Creating Waves of Awareness
Death Toll Rises
The recent Tsunami in Japan took several lives, and its after effects are unpredictable because some experts are also suspecting the nuclear pollution. Now the death rate is rising day by day as the rescue operators are excavating dead bodies trapped under the debris. It is really an emotional shock for the people allover the world.
Heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their loved ones
The impact of tsunami is on the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, economical, and social aspect of life. Unfortunately, this time, it has even lead to the nuclear radiation. Natural calamities are common in certain countries like Japan. Apart from natural calamities, the Japanese people also had suffered nuclear explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even now many children are born with the impact of nuclear radiation suffered by their forefathers. Japanese people are well known for their hard working mentality and the ability to face disasters. Hence, I hope this time also they will be able to cope with this natural calamity and the resulted nuclear pollution. As homeopaths, we have the responsibility to support our fellow homeopaths to utilize the scope of homeopathy to face the impact of this disaster.
Apart from deaths due to drowning and traumatic injuries, the tsunami can also cause several mental and physical problems. A condition called ‘Tsunami lung’ is very common among those who survive the acute phase of this disaster. This is an aspiration pneumonia due to the inhalation of salt water and mud contaminated with different types of bacteria including Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Those who survived near-drowning from the deadly waves of Tsunami, may suffer from Tsunami-lung within a few weeks. The infection can also spread through the wounds that come in contact with the mud water. Most of the victims will have severe pneumonia with abscess formation in the lungs and also in the pleural cavity. The infection may also spread through the blood stream and can even produce abscess in the brain, leading to paralysis and loss of body functions depending upon the area of brain affected.
You might have noticed the change of climate in Asian countries after the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. There were outbreaks of several epidemic diseases, not only in primarily affected countries, but also in countries far away from its origin. The rhythm of the climate is totally disrupted, and once the climate is changed, the agriculture is seriously affected. There are marked rise in the percentage of ‘farmer suicides’ in countries like India. There is also a link between epidemics and natural calamities. In India we had several epidemics that took several lives. So the destruction is the basic feature of Tsunami. As per the homeopathic understanding, it is a syphilitic phenomenon.
Whenever there is any causality, immediate first-aid is very necessary. The aim of first aid is to save the life. It makes the victim comfortable and gives him assurance. Here the rescuer gives support to the basic body functions and make necessary steps to prevent further complications, and the injured parts are protected till professional help comes. But, in disasters like Tsunami, there is no time for immediate rescue operation, because the victims and rescuers will be swiped away together. Majority of people coming across such a situation may not be able to save the people from the deadly waves, because at that point of time self-survival is given prime importance than saving others. After all, we are human beings! However, this time, many people including kids were saved from the hands of death, by some rescue operators who really deserves special mention.
A major portion of victims can be saved by rescue operations and proper first aid techniques. If the victim is conscious, make him relaxed, because soothing words can do a lot in most of the cases. If there are many people at the premises, then the first aid becomes easy - two persons can start the first aid, and others can contact local emergency help line and do arrangements for professional help. Once we assess the situation, decide what should be done first. If the victim is not breathing, it is more important than a fracture of the limb. An arterial bleeding (which comes in spurts with heart beat) is more important than oozing of blood from injured soft tissues. Also we should apply common sense while giving first aid. Raising the extremities above the level of heart can stop bleeding from hands and legs.
ABC was the rule of thumb for giving first aid to any causality case with stopped heartbeat. This acronym indicates the series of steps to be performed to save the person from cardio respiratory failure. Here, ‘A’ stands for Airway, ‘B’ for breathing, and ‘C’ for the Circulation. But recently, The American Heart Association has changed the acronym ABC to CAB, which means, Circulation has to be given prime importance in order to initiate blood flow to the brain, and then the steps A and B are followed. Breathing and chest compression are continued one after the other till professional help comes.
Circulation: Check the carotid pulse lateral to the Adam’s apple (Do not waste time by searching for peripheral arterial pulses like radial, femoral, etc). At a time, feel the pulse on one side only, and do not press the artery tightly. If no carotid pulse is felt, start Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. It should be continued till normal breathing and pulse appear or till the victim reaches a higher center. First of all, keep the person in supine posture on a smooth, but firm surface. Place the heel of our hand over the center of victim’s chest (between nipples) and place the other hand over that and interlock the fingers. The rescuer should keep the elbows straight and the shoulder should be straightly above the hands. This is to give powerful compression with the help of our body weight, or else, the rescuer may get exhausted easily. Each compression should push the chest at lest 2 inches so that the blood from the ventricles are pumped out. The rate of compression should be 100 per minute. First of all, give 30 chest compressions, then immediately straiten the airway and give two rescue breaths. If the person who gives first aid is not trained enough, it is advisable to give only chest compressions in the above manner so that the circulation is maintained.
