Who knew?

Having survived a second Pulmonary Embolism in as many years I wanted to share some information.

  • Deaths from Pulmonary Embolism are the leading form of accidental death for hospitalized patients, and the second most common cause of unexpected death in the general population.
  • Over 200,000 deaths will occur in the U.S. this year as a result of Pulmonary Embolisms.
  • The most common cause of Pulmonary Embolisms are Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
  • Approximately one in twenty people develop DVT during their lifetime.
  • Approximately 60,000 hospitalizations for DVT will occur in the U.S. this year. Pulmonary embolism occurs when blood clots (emboli) become lodged in a lung artery, blocking blood flow to lung tissue. Blood clots often originate in the legs.

pulmonaryembolismEmbolisms are treated with Warfarin. It is commonly called a blood thinner but really is an anti-coagulant. Treatment is for 6-12 months. A second embolism will put you on Warfarin for life.

Long flights and long drives can cause clots (DVT) although they aren’t the only cause. Pulmonary embolism can be caused by air bubbles, fat droplets, or even clumps of parasites or tumor cells that obstruct the pulmonary vessels.

The next time you are heading out for a trip in the RV don’t drive for 5 hours straight. Stop every couple of hours and walk around for 10 minutes. Take the dog out and around. Park at the far end of the rest area so you have a longer walk. Stop and smell the roses.

What do I need to carry (do) about first aid?

The very first thing any RV’er or camper should do is learn CPR. If the family is camping everyone should learn CPR.  Next you should take a basic first aid course. You should have the CPR/First Aid even if you are not camping or traveling.

What kind of camper are you? Do you always stay at a commercial campground like KOA? Or do you hang out in state or National Parks? Where you go or where you might go will dictate what you need for first aid.

You can buy a complete first aid kit or you can create your own.  I created my own so I could cut down on duplication and  unnecessary items. I also camp in the boonies (one hour or more from the Emergency Medical System) and I am a California EMT so I pack a little different than most. Still, I have the basics. The first is a CPR mask used for giving CPR.

Next you need some bandages (not band-aids!) to stop any bleeding. A common size is 3″ x 4″. These are placed on a wound and with pressure applied, are for stopping bleeding. To hold them in place some gauze bandages. And sure some band-aids for the minor scrapes are fine along with  Polysporin. 

Next I’ll put some information here about other things you need in your kit like splints, burn treatments, tourniquets and more.

And for a quick review, here is a short demonstration of how to do CPR.