Often, trying to take care of your own health in the modern world is incredibly difficult.
You have before you the internet, full of all the information that humankind has ever been able to assemble. A huge amount of it is dedicated to helping people resolve their own health ailments, potentially even pointing them towards diagnoses they otherwise would not have been able to find.
Yet if you try to follow health advice online, then you will constantly come up against the disclaimer to seek advice from your doctor before you try anything.
It’s so confusing! Here’s the information, yet you are still urged to go to the doctor (with all the likely costs and inconvenience that that entails) before you take action on any of the information. In that instance, you then have two choices: take a risk (note: don’t do this!) or go traipsing to the doctor to confirm what you already know (inconvenient but definitely what you should do!)
Consulting medical advice is undoubtedly the best thing to do in the majority of cases, and you should continue to do that, especially if handling a serious problem. However, there are times when medical advice is in short supply, or the problem in question is minor enough for you to successfully handle for yourself. So, what essential health skills do you need to have to be able to function as an adult in this confusing world?
1) Stemming The Flow Of Blood
Let’s be clear, if a wound is serious enough to be a worry due to it not closing over naturally, then it absolutely needs medical attention. It’s going to need stitches, and possibly treatment to prevent any infection that occurs.
In the moment, however, then you might have to deal with it yourself. Unless you manage to have all your slips and trips within a five second walk of a hospital, there might be occasions when you have to slow things down so you have the chance to get to the doctor.
How To Do It
Stemming blood flow from a wound is all about pressure. You want to apply as much as you can withstand, directly over the wound. If you don’t feel comfortable using your bare hands, it’s fine to use a cloth or nearby item providing it’s relatively safe and free of toxins.
You should also try and raise the wound above your heart, which can help make it more difficult for the blood flow to defeat gravity. Obvious this is only possible with certain wounds but if it is doable, then do it.
2) Give CPR
A staggeringly high amount of people know what CPR is, but they don’t know how to do it. This is shocking, considering the fact that if someone goes into cardiac arrest, then CPR is pretty much the only hope they have of getting to a doctor in time. You have to act, and you have to act incredibly quickly, or they will be deprived of blood flow for too long to have any chance of rescue.
CPR isn’t something you can pick up from YouTube; look at the likes of cprnearme.com for your options on learning the basics from the professionals. This will equip you to deal with a medical emergency, hopefully keeping the victim going for long enough for medical help to arrive.
3) Avoiding Antibiotics
There are plenty of cases where using antibiotics is absolutely the right thing to do. However, it’s not a good idea to use them for basics like coughs, colds, and the flu. Not only will antibiotics not work for these conditions (they are primarily viral; antibiotics deal with bacterial infections) but they are also contributing to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.
Don’t assume that it’s fine for you to take antibiotics because they’ve been given to you by your GP; that might not be the case. Doctors are liable to over-prescribe antibiotics when they’re not needed. So be very honest with yourself and see if you can give your immune system a bit more time to deal with the infection unaided, or doubly quiz your doctor to ensure it’s the right steps to take at that point in time.
4) Strap A Wounded Limb
If you have the misfortune of turning your ankle or landing hard on your wrist, you can find yourself having to deal with a huge amount of pain. You’re probably going to need an X-ray, but that means you’re going to have to be able to get to a hospital to begin with.
This means you need to know how to correctly strap a limb to support it while you make the move to a clinic. Webmd.com has some great pointers on making sure you give the injured body part the support it dearly needs.