first aid, burns, sprains, strains, nosebleeds, systemic enzymes, contusions

First Aid: How To Avoid a Ton of Cure

First Aid: How To Avoid a Ton of Cure

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of

An ounce of prevention, it is said, is worth a pound of cure. This is true, but when primary prevention fails a pound of immediate treatment is often worth more than a ton of cure later on.

Life is unpredictable. We live in a hazardous and at times unfriendly and unforgiving environment. As much as we attempt to avoid them, accidents happen; injuries occur. Knowing what steps to take and applying them when confronted with an injury can have an enormous impact upon the outcome. Implementing secondary prevention strategies quickly will not only minimize the extent of injury; appropriate action can often mean less scarring and a much faster return to full activity.

Time is critical in limiting the extent of most injuries. It is important therefore, to have the necessary management tools on hand before the incident occurs. Merriam-Webster defines an accident as an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance. That may be true, but it is possible to foresee the possibility of an accidental injury and make plans to manage it efficiently.

Accidents rarely occur at convenient times and it is as likely that someone will be burned or sprain an ankle when local stores are closed as when they are open. Even if the injury occurs at a time when it would be possible to purchase needed supplies, valuable time will be lost in tracking down and purchasing the necessary items. I encourage you to obtain the supplies listed in table 1 and store them in a convenient place, making all family members aware of the location.

Burns are among the most common of injuries. They can vary greatly in extent and severity, but the basic management principles are the same regardless of the character of the burn.

I do not believe that there is a better tool for the successful management of burns than micro-clustered water. The results I have seen with its use approach the miraculous. I have seen severe and extensive sunburns heal overnight. I have found that the overwhelming majority of household burns from irons, stoves, steam and other sources stop burning within a few applications and rarely blister or peel. I have even seen burns that were expected to result in severe scarring and require a protracted series of surgical debridements and skin grafts heal beautifully without surgery and with almost no scarring in a short period of time.

What is micro-clustered water and why does it bring about such a dramatic improvement in burns? To answer those questions it is necessary to understand how water typically occurs in nature.

Basic chemistry teaches that water is H2O – two oxygen atoms bound to a hydrogen atom at a 104-degree angle. It is true that this is the structure of a single water molecule, but water does not exist in this form on earth. If water was made up of individual molecules it would boil at 148 degrees below zero Fahrenheit and would not freeze until the temperature dropped to -184 degrees. If this were the case we would never have to contend with icy highways, but since life on earth would be impossible there would be no roads and no one to drive on them, so it is well that we find water as we do.

Water never occurs in nature as single H2O molecules. H2O molecules are held together in clusters by weak bonds between them. Clusters commonly contain up to 300 or 400 individual water molecules. This is what accounts for “surface tension”, the phenomenon that allows a cup to be filled above the rim and which causes water to form droplets on a sheet of paper. The large size of the water clusters prevents them from easily moving in and out of cells in the body.

Micro-clustered water is obtained by adding agents to water that have the ability to break some of the bonds between the individual molecules. These agents are referred to by various names such as “Willard Water” and “Bioenhanced Water”. The addition of these agents results in water that lacks the characteristics commonly associated with surface tension. It is not possible to overfill a glass with micro-clustered water. Micro-clustered water will disperse rather than form beads when placed on a piece of paper, and micro-clustered water is capable of moving in and out of cells very efficiently. I believe that it is this attribute that accounts for its effectiveness in burn management.

A burn is simply a rapid dehydration of skin cells. When micro-clustered water is sprayed on the surface of the burn or when gauze soaked in micro-clustered water is applied the cells are rapidly re-hydrated and many survive. I believe that this is what accounts for the rapid recovery typically seen with this approach to burn treatment.

When burns do blister and peel, the application of a cream or ointment rich in antioxidants (E.g. vitamins A, C and E) and emollients (E.g. Aloe vera, squalene, and alpha hydroxy acids) will facilitate healing and minimize scarring.

Sprains and strains are also common injuries. A question I am often asked is, “How can I tell if the injury is a sprain and not a broken bone?” This is particularly true of wrist and ankle injuries.

While it is not always possible to tell without an x-ray of the involved area the site of injury is highly predictive. Approximately 95 % of ankle injuries are sprains with only 5 % resulting in a fracture. The percentages are reversed at the wrist. Wrist sprains are rare; nearly 95 % of wrist injuries will involve a broken bone.

The two cardinal rules in managing a sprain or strain are to prevent swelling and to maintain mobility. When a joint such as an ankle is sprained swelling begins almost immediately. In responding to a sprain every minute counts. It is much more difficult to clear swelling that has occurred than to prevent swelling at the outset.

While elevating the injured part and applying ice is helpful these measures are not nearly as effective as applying a pressure dressing. External pressure will nearly completely prevent bleeding into the surrounding tissues with its accompanying swelling and pain.

The key to applying a safe and effective pressure wrap is the use of padding. Lots of it. Applying an elastic bandage directly over the site of injury risks cutting off circulation and causing a much more serious problem.

The injured joint should be generously wrapped with cotton padding before the elastic bandage is applied. The toes or fingers should remain visible and they should be checked frequently to be certain that they are remaining warm and pink without a hint that the wrap is cutting off circulation.

Once wrapped, the injured extremity should be elevated. Ice may be placed over the wrap for additional benefit. The initial pressure wrap should be left in place for 48 hours, at which time it should be removed so that range of motion exercises may be started. These consist of moving the joint up and down, back and forth, and side to side in a circular motion. Writing the letters of the alphabet in the air using the involved joint is an excellent exercise to accomplish this. The joint may be rewrapped between exercise sessions, which should be done twice daily.

