medicine at its finest.

While iodine (Betadine) by itself is an antiseptic, adding sugar in the mix does a couple of things.  Most importantly, it will keep the Betadine in place and in solution (iodine does shit when it dries) for long periods of time.  In addition the sugar will work to osmotically pull fluid from the wound decreasing edema (swelling) and the ability of bacteria to get inside the wound.

Short version: Rinse + Betadine + sugar = decreased infections and no amputations.

Sorry Bear, hate to f*** up your show.

grylls
grylls

"its just like a little cock in my mouth"

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~John B Correspondent - Medical and S&R

lifeline
lifeline

John B has been an EMT for 18 years and is currently a Field Team Leader for a Search and Rescue Team, he also holds a Master's degree in Neuroscience.