Medical

A wound or accident can take you out of action, an infected wound can finish you. Carry a medical kit - it may be your life that's saved. This is an area of my expertise. I was a trained EMT, worked on an ambulance, did CPR countless times and have a lot of disaster-related medical experience. Remember the doctor's cliche? Take two aspirins and call me in the morning. Well, in the morning, you are still the doctor. Not up to being you own doctor? Oops, better get used to it, and get some training. In a bugged out situation, you might be all you have, and, of course, your medical kit. So prepare well, walk carefully, and carry a big kit!

First rule: first aid is not sterile, clean is good enough, especially in cases where the wound is already dirty from soil, tree bark or whatever. Applying sterial dressings in first aid is not necessary. If your medical kit has a pile of individually-wrapped, sterile gauze compresses (dressings), you can open most of them and make a compact stack, seal in a snack size zip lock bag by first pressing the air out. Keep a few sterile ones wrapped. Now you have a pile of ready-to-use compresses for most first aid uses. First aid is to stop bleeding, not dress a wound in sterile gauze. When bleeding has stopped, clean the wound well with plain water, blot dry and apply a clean dressing with bandage or tape. That was second aid.

A wound heals faster if it gets fresh air. Small cuts and scrapes need not be bandaged, unless doing so will keep them cleaner than not doing so. Wash them, blot dry and let a scab form - better than a bandage.

Only a clean wound will heal, so make sure it is clean of all dirt and debris before bandaging or closing.

My kit is a zippered case used for first class airplane passengers - they have soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. in them. The lid has a thin pocket with elastic edge, the bottom is one compartment. The contents:

1. Compresses, (squares of folded gauze) 2 x 2 and 4 x 4" in a ziplock bag

2. Roller bandages, 2" and 3" - used to hold compresses on a wound

3. Triangular bandage - for arm sling and head and foot bandaging

4. Safety pins, various sizes - for sling and in place of tying for roller bandages

5. Tape roll

6. Thermometer, mine's digital, plus an old glass one

7. Swabs or Q-tips - to clean wounds and apply ointments, etc.

8. Betadine preps (swabs) - to clean wounds

9. Alcohol preps - clean equipment and skin

10. Suture kits - to close wounds

11. Pain pills - Aleve or Equate (naproxen sodium), aspirin, whatever

12. Wound ointment, like Calendula

13. Homeopathic remedies (I studied and practiced for many years)

14. Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower remedies)

15. Band aids, fabric only, various sizes

16. Snake bite kit (I'm in rattlesnake land; carried separately)

17. Chap stick or lip balm - good on cracked hands and feet and small wounds

18. Tweezers, several kinds, one made from a sharpened eyebrow plucker

19. Scissors, two kinds, large and small, must be sharp

20. Hemostats - clamp for spurting artery, possibly for bullet or buck shot extraction, suturing

21. Super glue or nail repair glue (same stuff) - for holding some wounds together

22. Hydrogen Peroxide - 3% for cleaning wounds, better than alcohol

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