Accidents and Emergencies
by Herbert M. Shelton
DP ND DC DNT DNSc DNPh DNLitt PhD DOrthop
THE HYGIENIC SYSTEM
In the realm of first aid, as in the realm of so-called disease the "do something" superstition reigns supreme and many deaths occur each year because of the many harmful procedures that are employed in many cases. Stimulants, sedatives, antiseptics, etc., are no more necessary in accidents and emergencies than in so-called "diseases."
Because, even in drugless circles, the idea prevails that something radical must be done in accidents and emergencies and that "all that can possibly be accomplished by drug stimulants in cases of unconsciousness, or suspended animation can be brought about * * * by the most energetic vital stimulants * * * hot applications over the heart and alternate hot and cold applications to the spine," we are going to deal first with shock and, then, follow with the other accidents, in alphabetical order.
Definition: This is sudden vital depression due to injury or emotion. As a general rule, the shock is proportionate to the extent of the injury or the emotional disturbance, though this is not always so. I have seen a man grow pale, weak, trembly, and then faint after which he vomited, all as a result of running a small sliver under one of his finger nails. So trivial an accident does not cause so much shock to one in good health. Deferred shock is shock the symptoms of which are delayed for some tune after the physical or emotional injury is received.
Often seemingly trivial injuries produce an almost fatal shock. In these cases there is a faltering in both the fundamental and expressed powers of one organ after another, in more or less rapid succession, not from so-called sympathetic association, or because one organ has learned that its neighbor is in peril and gives down under strenuous efforts to render aid, but the whole system, or its most vital parts, is bankrupt of power and its structures impaired, so that it is but able to keep up a semblance of health in the absence of added Or new disturbing and impairing causes, and as soon as a little extra burden is added, so that a little more power is demanded to keep the machinery of life in regular motion, derangement follows. The whole organism is involved in the destruction, and the best that its several organs can do is to stick to their posts of duty, and hold out as long as they can with what power they have, for no reinforcement can be raised, sufficient to check the derangement, and restore health.
Symptoms: The symptoms of shock are cold, clammy skin, face very pale and pinched, widely dilated and staring eyes, rapid and irregular pulse, and, even in severe injuries, little or no pain. Some of the mental faculties are usually retained.
Etiology: Many kinds of shock are described depending upon their causes. Psychic shock is due to sudden fright, sudden loss, as from the death of a loved one, or other severe emotional experience; allergic shock, serum shock and anaphylactic shock, are terms applied to serum poisoning; surgical shock follows surgical operations; electric shock follows passage of a current of electricity through the body; insulin shock follows an "overdose" of insulin; epigastric shock follows a blow over the stomach; shell shock is loss of nervous control seen in soldiers caused by the noise and concussion of bursting shells; traumatic shock is due to a wound or violence.; testicular shock is due to a blow upon the testicles; aerial shock is similar to shell shock and is due to the same causes. There are other shocks due to the intra-venous administration of drugs. Blood transfusion and great loss of blood each produce shock.
Care of the Patient: It should be obvious that in such cases every effort to conserve vitality should be made and no stimulation of any kind employed. Quiet, warmth and rest mental, physical and physiological are the remedies. The head should be lowered and the feet slightly elevated. After profound enervation from shock, rest physical, mental, sensory and physiological permits the return of the functions of secretion and excretion and the revival of circulation and respiration. But if stimulants drugs and food are given, reaction is prevented and death may ensue.
Even where shock is not profound, lack of proper rest may prevent a full return of secretion and excretion (elimination) and toxemia will be greatly increased. A long-drawn-out convalescence will be experienced in which organic change may take place. This means that the most vulnerable organ will give down and, unless a skillful letting-alone policy is pursued, death may be the result.
The prevailing mistreatment of shock victims is well described by Dr. Tilden thus: "An accident occurs. Someone is shocked into insensibility. A doctor and an ambulance are called. The proper treatment is to stop the hemorrhage first. Place the patient in the shade with a folded coat or something soft under his head not too high. Leave someone in charge, and send the idle and curious away. The patient should not be disturbed until reaction takes place; then he may be removed to his home or hospital as gently and quickly as possible, there to be kept quiet, without drugs and food, until normal.
"The way such cases are usually treated is to rush to the doctor pell-mell, who administers a dose of stimulant hypodermically. The patient is bundled into an ambulance, and rushed, with the speed and noise of the fire department, to a hospital it may be a mile or it may be two or three miles. Then he is rushed to a receiving ward, where he is pawed over and what else, God only knows.
"Rest! Modern medicine has no such word in its dictionary. It is supplanted by stimulation and narcotization. Time is another word that has been eliminated. Care given to the injured is much like the Chinaman's description of the first electric car he ever saw: 'No pushee, no pullee, but run like hellee.' Such treatment has prevented the reaction in thousands and thousands of cases. But the public is satisfied; for something is done and done speedily, and neither last nor least, the patient is done to a finish. * * * Philosophy of Health, Aug. 1924.