Airway: Check the airway for any obstruction by flaccid tongue, foreign bodies, vomitus or mucus in the throat. ‘Head tilt/chin lift’ position is the best to open airway in a lying down patient in supine position. Continue this position throughout the procedure. In case of near drowning, the aspirated water should be drained out of the lungs inorder to make the airway open.
Breathing: Check the signs of breathing. If no breathing, immediately give 2 rescue breathing. Place hand on victims forehead, place two fingers of other hand under bony part of lower jaw and then do head tilt /chin lift and give two mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing. If signs of poisoning or bleeding present in the mouth, then mouth-to-nose breathing is the better alternative. While blowing air, keep the victim’s nose pinched to prevent air loosing through the nose. Look for chest expansion while giving breath. Rescue breathing will be easy with the help of an Ambu Bag valve mask.
Immediately after giving the rescue breath, again start 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths in head tilt /chin lift position. The whole process is repeated in the above manner till professional help comes. If Automatic external defibrillator (AED) is available, shocks can be given to initiate cardiac activity. The portable automatic machines available nowadays can instruct the rescuer when to give chest compression, rescue breath and shock.
Homeopathy has no limitations; whatever limits we have, are mainly due to our own limitations. Homeopathy acts better for acute emergencies, because our medicine starts acting immediately when it is administered. The basic necessity for a quick result is the administration of the most suitable remedy in correct potency and dose. While dealing with acute emergency cases, we do not get enough time for a detailed case taking and repertorisation. Prescription on the basis of available data and observatory finding are the basis of drug selection. Certain clinical tips and past experience can also help to handle the situation tactfully. Each drug in homeopathy is basically life saving, when it is strongly indicated. Homeopathic medicines help to maintain the normal body functions and also help to make the victim free from shock, pain, and secondary infection. Our medicines can also help to restore the body from the side effects of injury, infection, blood loss, poisoning, etc.
Usually, the following points in a serious patient help to select the remedy: Response to the surroundings, body posture (flexion or extension, curled, etc), body movements, behavior, facial expression, eyelids, pupils, alae nasi, color of face, breath, movement and coating of tongue, voice, speech, movements of jaw, sweating, location of sweating, response to covering, fanning, any desires, nature of vomitus, dryness of mouth, frothing, temperature, pulse, chest sounds, color of skin, odors, discharges, appearance of injured parts, type of blood, etc.
Apart from these points, the probable causation and provisional disease diagnosis also helps for drug selection. Some times the “near specifics” can be used when there are no other indications.
Some first aid remedies with indications
As per the reports from some News channels, there is some nuclear pollution at the premises of nuclear reactors in Japan.
Our medicines like Alf, Ars, Cadm-I, Cadm-met, CADM-S, Calc-f, Calen, Chin, Cob, Fl-ac, Hydr, Ip, Nux-v, Phos, Rad-br, Sil, SOL, Stront-c, Uran-n, X-ray, etc are some of the indicated remedies for the side effects of radiation.
A newly proved remedy Kaki is also indicated for the side effects of radiation. Ruta is the commonly used remedy for injuries. As per the recent studies conducted by the Japanese scientists, Ruta can protect the body from the effects of radiation. We can utilize these latest study reports to face the recent nuclear threats.
Here are some remedies indicated for first-aid:
Acetic acid: Prostration after injury, surgical shock, chloroform; Panic attacks with suffocation; Anaemia with pale waxy sunken face with blue rings; Sighing; Frequent fainting; Burning thirst, water brash &profuse salivation, sour belching; Exhausting diarrhea; Hemorrhages; Dry hot skin; Dropsy.
Aconite: Apprehension; Shock; Tossing in agony; Sudden violent onset; Fearful; Fear of death; Restless; Ailments from fright, from dry cold wind; Thirst for cold drinks; Palpitation with fainting; Full hard pulse; Dry red hot skin.
Amyle nitr: Epileptic convulsion; Hemorrhage with facial flushes; Climacteric headache with flushings anxiety and palpitations; Inhalation of Q is indicated during the attacks of angina, asthma, migraine, epilepsy.
