Sometimes, it’s just not possible to get to a doctor. Maybe there’s an ice storm or you’re on a wilderness trek or society has up and collapsed. Below are some problems I treat in my office that can often be addressed at home. In many cases, it’s best to get to a doctor if you can. But when you can’t, these tips, based on my new book The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook, may get you out of a pinch.
When a ring is stuck on your finger
This is one of my most popular tips—and it doesn’t require cutting the ring. Instead, cut off a long piece of dental floss. Turn the ringed hand palm up. Thread one end of the floss through the ring, going down toward your palm. Hold that end of the floss in place with the thumb of your ringed hand. Take the other end of the string and wrap the floss tightly around and around your finger, starting at the ring and moving up toward the fingertip. The goal is to squeeze some of the swelling toward the tip, making your finger skinny enough to get the ring off. This trick doesn’t always work, but when it does, it saves both your ring and your finger. You can avoid having to use it by remembering to immediately take any rings off an injured finger or hand—before it swells