Posted on

What are the consequences of radiation exposure/ poisoning ?


The threat or the possibility of radiation exposure is certainly a very real one , given the state of the world with large numbers of terrorist groups bent on our destruction ( or capitulation ) , rogue states such as North Korea and Iran possessing nuclear weapons and of course the ongoing saga of Fukushima .

  According to the CDC there are several factors/variables which come into play that will determine the consequences of your radiation exposure , such as : The amount of radiation you were exposed to , the type of radioactive material, the way you were exposed and the length of time of your exposure. I would also add the distance you are from the exposure and the density of the barriers between you and the source of radiation .

 At this point I should digress a moment and explain the different types of medications you could be potentially exposed to. There are four basic types of radiation : alpha, beta , gamma and x radiation.

 Alpha radiation is a very heavy particle that is extruded from the nucleus of a helium atom . Since it is so heavy it cannot travel far and is thus a threat for a very short distance.In fact , in air alpha radiation can onlytravel a few inches. The good news is that alpha radiation cannot penetrate the skin . The only way it can do so is thru an open wound or abrasion where the skin is compromised.  You can however ingest alpha radiation by swallowing it , or inhaling it. Alpha radiation is non penetrating , and cannot even cross a thin layer of dust , water , paper  or clothing.  Examples of alpha radiation are radium , radon , uranium and thorium.

  Beta radiation is produced by an ejected electron and is a light particle but it can only travel a few feet in the air , and is characterized as only moderately penetrating. When the body is exposed to beta radiation it travels down to the base layer of the skin. Prolonged exposure to beta radiation can damage the skin , it also can be harmful if internal exposure takes place. Clothing can provide partial protection from beta radiation. Examples that emit pure beta radiation are strontium- 90 , carbon- 14 , tritium and sulfur-35.

  Gamma radiation and X radiation ( X rays) produce highly penetrating electromagnetic radiation.  These types of radiation penetrate most materials ( except lead ) and travel many feet in the air and through the human body.  Gamma radiation and x radiation are electromagnetic radiation like x-rays , visible light , radio waves and ultraviolet light . These all vary in the amount of energy they carry with X-rays and gamma rays being the most powerful. You should note that clothing provides no shielding from penetrating radiation but it will protect contamination of the skin by gamma emitting radioactive sources. Some examples of gamma emitters are iodine-131 , cesium-137 , cobalt-60 , radium-226 and technetium-99e.

  Nuclear explosions produce the entire gamut of types of radiation at different times in the explosion process , with the gamma rays being the most deadly due the their high energy and their ability to penetrate thru objects. 

  First lets look at the issue of contamination vs exposure to radiation. There are several types of contamination , starting with external contamination . What this means is that the surface of your body was exposed or contaminated by a radioactive source. This contamination could be in the form of dust , powder or liquids that are radioactive and have come into contact with your skin, hair or clothing . Once this radioactive material crosses the skin , or enters the lungs through breathing of radioactive gases then it becomes internal contamination . Radioactive materials can be breathed in , enter across the skin or through an open wound or be swallowed , all of these result in internal contamination . All of this results in radioactive materials now being inside your body .

   Once inside your body they can cause all kinds of problems , but some radioactive materials depending on the type can be eliminated in your sweat , feces or urine ( which in turn will be contaminated and could result in someone else being exposed and contaminated ).  Radiation travels as waves or particles emanating from radioactive materials , any contact with this results in exposure but not necessarily contamination. Remember that many people will have radioactive dust on their clothes , hair and body surfaces and if they come into your home or contact you ( hugging etc ) they can easily contaminate your home and expose you to radiation .

  A key point to remember is that there is no way for you to detect radiation with your senses , in other words you cannot see it , smell it or feel it on your body , so without a meter of some type you will have no sensation to your exposure.

  If you are exposed you can greatly increase your chances of preventing radiation sickness and/or surviving by following some simple rules.  Rule number one , put as much distance between yourself and the source of the radiation .The further you are from the source the more it will weaken .  Immediately remove all your outer layer of clothes , this will prevent external contamination from becoming internal. Place any of those clothes in a plastic bag and remove them as far away as possible , be careful not to expose any of your skin , especially any cuts or abrasions that will make entry of radiation easier .