Ant tart: Drowning; Death rattling; Respiratory paralysis; Gasping; Large collection of mucus, but nothing comes out; Sunken pale face; White coated tongue; Fanning of nostrils; Aversion to touch.
Apis mel: Sting bites; Anaphylactic shock; Stinging pains; Edema; Rolling head; Fiery red shiny skin; Irritable; Screaming; Stupor with sharp cry; Lower lids swollen; Thirstless; Fiery red tongue. < Heat; > open air, cold application, uncovering.
Arnica: Shock; Injury (mental or physical); Sore bruised feeling; Fear of touch; Well says when sick; Answers correctly and relapses; Head hot, cold body; Apoplexy with evacuation of stool and urine; Stupor with concussion; Fetid breath; Coated tongue; Dark hemorrhages.
Ars alb: Food poisoning; Vomiting & diarrhea with collapse; Exhaustion with anxiety and mental restlessness; Fear of death; Affected parts burn like fire; Burning pains> by warmth; Thirst for small quantity often; Dyspnoea > sitting and bend forwards.
Belladonna: Sudden & violent onset; Flushed hot skin; Congestion; Throbbing pains; Delirious; High fever; Brilliant eyes with dilated pupils; Staring; Moaning with breath; <Jar, slightest touch; > Semi erect position, pressure, lying on abdomen.
Bellis per: Ailments from injuries, physical exertion; Muscle soreness; Venous congestion due to injuries; Injuries to deeper tissues; Injuries to nerves with soreness and intolerance to cold bathing; Trauma to pelvic organs; Sprains & bruises; Ecchymosis.
Bryonia: Talks on business; Sensitive to slight motion; Constant motion of left arm and left leg; Chewing motion; Coated dry tongue; Injury to joints; Stitching pains; Fracture of ribs; Pain < motion, touch, inspiration; >absolute rest, lying on painful side.
Calendula: Lacerated scalp wounds; Paralysis after apoplexy; Damage to soft tissues, muscles; Pain out of proportion to injury; Quickens healing process; Superficial burns and scalds; External application for wound healing.
Cactus: Cardiac asthma; Palpitation; Hands icy cold; Constriction in chest; Angina with tight feeling; Pain from apex to left arm.
Camphora: Shock from injury; Pale face; Dilated pupils; Icy coldness, but will not be covered; Cramps; Cold sweat; Pulse weak, scarcely perceptible; Blue skin; Prostration even from scanty fluid loss.
Cantharis: Furious delirium; Sudden unconsciousness; Burns and scalds with rawness and smarting pain > by cold applications; Sore vesicles sensitive to touch; Sensitive; Cant swallow liquids; Burning urination with constant urge to pass; Violent inflammation; < Touch; > Rubbing, warmth (skin by cold).
Carbolic acid: Irritable; Lacerated wounds from blunt injury; Septic conditions; Burns tends to ulcerate; Pain comes & goes suddenly; Bathed in cold sweat.
Carbo veg: Ailments from loss of vital fluids, after spoiled food; Offensive discharges; Air hunger; Collapse with weak circulation; Icy coldness; Cold sweat; Cold breath; Hippocratic face; Terminal stages; Oozing of dark blood; Wants clothing loose around abdomen; <Warmth; >Fanning, flatus.
Chamomilla: Fainting from pains; Cant endure anyone near; Aversion to touch or looked at; One cheek red hot, other pale cold; Oversensitive; Pain< heat; Hot perspiration; Sleepy but cant sleep; Pains with numbness; > Carrying.
China: Weakness; Fainting; Air hunger; Dropsy; Loss of vital fluids; Blueness around eyes; Anaemic; Bright red bleeding; < Draught of air, slight touch; > Bending double, hard pressure, warmth.
Cicuta: Childish; Screaming; Moaning and whining; A/v to stranger; Convulsions with frightful distortion of face; Convulsions renewed by slight touch; Rolling of eyes; Bites tongue; Trismus; Grinding of teeth; Head twisted to one side.
Echinacea: Blood poisoning; Snakebite; Spider and scorpion bite; Sepsis; Crushing injuries.
Gelsemium: Fear of falling; Sun stroke; Apoplexy; Ailments from anticipation, bad news; Motor paralysis; Tremulous weakness; Heaviness of eyelids; Lack of muscular coordination; Dullness; dizziness; drowsiness; Thirstless.
Glonoine: Apoplexy; Congestive headache; Sunstroke; Visible heart pulsation with throbbing carotids; Heart congestion with fainting on any exertion; High BP, pulsation even in finger tips; Sudden irregular circulation.
