Makeshift Inca bandage saves the day when Chicago dad cuts fingertip

 
 

By David Wallach

Member of the Chicago Parent Blog Network
 

My father was born and raised in the mountains of Peru. He was dirt poor as a kid, having to sell Chiclets to the tourists to raise money for his family to eat.


He wasn't able to attend any kind of formal school until he was 10 years old. Eight short years later he was off to the United States to study Nuclear physics and eventually earned his PhD in Physics.


My father is one of my heroes because he is living proof that if you believe in something you can make it happen. He is the definition of perseverance and fortitude.


He is also the foremost expert on everything Inca and Peruvian. Heaven forbid you get a Greek and a Peruvian in a room together. They will claim to have invented just about everything from plumbing and language, to the bandage.


I am not sure where the first bandage actually came from. I could research it, but this isn't about that and I need to get the laundry done. This post is about the Inca Band Aid and how it is a great way to stop bleeding fast when you have no other options.


Last month, I was trying my hand at cutting up carrots with my new sharp knife. I was also talking to my son when I felt the knife suddenly hit something "hard." Now the smart person would have looked down to see what the knife was stuck on but I think we have established that I do not fall into that category. Nope, instead I pushed down really hard. It was only then did I realize that I was pushing down on my own fingertip. The massive pain was the first clue, followed by an inordinate amount of blood.


Yes, I cut the tip of my finger off. I ran upstairs to get a traditional bandage, but after about 15 minutes I knew they weren't going to work. I had soaked through several different sizes, gauze and waterproof bandages and still nothing was slowing down the blood.


Then my Peruvian ancestors spoke to me (Think Obi Wan Kenobi with a Spanish accent) and guided me towards the refrigerator . . . and an egg. Yes, an egg.


My dad was about as handy as I am and spent a great deal of time fixing up his cuts and gashes. When I was a little boy, he showed me that if you are bleeding and can't find a bandage the Incas originally used the inner membrane of an egg.


It sounds crazy, but the membrane of an egg attaches to your skin as if it was your own, forming a layer of protection and stops bleeding fast.


Here's what you need to know:


*I also took pictures for you because while I was bleeding to death, DAD thought, "This would make a good post and I should take pictures." I am that kind of crazy.

 


1. Grab an egg crack it gently, then separate the membrane from the egg shell.


2. Rinse any egg goop off the membrane. I usually run it under water and it does the trick.


3. Wrap the bleeding area with the membrane. Press down and make sure it sticks like a bandage.


4. That's it. In about a minute it will dry and adhere to your skin.


5. If you want to wrap a bandage around the Inca Band Aid you can to help keep it in place.



It's not just me and my crazy dad. A National Institute of Health study found that egg membrane might be an ideal covering for skin graft dressings due to properties of wound protection, pain relief and promotion of healing.


You shouldn't ditch your Band Aids for a carton of eggs, but the Inca Band Aid is a good trick to keep up your sleeve, just in case you need it, or want to really impress your kids.


Next time: The proper way to hold a knife.

 
 







 
 
 
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