 The next step is to decontaminate yourself , you can do this by stripping down and washing your body with warm water and soap , be careful not to expose areas that were covered and not previously exposed . You should also close and lock all windows and doors making them as airtight as possible . You should move to the center of the building you are in , since radiation exposed on the roof or outer walls may eventually penetrate them. Going to the basement is the best option , but if not , just move to a center room . Close all vents ,fans , fireplace dampers , air conditioning , forced hot air heating etc , these will only draw in outside air that is contaminated . You should also remember that besides distance from its source , radiation also weakens with time . If you have news from the outside world and know what is happening then you can best determine how long to stay inside , without such information the most prudent thing to do is to stay inside for a minimum of 24 hrs , if you have no idea , then I would stay inside as long as possible , maybe seventy two hours or more.

  If you are caught outside , a car is poor protection , but it is still better than nothing. Try to get to a brick or concrete building asap , and go to its basement or inside rooms. First, before you enter the building you need to shed any contaminated clothing etc. If you are caught outside you should put as many layers of clothes on and cover your head and any exposed skin . You should put a mask on or at the very least cover your mouth with a cloth to cut down the entry of radiation into your lungs.

  The reason you want a brick or a concrete or stone building is because the more mass you can place between you and the source of the radiation the more you are shielded. So a stone or concrete or brick building is much thicker of a barrier than a wood or aluminum sided structure. When dealing with any source of radiation you can do several things to lessen your exposure. The first is distance, the further you can get yourself from the source the weaker it will be , that is probably the best option , followed by barriers between you and the source of the radiation. The thicker or denser the barrier the better, remember that is why lead is so effective as a radiation shield, it is due to its density (that is also why it is so heavy). Several feet of dirt will protect you , even water is a better barrier than air . The last variable is time, the further away in time you are from the release of the radiation the weaker it will become , hence the reason for hunkering down after an exposure and not going outside for at least twenty four hours and probably longer.

  The consequences of radiation exposure are usually divided into short term and long term effects.  The short term effects include what is known as Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) and Cutaneous Radiation Injury (CRI). 

  Acute Radiation Syndrome is caused by acute exposure to high levels of radiation over a short period of time. You will only get ARS if the dose of your exposure was high , it involved penetrating radiation ( able to reach your internal organs) , most of your body was exposed and the total radiation dose was received in a short period of time , usually minutes. The main symptoms of ARS are nausea, vomiting , headache and diarrhea . These symptoms usually occur a short time after exposure , but may be delayed for days and can last for minutes , hours or even days and to confuse matters even further a person may recover and then have his or her symptoms recur at a later time , depending on the dose of their exposure Depending on their dose they may develop lose of appetite , nausea , vomiting , diarrhea , seizures and even coma This stage of serious illness may last days to even months on end.   Patients can also develop skin problems ranging from redness ( like a bad sunburn) to blistering , swelling , itchiness and even ulcers. Complete healing of the skin may take weeks to years , or it may cycle thru healing and recurrence of symptoms . Most of the skin symptoms depend directly on the dose of radiation that it was exposed to.  Hair loss often occurs and this is usually temporary and it will eventually grow back.

  Cutaneous Radiation Injury is caused by exposure of large doses of radiation to the skin , most of these patients also have ARS but not all of them necessarily will .  The type of radiation that typically causes CRI is beta , gamma and x radiation. CRI typically occurs a few hours to days after the radiation exposure . The usual symptoms are widespread redness , itchiness, tingling and swelling of the skin.

  Some of the long term effects of radiation exposure include cancer, destruction of the person’s bone marrow resulting in overwhelming infections and bleeding and ultimately death. Prenatal exposure also results in many fetal abnormalities such as stunted growth , mental abnormalities ,deformities and cancer at a later time in their lives.

  In a Prepper , end of the world scenario the options for treating ARS and CRI are limited by the presumed lack of available medical care.  There are however many treatment options available that I have found in my research , that I go into in my book in extreme detail. All of which are available like all my treatments without the need of prescription medications. I describe the use of various seed oils such as black seed oil , squalene ( from olive and amaranth oils ), curcumin , aloe vera gel , sea salts and a macrobiotic diet, zinc , calendula oil , and baking soda or sodium bicarbonate .

