Years ago, we began writing about medical preparedness as it relates to major disasters. If a catastrophe takes society to the brink, every family needs someone to step up and take responsibility for the health of their loved ones. That someone may very well be you.
Any event that takes us off the grid for any significant period of time will lead to outbreaks of infectious disease. In normal times, we depend on a modern medical system to prevent bad outcomes. When that system no longer functions, deaths will occur that would otherwise be avoidable if antibiotics were available.
For the citizen that assumes the role of medic in austere settings, obtaining a good quantity of antibiotics is problematic. Without these drugs, a family can expect deaths from infections at rates comparable to those seen in the 19th century.
Things don’t end well in “After Armageddon”
If you doubt this, consider the history channel film “After Armageddon”. In it, a paramedic takes his family on the road after an apocalyptic event. During their travels, they meet a community that can use someone with medical training and join it to start a new life.
All hands are needed, however, to grow food and perform other activities of daily survival. Our hero is assigned to duties to which he is not accustomed and ends up with a minor injury which becomes infected. Unfortunately, the medical supplies of the community are limited; they don’t include antibiotics. He watches his infection spread over the next few weeks, and despite all his knowledge and training, the lack of antibiotics kills him.
The first article we ever wrote was our attempt to improve outcomes from bacterial disease off the grid. It discussed a new option well outside the conventional medical wisdom: aquarium and avian antibiotics.
We utilized our dual experience raising fish and birds as well as practicing medicine to evaluate veterinary medications. We found that a number were identical in dosage and appearance to human drugs, in most cases down to the identification numbers on the capsules. These were available without a prescription, making them an accessible and valuable tool in the medical woodshed.
We decided to educate the family medic about how to identify various infectious diseases and the medicines that cure them and their veterinary “equivalents”. We did this over the years in articles, videos, and podcasts.
In “Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease”, we discuss:
How bacteria cause disease
How the immune system works to fight infection
Many different disease-causing organisms
Telling bacterial vs. viral disease
Common infectious diseases
Epidemic and pandemic diseases
How antibiotics work
Different antibiotic families
How to use antibiotics wisely
Issues with antibiotic resistance
Individual antibiotics and the diseases each one treats
Dosing, side effects, allergies, pregnancy and pediatric considerations
Establishing an epidemic sick room
Dealing with wound infections
Supplies for the effective austere medic
A non-medical person having antibiotics on hand in disaster settings is considered controversial by the conventional medical wisdom, and for good reason. Yet, if there is no ambulance coming to render aid or hospital to treat the sick, you may become the end of the line with regards to the well-being of loved ones. Just as learning how to stop bleeding is important, learning about infection and the medicines that treat it will save lives in difficult times.