YOUR PASSPORT TO INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL HEALTH and SAFETY

Volume 30 Number 1 ISSN:1059-6518

By Frank Hubbell, DO

FACT: 1.1 billion people cross international borders every year!

How many of these international travelers know what is waiting for them at the end of the runway or on the other side of the border? At home you are most likely safe. You have potable drinking water, safe food to eat, reliable power, screens on your windows and doors to protect you from marauding insects, and have excellent, available, immediate health care when needed. To put it simply, most of us live in a bubble. The question is, are you sure that you are prepared for the times when you leave the safety of your bubble?

This is the material that we use in our Travel Clinic to help educate and prepare people for international travel. We offer it here for your review and, if necessary, take with you to a consult for travel medicine.           

TRAVEL PLANS:

Make Out a Trip Itinerary:

When are you going and for how long?

Leaving:

Returning:

Where are you going?

Rural:

Urban:

What are you planning on doing while there?

Travel plans?

How are you planning on getting around?

Previous International Travel History:

When did you go?

Where did you go and for how long?

MEDICAL HISTORY:
Past Medical and Surgical History:

Allergies

Medications – name and dosage

Immune Status – any history of autoimmune diseases, HIV, DM

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Simple Rescue Knots

 

ISSN: 1059-6518

By Paul MacMillan, EMT

Illustrations by T.B.R. Walsh

If you do any research on knots you will find that thousands of knots have been discovered over the years. Many people in different occupations and the trades have favorite knots they use everyday on the job. For example sailors use certain types of knots compared to a weaver or someone who is doing search and rescue work.

If you are the average person you do not use different types of knots all the time. Knot tying is a perishable skill. In other words “if you do not use it you lose it.” On occasions you might need to tie something down or secure something using rope or webbing.

As an average person who does not tie a lot of knots it is important to learn a few basic knots that are easy to remember in case of an emergency. If you learn these few basic knots and you pull out a length of rope from time to time to practice them you will have this skill to use when you need it most.

Basic Rope Information

Remember every rope has a “breaking strength,” which means you put enough tension on the rope it will eventually break. In boating safety they generally consider a safe working load of a rope to be one-fifth of the ropes breaking strength. It is important to note that knots and the age of the rope tend to lower the strength of the rope. Most ropes that you buy in a hardware store have a safe working load of 300 pounds or less.

For example you need to lift injured man using ropes. The man weighs approximately 200 lbs. You have to tie a knot in the rope, and the strength of the knot is rated at 60%. Using this knot it has reduced you safe working load from 300 pounds down to 180 pounds. Now the rope that we are using is now beyond the safe working load to lift this 200 lb. man to safety.

There is very little research out there that clearly defines the strength of different knots. Because there is so little information on knot strength we are going to rely on two professions that use ropes and knot in life and death situations. Emergency services rescue operations and rock climbing. These professions provide us with simple knots that can be used in almost any type of situation.

Basic Terminology for Tying Knots

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Brazilian pepper, Schinus terebinthifolius,

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ISSN:1059-6518 Volume 29 Number 3

By Brandon Munsell NREMT-P , WEMT-P, SOLO Instructor

As the campfire kicks into high gear, a camper throws on boughs from a nearby tree. Although the tree limbs seem dead, the tree they were taken from is abloom with bright red berries and serrated toothed leaflets. As the now burning branch begins to spew smoke, a wind directs it towards gathered campers. Upon inhalation the members begin to experience irritation to their faces and throats, and they also begin to tear up as they assume tripoding positions to catch their breath. As they retreat from the offending fumes, many begin to wheeze and seek water for their now burning eyes. What has caused this unexpected reaction?

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Diphtheria – a vaccine preventable disease

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Volume 29 Number 2

ISSN 1059-6518

By Frank Hubbell, DO

The use of vaccines to prevent disease has been around for over 80 years and the number of vaccines has grown to over 25. For some individuals this is an area of confusion, debate, and disagreement. The reality is that vaccines are very well-studied and profoundly safe to use. As with any medication, there are risks, but the risks are far out-weighed by the benefits of not getting that particular disease.

I doubt there is anyone on this planet that would want to see the return of small pox or an increase in the cases of polio, or diphtheria. It is the vaccination process that builds up immunity to these diseases by stimulating the immune system to make antibodies to defeat the illness before it could cause symptoms and potentially death. However, there are those who, for whatever reason, refuse to be vaccinated, thereby putting themselves and others at risk.

To follow are a series of articles that will discuss and explain the various vaccine-preventable diseases and the consequences of acquiring that particular illness for which the vaccine was created. As stated above, currently, there are a total of 25 vaccines to prevent disease. For no particular reason, we will start with diphtheria.

Diphtheria:

A vaccine-preventable disease.

It is caused by a bacterium – Corynebacterium diphtheria.

It is an aerobic, gram-positive bacillus.

The reservoir in nature is us, human carriers.

The primary vector is droplet-spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.

There are toxigenic and non-toxigenic forms of diphtheria.

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