The practice of outdoor activities is often the cause of minor injuries but can worsen in the absence of rapid treatment.
This article offers simple ways to provide first aid after a cut, burn, scrape or a foreign object is thrown into the eyes.
What you will not find in this article: herbal treatments, ointments and ointments, methods of care that replace medical control carried out by professionals and finally, home remedies or bonesetters.
The methods presented here are developed from nursing techniques and the minimum natural material available in a temperate climate.
They are deliberately simple but not simplistic. They respect the rules of hygiene and rigorous asepsis.
- The Basics
- The basic rules
- Basic products
- Be responsible
1 – the four main basic principles
- The first of the main principles is that the body heals itself, and the caregiver is only there to help it.
Indeed, the body itself manufactures all the tools necessary for healing and its recovery; it has immune defenses and platelets that help it heal a wound or prevent infection.
The caregiver, by his action accelerates the natural process but does not replace it; in the end, it is still the body that heals and not the caregiver who causes it to heal.
- Second principle: it is always preferable to make simple dressings.
Simple dressings are always well adapted, not too thick, bulky, and flexible, and they follow the body’s natural movements when possible. A simple dressing is often an effective dressing.
- Third principle: the treatment takes place in three stages.
1 – Cleaning/irrigation (to eliminate sources of infection).
2 – Asepsis of the wound (which only lasts about ten minutes in the open air).
3 – Finally, protect the wound with a moist device that does not adhere to the scar tissue.
- Last major principle: it is not enough to make a dressing; the care does not stop there, it is necessary to carry out monitoring.
1 – Initially monitoring for possible inflammation, a sign of complication. Inflammation is the occurrence of redness around the wound that is warm and painful to the touch.
2 – The second important monitoring element is body temperature, which is synonymous with an infection.
3 – Finally, the third thing to watch out for is the presence of pus or necrosis.
Note: Don’t worry about itching. Itching is a natural sign of healing; it is only aggravating if it is erythema by contact with a stinging plant.
2 – The three basic rules
- The first of the rules remains personal hygiene, that of the caregiver and the patient.
It is inconceivable to treat a person with poor hygiene or to consider performing a treatment with a runny nose and dirty hands! It may be obvious, but it requires a certain discipline because there is nothing more difficult than not scratching your nose when it itches, and well during treatment, it is prohibited! Or even running your hand through your hair because it gets in your face (I have very specific memories of colleagues who don’t tie their hair back). This rule, therefore, goes beyond hand washing alone; it is still necessary not to recontaminate them afterwards! We will see how later.
For now, let’s wash them. The best is a piece of Marseille soap and filtered water (if it’s sterile, it’s even better but good). The other practical and naturally available means is soapwort, which contains natural soap (saponin) and filtered water. In the absence of these two products, a mixture of pine resin and wood ash well rinsed with sterile water can do the trick, or last solution, a good rubbing of a bunch of plantains and sterile water, will be effective although less practical.
Tie your hair back, don’t sweat on the wound (the stress of the treatment can cause a lot of sweating, and even if the sweat is initially sterile, it is emitted by bacteria-laden pores), don’t cough or sneeze, do not bring your hands to your face (or anywhere else!), blow your nose before and make the same recommendations to your patient.
The patient, precisely, also has the right to clean in order! Hands, around the wound, runny nose and so on.
- The second basic rule is always to think and carry out the care of the “clean” towards the “dirty.”
Let me explain: whether in the organization of the preparation of the treatment or its realization, strictly speaking, it is always necessary to carry out the cleanest tasks before the dirtiest tasks. So if several people are to be treated, first take care of the people with the cleanest wounds (or the least dirty!) to then focus on the most delicate and contaminating cases.
In the same logic, the same person takes care of the cleanest wounds to end up with the dirtiest. Finally, on the same wound, start with the cleanest area to go to the dirtiest.
I have repeated myself a lot, but this precaution is intended to avoid the contamination of healthy areas by germs collected from contaminated areas.
- The third rule is: healing is a one-way street, don’t go over what you’ve just done.
Here too, let me explain: when carrying out the treatment, do not go back to the gesture that you have just carried out with the same equipment; a compress is only used once; organize your “treatment station” like a circuit or the clean is at the head of the patient and the dirty at their feet so that you use the compresses on one side, perform the treatment in the middle and throw the dirty compress at the other end of the “clean/clean” circuit. Dirty “.
On a wound, it’s the same: put your compress soaked in sterile water on the less dirty side and in a single gesture without going back, go towards the least clean.
3 – Basic products
The first of the obstacles to overcome is: what resources can we use to practice healing?
Nature is fortunately generous and offers us the products we need:
- If it is not possible to find water or to boil it, only one liquid can replace it: urine!
Urine is the only naturally sterile liquid allowing wound irrigation, but it is not the most pleasant! So use it only as a last resort.
- The other natural fluid likely to help us is the tear; unfortunately, it is not provided in sufficient quantity to irrigate a wound; on the other hand, to irrigate an eye, no problem!
The best way to get an eyeful (apart from the neighbour’s beautiful thighs) is to make yourself cry. It’s up to you to find the most effective method (for girls it will be enough to remember the end of the movie “GHOST” for guys may be the end of “POINT BREAK”) in general the thought is enough but it is not forbidden to use a wild onion or a small leek found in the garden of the local farmer!
After seeing the irrigation and washing solutions, let’s look together at the antiseptic products.
- Perhaps the most widespread is the plantain, but its antiseptic power is weak.
Still, from a first-aid perspective, it will often be enough; let’s not forget that the body heals itself and that our action is only intended to lend a hand. It will have to be ground cleanly, and the best is chewing (don’t suck the juice!) if you don’t have a pestle or pressure between the fingers and direct application.
- Another product that is more difficult to find but can be easily transported is garlic cloves.
Its antiseptic power is much better, and it’s easy to conserve. It will also have to be crushed to remove the juice.
- Finally, the last antiseptic is not liquid but is quickly produced: black charcoal.
The disadvantage is that in direct presence with the wound, the immune defences will consider it a foreign body. But in paste, mixed with sterile water, placed between two squares of cloth, it will provide an absorbent and antiseptic compress of choice.
Finally, let’s deal with the dressing.
- Even if it is possible to make dressings with leaves or clay, the most pragmatic remains the use of fabric from our clothes. The two most practical and common natural fibers are cotton and linen, synthetic fibres are to be avoided, and hemp remains usable but rarer.
The uses of these fabrics can be multiple: gauzes, compresses, bandages and wicks, but you must never forget to sterilize them!
To do this, nothing could be simpler than boiling them in the water that is being sterilized. It is more prudent to leave them in sterile water for the duration of the treatment, this will avoid any contamination by contact with an object or the ground. The presence of liquid on the strips of fabric is not a problem; a wound always heals better in a moist environment.
Don’t be silly: don’t play RAMBO!
The techniques I have just told you are not there to avoid consulting a health professional in case of a complication.
Modern medicine remains a very effective method, and the advice of a wise doctor is essential.