Hepar sulph: Hyper sensitive to pain; Faint from slight pain; Intolerance of suffering; Dyspnoea> sitting and bend head backwards; Sensitive to air; Profuse sweating with no relief; <Touch, cold, lying on painful side; > Warmth.
Hypericum: Vertigo with urging to urinate; Crushed finger tips; Injuries with horrible pains; Injuries to parts rich in nerves; Shock after spinal injury; Fracture of spine; Convulsions from injury; Lacerated wounds with frustration; Twitching of muscles.
Ignatia: Emotional shock; Fainting; Hysterical troubles; Contradictory symptoms; Involuntary sighing; Ailments from being abused, bad news; Muscular jerking; < Consolation, tobacco in any form.
Ipecac: Vomiting with salivation; Clean tongue; Nausea persists even after vomiting; Bleeding with nausea; Bright red bleeding; Chest seems full of phlegm; Suffocation from mucus; No expectoration.
Lachesis: Loquacity; Muttering; Ailments from poisoned wounds; Trembling and protrusion of tongue; Breathing interrupted by least things coming near mouth; Left sided apoplexy; Dark hemorrhage; Bluish or purple appearance; <Heat, touch, on going to sleep. >Discharges, fanning from a long distance.
Ledum: Puncture wounds; Stings and bites; Black eyes from blow; Injured part turn blue or black; Injured part cold to touch, but not cold subjectively to patient; Sprain of ankle; Intolerance of heat of bed; Dark bleeding; Twitching of muscles near wound.
Mag phos: Antispasmodic; A/f standing in cold water; Angina with constriction sensation; Muscle cramps with radiating pains; Colics; Spasms without febrile symptoms; <Cold bathing, motion, touch, cold air; > Warmth, bending double, pressure.
Nux mos: Fainting from pains; Palpitation with fainting; Hysteria; Fainting from sight of blood; Vertigo when walking in open air; Dryness without thirst; Saliva looks like cotton; Tongue adheres to roof of mouth; < Cold wet stormy weather; > Warmth, wrapping warmly.
Nux vom: Sudden unconsciousness; Convulsions with consciousness; Fainting from odors; Over sensitive; A/f anger, rich food, alcohol; Reactions to allopathic drugs; Posterior half of tongue coated; < Eating, stimulants, dry weather; > Rest, lying down, damp wet weather.
Opium: Ask for nothing; Well says when sick; Delirium with wide open eyes; Coma from fright, injury; Picks bell clothes; Spasm from approach of strangers; Bloody froth; Deep red hot face; Tongue black paralyzed; Bad effects of inhaling gas, charcoal vapors; Stertorus breathing; Involuntary stools after fright; Bed feels too hot; Hot sweating; < Heat, stimulants; >Cold, constant walking.
Phosphorus: Ailments from anticipation; Electric shock; Wants to be magnetized; Palpitations from lying on left side; Ascending paralysis with numbness; Thirst for cold water; Profuse bright red bleeding, even from small wounds; <Lying on left, warm food and drinks, salt, thunderstorm; >Cold items, lying on right, open air.
Rhustox: Joint injuries; A/f lifting weight, physical exertion; Strained muscles, tendons and ligaments; Cant remain in bed; Delirium with fear; Tongue coated except red triangular tip; Sensitive to open air; < Rest, beginning to move, cold, uncovering; > Motion, warmth, hot bathing, rubbing.
Ruta: Injury to bones, periosteum, joints; Sprains; Fractures; Injury to chest; Lameness after sprains; Bruised pains; Pains with stiffness; <Lying down, cold, wet weather.
Spigelia: Shuddering from touch; Left sided headache; Angina> hot drinks, lying on right; Dyspnoea >lying on right with head high; Stitching heart pain synchronous with pulse; Violent visible audible palpitations.
Tabacum: Rapid blindness without reason; Vertigo on opening eyes; Nausea on least motion; Death like pallor; Icy cold sweat; Pale sunken face; Nausea with profuse sweating; Angina with prostration and cold sweat; Pulse intermittent hard cord like; <Opening eyes, motion, tobacco; >Uncovering abdomen, open fresh air.
Veratrum alb: Faint from least exertion; Tip of nose cold; Rapid sinking of vital force; Cold sweat on forehead; Loss of vital fluids; <Cold weather, least motion, drinking; > Walking.
Dr Muhammed Rafeeque
Family Homoeopathic clinic