tourniquet (tight enough to impede the venous
return of blood to the trunk, yet loose enough to
allow arterial supply to the extremity) will further
delay systematic absorption of the poison. Place
a tourniquet between the bite and the heart, about
2 inches above the bite. A tourniquet should
only be used if competent medical help is
reasonably expected to take over management of
a snakebite victim.
2. Clean a knife or razor blade and the fang
marks by daubing with antiseptic, if available.
3. Make a small cut over each fang mark
(deep enough, one-fourth of an inch or more, to
penetrate the skin). Orient each cut parallel to vital
structures (generally parallel to the long axis of
4. Apply suction. Suction can best be applied
by mouth, but not if there are open oral lesions
present. In this case, some other means of
applying suction must be found. After 30 minutes,
suction is of little benefit.
CARE OF WOUNDS. Open wounds are a
serious hazard in a survival situation, not only
because of the tissue damage and blood loss, but
also because of the increased possibility of
infection. Little can be done to prevent wound
contamination at the time of the injury. Proper
wound care can minimize further contamination
and promote healing and preservation of function
in the injured part.
. Clothing should be cut or torn away from
a wound; drawing clothes over the wound may
introduce bacteria into the wound.
l Whenever possible, avoid touching the
wound with fingers or any unsterile object. All
water and instruments used in wound care should
be sterilized by boiling. Washing your hands
before you treat any wound is very important in
keeping down infection.
. Clean all wounds as soon after occurrence
as possible. Only antiseptics especially designed
to use in open wounds should be used directly in
NOTE: Common antiseptics such as Mer-
thiolate, iodine, and Mercurochrome should never
be applied directly to a wound. These solutions
destroy only part of the bacteria and actually
damage the exposed tissues.
. When cleansing solutions for wounds are
not available, a suitable substitute may be a
poultice made of fern root. To prepare a poultice,
you boil finely chopped roots in water until
syrupy. Allow the poultice to cool and apply
directly to the wound.
. The open treatment method is the safest
way to manage wounds in a survival situation. No
attempt should be made to close a wound by
stitching. The wound should be left open to
permit drainage of pus from infection. As long
as a wound can drain, it generally will not become
life threatening. If a wound is gaping, the edges
can be brought together with adhesive tape cut
in the form of a butterfly or dumbbell. When a
butterfly bandage is applied properly, only a small
portion of the adhesive is in contact with the
wound; but a large surface of the tape is in
contact with the skin on either side of the wound,
providing traction that pulls the edges of the
wound together. The narrow center permits some
free drainage from the wound, and the strips can
be removed easily if the wound has to be opened
should infection develop.
In certain climates, you will be exposed to
excessive heat or cold and must safeguard yourself
from its effects. Proper procedure is the key to
prevention of all cases of heat or cold exposure.
fluid intake. The duration of physical activity
should be less during the first days of heat
exposure and increased gradually as you become
acclimatized. Alternate work and rest periods
should be established. Avoid working in direct sun
or on extremely hot days. Wear lighter clothing
in hot environments.
C O L D . The most important aspect of
prevention of cold-related injury is awareness of
existing weather conditions and the likelihood of
weather change. Adequate clothing to protect as
much exposed skin as possible must be worn. Rain
gear should be donned before you become wet;
wool clothes and wind-protective garments should
be donned before you start to shiver. Improvised
clothing may be made from parachute material.
Obtain shelter that provides protection from the
wind, precipitation, and surface water as well
as insulation from ground, snow, or ice. Impro-
vised shelters, described in Survival Training