  In conclusion I would like to stress the need for Preppers to familiarize themselves with the effects of radiation exposure and how best avoid it and if that fails , then how to treat it properly to minimize its damaging effects and promote swift healing.

Posted on

Delivering a Baby

babypicAs Prepper’s besides severe trauma cases the delivery of a baby could be one of our most challenging scenarios. It is very likely that we will find ourselves in this situation , especially as time goes on and the medical system as we know it collapses completely from a combination of personnel loss , lack of power , loss of medications and the eventual fragmentation of the survivors into smaller and smaller groups which food supplies will eventually necessitate.

As with all disaster scenarios the delivery of a baby will be made infinitely easier if you have someone in your group that has experience with deliveries . This could be a doctor , nurse , midwife or physicians assistant . If you do not have anyone with such experience then you will have to follow the steps I outline below.

Once the mother to be presents herself to you and determines that she might be going into labor the first thing you must do is to figure out how far along she is . Labor comes in two stages , the latent stage and the active stage. To determine which stage you are in you need to evaluate the cervix. First lets define what a cervix is. The cervix is a cylinder shaped neck of tissue above the vagina , it is at the far end of the vagina and is the passage between the vagina and the uterus.above it. The bottom of the cervix has a mouth like opening that can be felt at the top of the vagina and is often referred to as the cervical os . This is the part that allows you to determine what stage of labor the mother is in.

During the latent stage the body is getting ready to deliver the baby and as you imagine it has to open up the cervix to allow the baby to pass from the uterus to the vagina . This opening of the cervix is known as dilation . Depending on how many children the mother has already delivered , it may be short if she has had many children or this latent stage is frequently long in first time mothers. To determine the current stage she is in you need to insert your hand in her vagina and go to the top of it and feel the cervix. Now in a non pregnant female it will feel hard like the tip of your nose . In a pregnant woman it will be soft like the lips to your mouth , and you will be able to slip your fingers into it. That is the tricky part , you need to measure how dilated the cervix is. When it is fully dilated ( and delivery is imminent ) the cervix will be dilated to 10 cm ( approx. four inches ) . What that means is that you will be able to slip (gently) four fingers into the cervix and circle them around. When you reach this level of four fingers into the cervix then get ready the delivery is coming and you are in what is known as ” active labor” . At this stage you may feel the head of the baby as it starts to cross the cervix towards the vagina , this is known as “crowning”.

Next you need to consider her “contractions” to determine how close she is to delivery. Contractions are a shortening of the uterus musculature , the body does this to squeeze the baby out thru the cervix into the vagina to be delivered. You will need to time the contractions . When contractions are ten minutes apart or less the mother has entered into active labor. As the birth of the child nears two things will happen the contractions will become more frequent and they will last longer. First time mothers are likely to give birth when the contractions are three to five minutes apart and last from 40 to 90 seconds each, with this pattern increasing in strength and frequency for at least an hour. When the contractions are two minutes or less apart get ready to rock and roll little Ralphie is about to be delivered. Hey, I get to name the baby this is my article. Keep in mind , mothers who have already had children will go more rapidly to the delivery stage than first time mothers. Another hint that the birth is about to happen is that the mother will think she is having a bowel movement , this sensation is the baby passing thru the cervix into the vagina , the reason being is that the passage of the baby puts pressure on the rectum and mimics the feeling of a bowel movement.

At around this point in time , you need to clean your hands and fingernails as best as possible. Scrub your hands and forearms all the way up to your elbows on both sides , being extra careful to clean any dirt from under your fingernails. Scrub yourself thoroughly for at least one minute . If you have any alcohol based hand sanitize-rs then now is the time to use them.

Giving birth is a very messy process, so do so in an area that you have already prepared with clean sheets etc. Provide a chair or bed where the mother can be as comfortable as possible , after all she is going through a very traumatic , painful process , so a little comfort can go a very long way. If you have a helper available then he or she can act as a birth coach , encouraging the mother and reassuring her , this too will help facilitate an easier delivery for everyone involved.

Get a bunch of clean towels , put a tarp or a waterproof barrier below the mother , such as a vinyl shower curtain . Keep some clean , warm towels to wrap the baby in once it is delivered , it will need to be kept warm. Get a bucket handy in case the mother vomits. Get the following items: A large bowl with warm water , a pair of scissors, some lengths of string, rubbing alcohol , cotton balls , sanitary napkins or paper towels ( to help stop the bleeding that may occur after the birth ) .

