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 Post subject: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Ok, now that zantra/Longey has gone, back to more civilised conversations

KMnO4, or Potassium Permanganate/Condy's Crystals is well known for being a useful chemical, being a strong oxidizer it works as a disinfectant, deoderiser and astringent. It can be used for all manner of first aid and survival uses.

However as we all know, it is caustic, and too much KMnO4 can be detrimental.

So, the question is put forward to the general community, I want to create a small info sheet to include with small vials of potassium permanganate so that someone who has never heard of it can use it. What does the community here use it for, and what concentration do you use?. Ideally put it down as a colour (see example)

"a really good disinfecting footbath for treatment of blisters can be made using enough water to cover one's foot and enough condy's crystals to change the water to this colour"

I'll then try to match the colours as best as I can and create a small table to accompany the vial

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:30 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:49 am 
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[YouTube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU5WkkhOxxM[/YouTube]

useful little video

(Note: Admin, if this topic goes more into general survival, feel free to move)

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:29 am 
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taipan821 wrote:
Ok, now that zantra/Longey has gone, back to more civilised conversations

KMnO4, or Potassium Permanganate/Condy's Crystals is well known for being a useful chemical, being a strong oxidizer it works as a disinfectant, deoderiser and astringent. It can be used for all manner of first aid and survival uses.

However as we all know, it is caustic, and too much KMnO4 can be detrimental.

So, the question is put forward to the general community, I want to create a small info sheet to include with small vials of potassium permanganate so that someone who has never heard of it can use it. What does the community here use it for, and what concentration do you use?. Ideally put it down as a colour (see example)

"a really good disinfecting footbath for treatment of blisters can be made using enough water to cover one's foot and enough condy's crystals to change the water to this colour"

I'll then try to match the colours as best as I can and create a small table to accompany the vial


Okay, maybe this is a silly question, but why would you do a chart by color and not by weight/mass/volume? Weight/mass/volume is specific and I would think that for something that could potentially be harmful in higher concentrations, you would want to be specific. Color judgment/description is subjective from person to person and a large amount of individuals (particularly men due to color sightedness being an X chromosome-based trait) don't see color well at all. Some people don't even realize it. My husband didn't know he had partial color blindness until his late 20s.

Sounds like a really good idea, just questioning the accuracy of a color-based chart.

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:10 pm 
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taipan821 wrote:
[YouTube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU5WkkhOxxM[/YouTube]

useful little video

(Note: Admin, if this topic goes more into general survival, feel free to move)


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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Ellywick wrote:

Okay, maybe this is a silly question, but why would you do a chart by color and not by weight/mass/volume? Weight/mass/volume is specific and I would think that for something that could potentially be harmful in higher concentrations, you would want to be specific.

Sounds like a really good idea, just questioning the accuracy of a color-based chart.


Its not a silly question, making up solutions by mass/volume would be more accurate and yes, colour can be subjective. However what I'm finding is that when you have to do calculations in a stressful environment the likelihood of error increases. what I might do Ellywick is find out how many individual crystals are needed to get to the intended concentration in 1 litre of water, so its easier to understand

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:40 pm 
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Ellywick wrote:
taipan821 wrote:
Ok, now that zantra/Longey has gone, back to more civilised conversations

KMnO4, or Potassium Permanganate/Condy's Crystals is well known for being a useful chemical, being a strong oxidizer it works as a disinfectant, deoderiser and astringent. It can be used for all manner of first aid and survival uses.

However as we all know, it is caustic, and too much KMnO4 can be detrimental.