This is a condition of suffocation that supervenes when respiration is totally interrupted. There is unconsciousness, due to lack of oxygen and the excessive accumulation of carbon-dioxide.
Etiology: External obstruction as in smothering and hanging, internal obstruction as in choking; immersion in water, as in drowning; or the presence of poisonous gases, as illuminating gas or smoke, are the most common causes.
Care of the Patient: The general care of these cases is the same and consists of:
(1) The restoration of breathing by means of artificial respiration, instructions for which are given below.
(2) Restoration of warmth of the body. This is best accomplished by blankets and the use of artificial heat. Stimulants should not be resorted to.
Drowning calls for great care in draining the lungs of water before artificial respiration is instituted. No time should be lost by moving the body to a place of shelter.
To drain the lungs, place the patient face down with the stomach resting on a barrel or roll of clothing so that the head will be lower than the rest of the body and the water will run out from the throat and lungs. Wipe the mouth and nostrils, wrap the corner of a hand-kerchief about the forefinger and clean the mouth of all mucus. Now remove the body from the roll of clothing or other object and begin artificial respiration. As soon as breathing sets in, apply artificial heat to the body and do not move until full reaction occurs.
Asphyxiation by gas or smoke requires immediate application of artificial respiration. Remove the subject from the smoke or gas and begin work at once. Give him or her an abundance of fresh air.
The Schaefer, or "Prone Pressure" method of artificial respiration, slightly modified, possesses the following advantages: It is immediately available. It is easy of performance. Little muscular exertion and no apparatus are required. It secures larger ventilation of the lungs than the supine method. It is very simple and does not require any complex motions on the part of the operator and is, therefore readily learned. There are no difficulties from the tongue falling back into the air passages. The first result of the movement is an expiration so that foreign substances in the mouth or air passages is likely to be expelled. There is no risk of injury to the ribs or liver if proper care is exercised in executing the movements.
Briefly this method is as follows: place the patient face down. Extend one arm directly over head; bend the other arm at the elbow and rest the patient's face on the hand or forearm, so that the nose and mouth are free of the ground or floor.
Straddle the patient and kneel down with the knees just behind and on each side of the patient's hips. Place the palms of the hands on the small of the back so that the fingers rest on the ribs. The little finger should touch the lowest rib. The thumb should be held alongside' of the fingers which should extend around the sides of the patient until the tips are just out of sight.
Hold your arms straight and swing slowly forward so that your weight is gradually brought to bear upon the patient. This should take two to three seconds and must not be violent. The pressure should be gradually applied as too sudden force may cause damage. This movement compresses the abdomen and lower part of the chest and forces the air out of the lungs. The natural motion of the diaphragm is kept up and circulation through the whole abdomen is accelerated.
After the pressure has been applied, immediately swing backward to your original position, releasing all pressure from the chest. The natural elasticity of the chest walls will now cause them to expand and the diaphragm will descend. The lungs will be refilled with a fresh supply of air.
Repeat these movements, using about four to five seconds for a complete respiration, for as long as necessary. Cases of restoration of breathing, after electric shock, have been reported as occurring after nearly four hours of continuous artificial respiration. Sometimes, after spontaneous respiration has been resumed for a brief time, breathing stops again. Keep a careful watch on the patient and if this occurs, resume artificial respiration.
Manual methods of artificial respiration are superior to pul-motors and similar mechanical devices and have the advantage of being always at hand. Very few accidents occur where apparatus is at hand for immediate use. Aid is needed at once in drowning or electric shock and asphyxiation and the delay incident to removal to hospital or due to waiting for the arrival of apparatus may be the difference between life and death. The patient needs oxygen right now, not a half hour from now.
BURNS AND SCALDS
If the clothing is afire, do not run wildly about, for this will increase the flames. Either lie down and roll over and thus smother the flames or wrap yourself in a quilt, blanket or rug and accomplish the same result. Do not run for water unless it is close at hand.
In removing the clothing, do not try to save it. Cut it loose and do not pull loose any parts that stick to the body and do not burst any blisters.
Care for burns and scalds as instructed under burns, in Affections of the Skin.
When due to foreign objects causing obstruction of the throat, choking calls for immediate removal of the object. A vigorous slap between the shoulders will often dislodge the obstruction. With children it is a simple matter to pick them up and hold them so they hang head downward while gently tapping their shoulders and back.
Always look into the throat to see if the object can be reached with the fingers or a curved spoon handle.
If asphyxiation has resulted artificial respiration may be necessary.
These are bumps and bruises and are often very painful. The so-called black-eye is a familiar example. Beyond the instinctive rubbing that everyone resorts to, no treatment is necessary.