Encourage the mother to breathe , slow deep breaths , avoid hyperventilating ( breathing very rapidly ) . Speak in a slow , reassuring voice to help keep her calm The mother should be encouraged to take long deep breaths in through her nose and out through her mouth. I would remind an anxious mother that this has been done for thousands of years outside of hospitals all over the world without any problems.

Positioning of the mother can help her pain and discomfort and facilitate the birth. There are four basic positions the mother can assume to help with her delivery. The first is squatting, this is the age old method still done in most third world countries, the reason being that it allows gravity to aid in the delivery. This position also helps open the birth canal about 25 percent more than any other position. Another complication to keep in mind is a “breech” birth , this means that instead of the baby’s head coming out first , the baby is rotated and the feet are first. If a breech presentation occurs , squatting is the easiest way to deliver the baby because it allows the most room to rotate the baby. Note: someone should kneel behind the mother and support her back.

The second position is on all fours, this is gravity neutral but many women still prefer this position , especially if they suffer with hemorrhoids that may be painful during the birthing process.

The third position is lying on her side, this can lead to a slower descent of the baby thru the cervix , and thus allows for more stretching of the mothers body and less trauma such as tearing and bleeding. She should lie on her side with her knees bent and lift her top leg, while propping herself up on one elbow.

The fourth is the most common position and is with the woman lying on her back with both legs bent at the knee. This is the one used in most hospitals and is known as the lithotomy position . Put a few pillow under her back to support her and keep her comfortable. This is the easiest for the assistants but the most painful for the mother due to pressure on the mothers spine resulting in back pain.

The next step is one of the trickiest , guiding the mother in her pushing. The pushing naturally helps the passing of the baby thru the mothers birth canal. One of the first things to do is to have the mother lean forward and tuck her chin onto her chest. That position helps the baby pass thru the pelvis. The mother should be instructed to hold her knees or legs with her hands and pull them back. Hopefully at this point you will see her vagina begin to bulge out and then the crowning occurs ( you see the head of the baby as it emerges ). Now it is time to rock and roll and the mother really has to push to assist the birth. Tell the mother to push as hard as she can , tell her as if she was straining to pass a large bowel movement. Try to have her make each push last for six to eight seconds , therefore having about three or four pushes per contraction. Also encourage the mother to stay calm and take long deep breaths , this will greatly help the birthing process, keep reassuring her that everything is going fine and little Ralphie is on his way. It is very likely at this point that she will either urinate or have a bowel movement or both, this is normal .

KEY POINT ; As the baby’s head emerges be very careful to support it gently and NEVER pull on the baby’s head or pull the umbilical cord, either of which can cause nerve damage to the baby. Frequently the cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck , in this case gently lift it over the baby’s head or carefully loosen it to allow the baby to slip thru the loop. Remember do not pull the umbilical cord. The most ideal position is for the baby to be face down as it passes thru the birth canal , this means the face of the baby will be facing the mothers spine . Remember also to carefully support the baby’s head , since its neck is not yet strong enough to support its head.

After the head presents , it usually rotates to one side or the other, this is a signal that the baby’s body is about to emerge . If it does not rotate then ask the mother to give another gentle push , usually one shoulder emerges first and then the other. At this point keep supporting the head and lift the baby towards the mothers stomach , the body will be very slippery , be careful not to drop the baby.

If the baby’s body does not come out after the head , then have the mother lie on her back and grab her legs and pull them towards her head and have her push hard with each contraction ,this is a very effective position to help the passage of the baby thru the birth canal. You should never push on the mothers abdomen , this does nothing and potentially could injure the baby.

If the baby is a breech delivery ( feet first instead of the head ), then have her assume the same position as described above , pulling her legs back , have her sit on the end of the bed. Do not touch the baby’s body , this could make the baby gasp for air while it is still submerged in amniotic fluid and aspirate or choke on the fluid. If possible make sure the room is warm , if it is cold the baby could also be stimulated to gasp .