So, the question is put forward to the general community, I want to create a small info sheet to include with small vials of potassium permanganate so that someone who has never heard of it can use it. What does the community here use it for, and what concentration do you use?. Ideally put it down as a colour (see example)

"a really good disinfecting footbath for treatment of blisters can be made using enough water to cover one's foot and enough condy's crystals to change the water to this colour"

I'll then try to match the colours as best as I can and create a small table to accompany the vial


Okay, maybe this is a silly question, but why would you do a chart by color and not by weight/mass/volume? Weight/mass/volume is specific and I would think that for something that could potentially be harmful in higher concentrations, you would want to be specific. Color judgment/description is subjective from person to person and a large amount of individuals (particularly men due to color sightedness being an X chromosome-based trait) don't see color well at all. Some people don't even realize it. My husband didn't know he had partial color blindness until his late 20s.

Sounds like a really good idea, just questioning the accuracy of a color-based chart.

Based on that video , I don't see how you could do a weight/mass/ volume in the field. It was a single crystal for one litre of water for drinking. 2-4 for wounds.

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:33 am 
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Thanks, Flybynight, video put it in perspective for me. Get why you would do by color, but at least number of crystals/seeing a general volume used is a good reference. I think it would be really easy to overshoot just based on color alone (since the amount used between the levels is so small) and then the water wouldn't be useful for anything but writing your name in the snow :D

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:33 pm 
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How does one signal with a deep purple liquid? I didn't get that part of the video.

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:38 pm 
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Towanda wrote:
How does one signal with a deep purple liquid? I didn't get that part of the video.


if you have snow...or, depending on the amount of crystals carried a small waterway?

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:53 am 
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That and Dettol is all I knew when it came to cleaning wounds, growing up in Africa. It works. I'm still here -kinda. I recall the colors being a factor, but my memory is shaky. The number of crystals makes more sense to me as well.

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:17 am 
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Colour of solution might also be affected by the composition of the water used to dissolve them.

I would suggest making a saturated solution and then diluting from the known volume of sat. solution, but in the field, this too is very variable and imprecise.

But I know nothing of field use for Potassium Permaganate, only ever used it in the lab.

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 Post subject: Re: KMnO4
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:08 am 
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Hey there!

My second post after my introduction; hopefully I can be of some help!

In the back country we're usually limited in what we can do regarding "disinfection". The current best practice endorsed by the Wilderness Medical Society is to irrigate wounds with potable water but avoiding potentially necrotic or allergic reactions.

The case you presented is blisters. Our WFR standards are to de-roof any blister >2cm diameter then to treat as a open wound (dry dressing, tape, reduce the friction). Blisters less than that should be packaged properly with moleskin around the site to provide protection. I don't see any specific indication to "disinfect" a foot in this case. The issue with blisters isn't pathogens but friction. In medicine the efficacy of treatment has to be weight against risk. Again dealing with a foot soak, we're applying a potentially harmful (and non approved) medication to an area where it is not indicated. Blisters rarely get infected, especially with proper care, but insult to the skin can cause adverse side effects. Are you as a practitioner able to manage these side effects? Are we doing the best for our patients when we turn a blister into a foot that's covered with new blisters due to toxicity or dermatological insult?

Best practice is to use disinfectants only when specifically indicated and as trained. I've closed thousands of lacerations without anything but high pressure irrigation and diligent cleaning. That includes everything from back country medicine to Level I ER's. At none of these times have I seen potassium permanganete being used.

First... do no harm!

taipan821 wrote:
Ok, now that zantra/Longey has gone, back to more civilised conversations

KMnO4, or Potassium Permanganate/Condy's Crystals is well known for being a useful chemical, being a strong oxidizer it works as a disinfectant, deoderiser and astringent. It can be used for all manner of first aid and survival uses.

However as we all know, it is caustic, and too much KMnO4 can be detrimental.

So, the question is put forward to the general community, I want to create a small info sheet to include with small vials of potassium permanganate so that someone who has never heard of it can use it. What does the community here use it for, and what concentration do you use?. Ideally put it down as a colour (see example)

"a really good disinfecting footbath for treatment of blisters can be made using enough water to cover one's foot and enough condy's crystals to change the water to this colour"

I'll then try to match the colours as best as I can and create a small table to accompany the vial

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