An extremely valuable adjunct in the management of sprains and strains are systemic enzymes. Enzymes are the repair workers of the body. They go to the site of injury and begin the process of clearing the debris, facilitating healing.

First developed in Germany for use by world-class athletes, systemic enzymes are now available for general use. Systemic enzymes are comprised of substances such as lipase, amylase, trypsin, chymotrypsin, bromelain, and papain. These are also commonly found in digestive enzyme products.

The difference between digestive enzyme and systemic enzyme supplements lays not so much in the compounds themselves as it does in the system by which they are delivered to the body. Digestive enzyme supplements are meant to be released in the stomach where they go to work digesting foods that are present. Systemic enzyme supplements, on the other hand, are designed to pass through the stomach and into the small intestine where they can be absorbed and utilized throughout the body.

I have seen individuals utilizing these measures return to full activity in a matter of days when it they would have been expected to be limited for weeks, and in four to six weeks when the severity of their injury suggested that recovery period of four to six months would be required.

The management of bruises is similar to that of sprains and strains. Sprains and strains result when tissue is stretched or torn. Bruises are the result of a direct blow. In both cases, however, tissue injury generally results in bleeding or swelling.

It is often not possible to apply a pressure wrap to a bruise, although this may be beneficial. It is crucial to apply a cold pack to the area as quickly as possible. I recommend that the cold pack be applied for approximately 15 minutes each hour for the first 24 hours, although this may not be possible during sleep.

As in the case of sprains and strains, systemic enzymes are very beneficial in speeding the healing of bruises. Topical oils or penetrating creams or gels containing anti-inflammatory compounds or antioxidants are also helpful in easing pain and speeding healing. Emu oil is highly penetrating and is often used as a vehicle, although in my experience a vehicle of micro-clustered water is even more effective.

Cuts and scrapes are yet another type of injury. These should be gently cleansed to remove any debris. Avoid harsh agents like hydrogen peroxide, which needlessly damage the tissues.

Pressure is the key to controlling bleeding. The pressure should be firm and steady. Five minutes of constant pressure may be necessary to bring the bleeding under control. If bleeding does not respond within five minutes medical attention should be sought.

Once the wound has been cleansed and the bleeding controlled a homeopathic healing ointment should be applied and covered by a bandage or gauze. Non-stick pads may be used on most wounds, but should be avoided when moderate to heavy drainage is present.

A key question in the management of cuts is whether stitches are necessary. Sutures are generally unnecessary if bleeding is successfully controlled and the wound edges fall together nicely without tension. These cuts will typically heal well if the wound edges are held in place by butterfly closures or Steri-Strips, two products designed for this purpose. A physician should evaluate wounds that continue to bleed despite five minutes of constant firm pressure as well as wounds with ragged margins or edges that do not fall together easily.

Nosebleeds, whether spontaneous or due to an injury, demand prompt attention since a significant amount of blood can be lost quickly. There is only one effective treatment for a nosebleed, and that is steady constant pressure. If only one side is bleeding, as is usually the case, the side of the nose should be pushed firmly against the septum, the central cartilage of the nose. If both sides of the nose are bleeding the nose should be pinched closed with the sides held tightly against the center.

As in the case of cuts and scrapes, five minutes of constant pressure may be required. Five minutes seems like a long time regardless of the location of the bleeding; when the nose is being held closed it can seem like an eternity. A physician should be consulted if the bleeding does not stop within this period of time.

If the bleeding tends to restart a decongestant nasal spray may be of benefit. Because these cause blood vessels to constrict I do not recommend that they be used for the purpose of decongestion except in rare cases, and then only for very short periods of time. This action can be very helpful in preventing recurrent bleeding over the first 24 to 48 hours after a significant nosebleed. Applying a healing ointment to the septum on the involved side can also speed healing by preventing drying of the lining of the nose and cracking of the tiny blood vessels located there.

Finally, accidental ingestions of toxic substances still occur despite child safety caps and other precautions. The appropriate management measures vary depending upon the chemical constituents involved. In some cases the proper action is to induce vomiting. It is therefore advisable to have a container of ipecac available for this purpose. Minutes can be extremely precious when dealing with a chemical ingestion and being able to initiate treatment immediately may mean the difference between life and death.

Vomiting should be induced only if the substance is positively known and the container or a knowledgeable professional clearly dictates that this is the treatment of choice. Volatile chemicals such as gasoline or other petrochemicals should never be regurgitated as this can increase the risk of a chemical pneumonia, something that can have a greater risk of fatality than the ingestion alone.

An emergency kit is like spare tire. Its presence can provide greater confidence and peace of mind, but if all goes well it will never leave the storage compartment. Avoidance of injury is always the best strategy, but when one occurs an understanding of what actions to take and the availability of appropriate management tools can make an enormous difference in the outcome.

A Basic Home Emergency Kit

  • Wetting agent for producing micro-clustered water
  • Syrup of Ipecac
  • Several rolls of cotton padding
  • Two 3” elastic wraps
  • Systemic enzymes
  • Healing ointment
  • Topical pain-relieving oil, cream or gel
  • Decongestant nasal spray
  • Butterfly Closures or Steri-Strips
  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Hypoallergenic tape
  • Bottle or bag for use as a cold pack
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