Once the baby emerges completely hold it with both hands with the head down at a 45 degree angle , this allows fluids to drain from the mouth and the nose . You can also gently rub your fingers down both sides of the baby’s nose , this will also allow any fluid to escape the nose. Now put the baby on the mothers chest , with full skin to skin contact between the mother and baby. Cover them both with warm towels if possible . This skin to skin contact causes a hormone called oxytocin to be released which will cause the uterus to contract and deliver the placenta.

Now , make sure the baby is breathing . If it is crying slightly then it is breathing and this is normal. If it is not breathing then you must act quickly to ensure the safety of the baby. The latest thoughts are not to slap the baby like we all saw in countless movies. Instead while the baby is still lying on mothers chest rub its back with a towel , if this does not work then put the baby on its back with its head facing the ceiling and its back on the mothers chest, tilt its head back this will straighten the airway and allow the baby to breathe. If the baby starts to turn blue then it is not breathing , usually this is a mechanical obstruction from fluid . Immediately wipe any fluid out of the baby’s mouth and nose. If this fails , then you need to use a bulb syringe ( like a turkey baster ) and flatten the air out of it and insert the tip in either nostril and the mouth and suck out the fluid , this can also be done with a straw with you gently sucking on one end. If this fails then flick your fingers on the baby’s feet or gently swat its butt. Do not slap the baby hard .

The next stage is delivering the placenta or after birth. The placenta is the sac around the baby that acts as an interface between the mothers body and the baby’s. The baby is attached to the placenta by the umbilical cord ( at its belly button or umbilicus ). The delivery of the placenta is the third and final stage of the birthing process. Usually the placenta arrives from a few minutes to an hour after the delivery of the baby . Right before the placenta is passed the umbilical cord will grow longer and the mother will start to bleed thru her vagina . Have the mother push and you can assist her by firmly rubbing the mothers stomach from her belly button down towards her vagina , this will also help slow the bleeding from the mother.

Now , if the baby can reach the mothers breasts without stretching the umbilical cord too tightly , then allow it to breast feed. Breast feeding is very healthy for the baby and will help stimulate the uterus to expel the placenta more easily. Whatever you do , DO NOT PULL ON THE UMBILICAL CORD TO HELP THE PLACENTA EMERGE, THIS WILL INJURE THE MOTHER.

Now you need to cut the cord . First you need to feel the umbilical cord for a pulse , do not cut it until the pulse stops. After about ten minutes the pulse will stop , this is the sign that the placenta has separated from it , do not cut the cord until there is no pulse remaining. Be careful the cord is slippery , but the good news is that it does not have nerve endings in it , so cutting it will not be felt by either the mother or the baby . Now take those two pieces of cord or string that you have and tie a double knot about three inches from the baby’s belly button and another double knot about two more inches away from the baby. Use a sterile knife or scissors and cut between the two knots. You can sterilize your instruments by either boiling them in water for twenty minutes or wiping tem down with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Keep the baby warm and comfortable as well as the mother . The mother can now take Tylenol for pain or ibuprofen etc. Ice packs on the mothers abdomen can also help her pain . You can give the mother something light to eat or drink , but nothing too sweet , which may cause her to vomit , this is perfectly normal.

In case the mother is bleeding , which occurs in about a fifth of deliveries , then you should massage her uterus thru her abdomen, this means massaging her abdomen firmly below her navel or belly button. Another method to slow bleeding is to place a clean hand inside her vagina, put your other hand on the abdomen and push up with the hand inside and down with the hand outside, this will help to control bleeding. Do not give aspirin which causes more bleeding to occur.

Following the above instructions will allow little Ralphie or in the case of a girl little Ralphina to be delivered safely and healthily in a survival situation.

Posted on

Expiration of medications…

What are your recommendations regarding the expiration dates of medications ? Are they still good to use ? Does this apply to certain types of medications ? I have heard mixed things about expiration dates.


Expiration dates on medications both over the counter and prescription are a great cause of confusion in my private medical practice . It is a rare week when nobody asks me about this issue . Expiration dates will certainly become a critical issue for prepper’s as they rely on older and outdated meds that they have either stockpiled, traded or scavenged. First of all you need to understand why expiration dates are printed on products.