These should be left to the care of an expert for inexperienced hands are likely to do more harm than good. The patient should be placed in a comfortable position so that strain is avoided until help arrives. Hot applications may be employed to relieve the pain.
Death does not always result from electrocution, though it may result in cases that are not properly cared for.
The first need is artificial respiration. This should be given immediately and right at the place of electrocution. No chance should be taken by moving the subject: indeed, he should not be moved until full reaction has set in. Artificial respiration should be continued until rigor mortis sets in, or until the patient begins to breathe under his own power. Do not give up. Cases are reported of recovery after four hours.
The patient should be kept warm and no stimulants given. The practice of adding the effects of drugs to the state of overwhelmed shock is extremely dangerous. A heart stimulant is given and an anodyne. This method strikes down the very means by which the system seeks to repair its injuries and favors the conditions of depression that are so much to be dreaded, and delays recovery, even if it does not actually destroy life.
Definition: This is loss of consciousness, due to brain anemia.
Symptoms: Pallid, cold skin, unconsciousness and feeble, perhaps rapid, pulse are the chief symptoms. The patient falls.
Etiology: Fainting may occur under a variety of circumstances; weakness, loss of blood, shock, sickness, etc.
Care of the Patient: Place the patient on a bed, floor, or ground, loosen the clothing, and give him fresh air. Use no stimulants, throw no water in his face. Let him alone. In from thirty seconds to two or three minutes he will regain consciousness, sit up and wonder what it is all about. Mad-cap endeavors to restore consciousness are futile and wasted and often do more harm than good.
FOREIGN BODIES IN THE EAR
These are usually insects that find their way into the ear, or inanimate objects that the child places in the ear. Beans, kernels of wheat, onions, etc., are likely to swell. Bodies that do not swell or that cause no irritation may remain in the ear for years and cause no symptoms.
Pain, noises in the ear or bead, impaired hearing, sometimes almost complete deafness, and inflammation result from large or irritating bodies. Unskillful attempts to remove them often cause considerable injury, even lasceration or perforation of the ear-drum. No attempt should ever be made to remove a foreign body unless we are sure there is one present. The symptoms may be due to something else and efforts to remove a body that is not there may result in much harm.
Insects should first be killed by pouring oil in the ear. The ear may then be syringed, or the insect may be removed by the aid of forceps.
These require expert attention and should be kept at rest until this arrives. Heat may be employed for relief. A splint should be applied to secure fixation and assure rest. All movement should be avoided.
Bleeding resulting from a severed artery or vein should be stopped as soon as possible to prevent too great loss of blood.
If there is fainting do not try to revive the patient as the syncope tends to prevent bleeding.
Blood from a severed artery is bright red and comes out in jets or spurts.
If on a limb, a ligature should be applied just above the cut and made tight enough to stop the flow of blood. If on the body, pressure should be applied just above the wound, between it and the heart.
Blood from a severed vein is dark and flows in a steady stream.
If on a limb, the ligature should be applied below the cut. If on the body, pressure should be applied below the wound, that is, the wound should be between the point of pressure and the heart.
The wound should be carefully cleansed and protected. Rest of the part until the severed ends are reunited is essential.
This often kills, but many times only shocks into insensibility or suspended animation. In such cases, artificial respiration will revive the victim. Care for as for electrocution.
Burns from lightning stroke should be cared for as any other burn.
This requires no treatment. The nose is often forced to bleed much longer than it otherwise would, by the methods used to stop it. Cold applications will contract the blood vessels and slow up the bleeding. Bleeding stops as soon as coagulation occurs. Blowing the nose, washing it out and manipulating it, prevents coagulations.
If poisons have been swallowed and vomiting does not occur at once the stomach should be immediately emptied by washing it out or by inducing vomiting.
If an acid has been swallowed, it may be neutralized by giving an alkali baking soda, chalk or whatever is handy.
If an alkali has been swallowed, vinegar, lemon juice, or other acid will neutralize it.
In practically all cases, it is safe to give milk to dilute and neutralize the poison.
SPRAINS AND STRAINS
These are often severe and painful, often important ligaments are torn and require time to heal. The first and most important need in these cases is rest. Remove the clothing and stop using the part.
| Success of DETOXIFICATION = failure of drugs and other toxins |
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"What does the average individual know about keeping well? Almost nothing."
| Examples of Remarkable Recoveries |
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(Note: this detox method is excellent for self-help. While fasting requires professional help for optimal results.)
| SELF-HELP NOTE |
This summary of diseases by Dr. Shelton is somewhat technical, and mainly compiled for doctors. For the basics of self-healing click here, or read the articles on this website. For self-help, read what doctors of Natural Hygiene & Orthopathy have written for 175 years, much of it is online. E.g. at soilandhealth.org (the Health Library) and non-profit INHS..
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