An expiration date is the final day that the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of a medication. U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers are required by law to place expiration dates on all prescriptions prior to selling them. This basically gives the drug companies some legal cover so they do not have to guarantee the safety of their products past the date stamped on them. Most U.S. pharmaceutical companies print expiration dates from one to five years after their drugs production .The official party line of the FDA is that once the drugs container is opened then all bets are off and the expiration dates can no longer be relied upon , that is a load of crap. The subject gets further muddled by the use of ” beyond -use” dates often printed on pill bottles.Sometimes these are worded as “discard after ” or ” Do not use after ” , this wording on bottles is required by individual states Board of Pharmacy. To make matters worse these dates are usually one year after the production date , giving consumers the notion that these meds are no longer viable or potent , nothing could be further from the truth. Those warnings are best ignored totally , they are totally worthless.

One of the largest consumers of prescription and over the counter medications is the U. S. government , especially the military. They were in a bind , they were throwing away millions of prescriptions each year because of expiration dates , presuming they were no longer potent , so they decided to fund a study to see if that was indeed true. The FDA did the study for the Department of Defense and it was known as the Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP) . The study was a resounding success , as far as disproving the expiration dates. On average the drugs tested were potent from 5 to 15 years after their stamped expiration dates! Now , there were exceptions to this rule such as nitroglycerin, insulin, tetracycline and liquid antibiotics , these expired faster than the others .

In general I like to use the rule of thumb that liquid preparations do not last as long as solid pills or capsules . One sign that a liquid medication might be compromised is if it looks cloudy or discolored or it is forming a precipitant . What in God’s name is a precipitant you ask? Think of when you were a kid and you made yourself a glass of Kool-Aid . You took a full glass of water and emptied the packet of Kool-Aid into it and stirred the mixture, what happened? The Kool-Aid dissolved completely , now if you took the same packet and mixed it in half a glass of water , what happened? Then you see the Kool-Aid come out of solution ( since it is over saturated) and begin to collect in the bottom of the glass, that is a precipitant.

Some exceptions to the rule are products such as EpiPen’s , the epinephrine rapidly loses its potency rapidly and usually is not viable after its expiration. Other exceptions include all types of Insulin , nitroglycerin tablets, liquid antibiotics and vaccines.

Proper storage of your medications will certainly extend their shelf life considerably , or the converse is that improper storage of meds, ie exposing them to excessive heat or direct sunlight will certainly shorten their shelf life. You should store your meds in a cool , dark area out of direct sources of heat or sunlight.

So , in summary I like to use the general rule of thumb that solid medications such as pills and capsules are good for at least ten years after their expiration dates and probably for a lot more , maybe even closer to fifteen years . For liquids it is about five years , although may be less if you see them cloudy ,discolored or with a precipitant . However , if we find ourselves in a SHTF scenario and are desperate , then you will just have to experiment and see if the expired med’s you have found are still potent or not , once again necessity becomes the mother of invention.

The Truth about Expired Medications

This disclaimer provides that such medical information is merely information – not advice. If users need medical advice, they should consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional. 

Posted on

Calamine Lotion


It is made from a combination of zinc oxide and ferric oxide
or a zinc carbonate compound. It is effective for treating any of the skin
irritations from any of the poison ivy, oak, or sumac. It will work to
soothe the skin from sunburns, any rashes, chickenpox, insect bites
and stings, and eczema. It can be used on oozing rashes, blisters, and
abscesses. It also has mild antiseptic properties and can be used on
chafed, scratched skin to prevent infections.

Posted on

Curing Headaches

Herbal Treatments of Migraines

Feverfew: 300 mg bid (twice daily) combined with
Butterbur: 100 mg daily and
White Willow Bark: 300 mg bid (careful with this herb which is
the source for aspirin in nature. Overuse of it may lead to
bruising and bleeding).
Feverfew alone can also be taken on a daily basis to prevent or severely
reduce the number of migraines a patient has. Take one capsule a day.
Magnesium: Take anywhere from 100 to 600 mg of magnesium a day.
The higher dose may lead to some diarrhea, in which case you should back off.
Play with the dose until you find the right dose to prevent and or treat your

For more suggestions see page 354 of Doomsday Book of Medicine.

HEadache cure Essential Oils Dr Tips Dr ADvice Prepper

Copyright Dr. Ralph LaGuardia. Doomsday Book of Medicine 2015